Mom of Picky Eater

Back to school-am I the only unorganized mom?

My son starts kindergarten tomorrow and I don’t know if I should smile proudly, cry or pull the grey hairs out of my head because it makes me feel old.  Either way, he is excited, but I can tell he’s a little nervous, and truthfully so am I.  He will be going to public school where, you are pretty much on your own from the time you start at age -are you ready-4!  He’s not even 5-my baby!  I know his teacher because she taught my older daughter, so I feel pretty secure with his situation, except for…you guessed it…lunch!  If you read my blog you will know that this boy is the pickiest of picky eaters and getting worse by the day.  It used to be that I could sneak and organic, nitrate-free chicken hot dog onto his plate but now that he’s older and wiser, he takes one look and asks for the “real hot dogs.”  Can you blame him?

So here’s what’s stressing me out-what do I pack him for lunch?! It’s an unsupervised setting so I have to give him something he can easily handle-no difficult tops or cans.  I know he can handle this: hot dogs, crackers and peanut butter, apples, carrots, milk, juice, and the list pretty much ends there.  Of course I am not including the junk food he would be happy to consume at lunch time and which I refuse to pack or only in moderation (cookies, snacks).  He needs a good lunch, especially since for him, kindergarten goes from 8:15am to 3pm!

What do you pack your little ones for lunch?  Here are some articles we put together on the site.  I am hoping some of them will help me:

Move Over PB&J:Healthy Lunchbox Ideas

by Emily Wyckoff (aka Plan B Mom)

Lunch Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

by Rosemary Maggiore (aka Mom of a Picky Eater)

Lunchbox recipes from Rachael Ray and others

Lunch tips from a kid-a revealing article from a 12-year old

by David Fishman

What do you give your kids???  I obviously need all the help I can get!


6 Responses to “Back to school-am I the only unorganized mom?”

  1. Kim says:

    My Kids love homemade “lunchables” I use fruit and veggies that they like and put in some fruit dip and/or peanut butter and ranch or other dressing for dipping. I also put in cheese slices and sliced meat and wheat crackers, this way they have healthy food available to choose from and they get to choose how it goes together.

  2. Dan says:

    Lots of great ideas here but I am also noticing lots of Peanut Butter related ideas here – just be prepared as many schools (my own included) are going “peanut free” or “peanut aware” in order to keep allergic children safe from life threatening reactions. Please make sure that your child has other foods to eat at school other than peanut butter because there is a chance it won’t be allowed.

  3. Karissa says:

    I can not believe that a 4 yr old lunch is unsupervised! But one thing that always helped with my kids was letting them help pack their own lunches (yes even for kindergarden) Would your son eat French Toast Sticks or Pancakes?

    Honestly, I wouldn’t eat a nitrate free orgainc chicken hotdog!! Its great that you are trying to get him to eat healthy, but there are limits. I have teenagers and I consider it a victory when they have a rounded lunch–sandwich (made with homemade white or brown bread) fruit and yes, even baked goods.

  4. K S Hile says:

    I used to collect several things of which I approved, although not necessarily sandwiches, and separate them into three groups plus the snack stack. Then my short one was permitted to choose items as from a chinese restaurant menu – 2 or 3 from pile A, 2 or 3 from pile B, and one from pile C – that was desert.

    PB&J wasn’t an option – she was allergic. She could choose from regular bread, raisin bread, scones, biscuits, crackers, graham wafers, etc., and cheese chunks, sliced roast beef, deviled eggs, chicken drumsticks, etc. For desert there was rice pudding, chocolate pudding, a piece of cake or something else of the sort. Cake appeared once a week, only. The snack pile had fruit and cheese. Raw vegetables were saved for a snack at home. She never selected them to take to school, but was happy to eat them at bed time. Processed meats like hot dogs and sandwich meats were unwelcome as were sugary cereals. I simply wouldn’t have them in the house. I don’t consider them to be healthy eating.

    Because she made her own choices, there was no complaining about having to eat only healthy things. Since the only cereals she was permitted were shredded wheat, cream of wheat and old fashioned oatmeal, the fact that she got to have something sweet for desert made the whole thing very popular. She bagged up her selections every night before bed, and remembered to take her lunch every morning.

    I used to freeze the bread items so I could keep a selection on hand, and I made milk-based puddings a couple of times a week, so it wasn’t too difficult, even for a working mother.

    I understand that it’s very tough to impose these sorts of choices on older children, and almost impossible with teens, but if kindergarden lunch starts out with healthy options, it remains relatively manageable over the years. In our case, it was simply a matter of what was in the house. If it doesn’t come in from the market, it’s not there to be eaten.

  5. Victoria says:

    I teach 3 year olds. I always tell my parents to send foods that they know their child will eat, but not so much that they are overwhelmed. The same goes for a Kindergarten age child. Try small amounts of several different things. The child will be more likely to eat a bit of this and a bit of that.
    Try doing it the Japanese way and look up bento’s for some ideas. I’m not saying prepare Japanese food, just look at what they stuff in a small containter! I use a square “lock n lock” box with individual square dividers so the food doesn’t touch.
    (I fill one divided area with hummus another with crackers, the third with carrot sticks the fourth with red peppers.)
    Some kids hate it when their foods touch each other.
    Add a container of water and a VERY small treat and your done.

  6. Dawn says:

    We do tortilla wraps, like sandwiches, I bought these square containers that the lids freeze like a ice pack, egg salad, tuna, or chicken salad with crackers to dip. Its a battle sometimes, but now that I have a 5th, 4th and 2nd grader the two oldest pack their own lunch with approved items of course. Watch out for a dont want table. At our school kids can put what they dont want on a table and pick up something else like trade carrots for cookies, I fiqured it out when someone came home with a wrapper that I know we had not bought. My kids know they better not trade anything..

    Dawn

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