today as i was driving back home from dropping cayden at school i observed a boy, maybe 9 or 10, drinking a squeeze-it type drink on his way to school.

first let me say that i realize not everyone is crazy obsessive about what their kids are eating but seriously, a squeeze it .... for breakfast!  sigh.

anyway, that's not really what my post is about, i need not worry about other peoples kids, right?

have you seen jamie oliver's food revolution?  me neither, but, i've read a lot about it and other similar causes/groups/people working hard to overhaul our nations school lunch system.  i think this is important.  supposedly, on one of the first episodes the children were asked to name certain vegetables and fruit.  they failed.  they didn't know what a zucchini looked like.  do your kids know what a zucchini looks like?

it's tough teaching kids healthy habits.  the crap tastes so darn good and by golly, "they're kids, let them enjoy being kids."  i try to remember this.

for example, cayden was assigned to brink snacks/drinks to one of the baseball games to share with the team.  i found myself standing in the grocery store stuck between a rock and hard place.  i'd started the search for something nutritious but not only was it apparent that the options were limited (sad), i also realized cayden would probably forever resent me because i was the mom that brought granola to the baseball game.  so i bought donuts and gatorade and, much to my dismay he was excited. not surprising.

i think there's a balance.  i teach my kids moderation and they get it.  they know dessert is a treat and we have it every once and awhile.  i think they're learning healthy habits and enjoying being kids at the same time.  it is possible.

so ... lunchtime.  my post is about lunch from home vs. school lunch.  every once and awhile cayden likes to have school lunch and every once and awhile i like to not have to pack him a lunch so we made a deal.  we agreed that at the beginning of every month we would sit down together with the lunch menu and he would choose one meal a week and i would choose one meal a week.  the other three days he eats "cold" lunch.  of course, he usually chooses the "breakfast for lunch" and i usually choose chicken dinner or something along those lines.

that's the easy part.  the hard part is compromising on what items go into his lunch box for cold lunch.  he's my pickiest eater so we rotate peanut butter and banana/honey sandwiches with turkey and cheese sandwiches.  i only buy whole wheat bread and am determined to learn how to make my own so "buying" will no longer be necessary.  this is a work in progress.  i also only buy low sodium turkey breast (boar's head).  lunch meat grosses me out.

anyway, so those are the only two sandwiches i can get him to eat.  sides; i usually throw in some fig cookies, pretzels, cheese stick.  he doesn't care for fresh fruit so i slide the banana in the sandwich or i'll send him with a cup of mandarin oranges.  so far so good. but, when it comes to drink choices, this is where i struggle.  right now, i'm sending him with the horizon organic milk boxes.  he likes them but i'm not sure i do.  i need some ideas.

i'm hoping some of you will respond with some lunchtime ideas.  what do you pack in your kids lunch boxes?  do you pack lunch at all?  would you give your kid a squeeze-it type drink for breakfast?  please say "no."


Amy Piller said...

I don't have this problem yet but when I was growing up I though lunch was a sandwich a treat (cookies, dounut, etc) and a sugar drink. I so don't want my kids to think this. I love your thoughts about it all and I actulaly need ideas for lunch for my husband. We are trying to save money by packing him lunchs but what to give him always stomps me because I want it healthy. I know i didn't give you any help but the truth is I turn to you and your blog for help so I will be watching for all the other blogers who give you great ideas:)

Jensons said...

I don't send a drink, Emma's class keeps water bottles at school that they fill up during the day. She just drink that. I am a huge believer that we all need to just drink more water, but that can be tricky with kids......I buy the little water bottles and they like those because they are "kid size". You could try that?

Mrs. JM said...

amy, i used to eat horrible when i was in school! especially high school when i went out with friends. truthfully, i didn't know any better. jake takes a lunch to work every day too. usually, it's leftovers from whatever i prepared the night before but if not, he will stick with a sandwich of sorts or a big salad. we are also huge fans of hummus with some sort of flatbread (i.e. pocketless pita, naan etc.). whole foods has THE BEST red pepper hummus. will he eat hummus?

kalisa, i have put those little water bottles in his pack but he said they're too hard for him to open so he just goes without on those days. he's in too big of a hurry to get out to recess. i saw yesterday that potterybarn has some cool canteen's for kids. i might look into something like that so i can send him with water. thanks for your input! what do you put in emma's lunch?

Rachel Ure said...

oh, i am so like you when it comes to junk food -especially in the morning! some saturdays derid will take the kids for a donut breakfast before i get up. i spend the rest of the day saying " well, if you hadn't have fed them donuts for breakfast they wouldn't be tired, grumpy, (and any other frustrating quality). when my kids eat badly i feel like i have. it makes ME feel sick. school lunch. my mom never packed a drink. i would probably send them a water bottle ( i would do milk if they would drink it). I am horrified to think of tayson trading his healthy food for crap- or being the kid that piles up everyones left over french fries on his own plate. Maybe i will just instal a feeding tube in tayson before he begins school next year. it will pump nutritious goodness into him every couple hours and we won't have to worry about dealing with real food.

Jensons said...

I apologize for the length in advance....

In Emma' lunch I generally do organic peanut butter, low sugar jam/honey on home made whole wheat bread, or turkey. Fruit: cherry tomatoes, apple slices, grapes, strawberries ect. String cheese, and sometimes I throw some almonds or crasins in there. Nothing too exotic.

If you like the water bottles you could just open it for him initially and then twist it shut again before you put it in his lunch box. for my kids it is just the first time they open it that it's hard...... but a canteen or water bottle is nice because they can reuse them. recycle.

ps- I usually make bread on Sunday afternoons, so if you ever want to come over I can show you how I make it. It is really easy. My friend showed me how, and it helped a ton to watch someone else.

pps- I took cut up watermelon slices to Emma's soccer game last fall because we had a ton left over from a party, and they were the hit of the season. Seriously, they went way faster than any fruit snack or doughnut had. there are only 2 girls on her team and 6 boys, so it might work for baseball too?

Sarah said...

I like the canteen idea. Teaching healthy envoromental habits are important, too! :) If you can find a plain cheap one, you can let him cover it with stickers that he likes. Or camo duct tape. All little boys I know love to cover things with camo duct tape. Actually, all big boys I know do, too...LOL.

But what to put in it... Some days, water. Some days, how about homemade fruit teas? You can make them decaf, with as much/little sugar (or honey, agave, etc...) you want, and with whatever fruits you can get away with. You can play with brewing any flavored or plain tea and adding any fresh fruit for some extra flavor/natural sweetness. Berries work great.

Sarah said...

environmental, sorry.

tiare said...

Hi Emily! You probably don't remember me (or even know me), but I was in Jake's home ward. Linda was a leader of mine, and I was friends with all of the Greenhills girls! (amy, alayna, emily, marianne)
I blog stalked you off of Amy's blog and I LOVE ALL OF YOUR POSTS! You are an inspiration. Seriously. I think it is so cool that you found an interest in nutrition and you took to learning it all on your own! If it's ok with you, I'm going to use A LOT of your recipes. My husband and I are also trying to eat "clean" and I've already tried your quinoa recipe....YUM!
P.S. Way to go on your marathon training! Another reason to eat healthy -- fuel for your body! Which one are you runnning?

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