The Dilemma of School Lunches

Cheetos TapatioI swear, I really do my best with school lunches, but once the kids get to a certain age, there’s only so much I can do. It’s the “leading a horse to water” problem: I can assemble the best, most tasty and nutritious foods, we can even go shopping together so I ensure that I have what they like to eat, but when they get to school, it’s out of my control.

And so it goes with my 13yo son. Horse, meet water, but grab a Coke. Or something like that.

I generally let my children assemble their own school meals with some coaching from me. A common meal is chicken noodle soup in a thermos, a piece of fruit, a granola bar or two, and some sort of additional snack, perhaps cherry tomatoes, pretzels, Saltine crackers, or similar. Today, G- took soup, some mixed fruit and two granola bars. Decent enough.

Which is why it was such a surprise to get the following text message from his teacher this afternoon:

“Hi Dave. I know you sent him with other foods to eat today, but what G- chose to eat was a large bag of Cheetos and a Butterfinger. This does not allow him to do his best learning :)”

Ah, great. My son has already confirmed that his idea of a good meal is a bag of chips and a soda, but if I give him decent food….

delicious nestle butterfinger bar unwrapped

She continued her message:

“I spoke to him about this and asked him to bring different foods to school in the future.”

The puzzle is really where these foods came from in the first place, and the answer was that the Cheetos were from a friend and the Butterfinger, he explained, was something he’d bought at the store yesterday after school.

And the soup? Never consumed. The fruit? It’s a mystery, I have no idea where the container even went.

But the problem remains: I can make good lunches. I can encourage them to eat good lunches. But I can’t make ’em eat what they bring.

So what’s a parent to do?

One comment on “The Dilemma of School Lunches

  1. The eternal struggle! My boys will barely eat the ‘fun’ food – chicken nuggets, pizza and burgers. I think the best advice is to model good eating at home and keep the house stocked with quality fare as much as possible. Have you tried prayer? 🙂

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