Saturday, September 10, 2011

Almost there

The lack of posting here hasn't been due to laziness; it's because we are probably the last people on the planet to start school.  We go back on Tuesday and I have no idea what I am going to pack.

The lunch program offered by the school doesn't start for the nursery school until October which means even if I wanted to sign up for it, I'm on my own for lunch this month.

I have mixed feelings about signing up for the program.  On the one hand, it would be nice to have a few days off from the burden of planning and packing a lunch.  On the other, it's kind of expensive and I don't love the options.  The menu for the nursery school isn't out yet but I did sneak a peak at what they are offering the kindergarteners and I have to say, I am not really impressed.  The program touts the fact that everything is really customizable, which basically means that almost everything comes "on the side."  I realize this is great for parents with picky kids who are afraid their kids would rather skip the meal entirely than eat something random served to them but I am concerned that this set-up will actually train Juju to become a picky eater.  For example, if I serve her a dish of pasta with a tomato-veggie sauce, she'll eat it.  But if I start serving her pasta with sauce on the side, she might skip the step of mixing everything together and just eat the straight pasta and ignore the sauce (this "on the side thing" isn't exclusive to pasta and applies to almost all of their offered dishes).  Since I haven't seen the nursery school menu I could be putting the cart before the horse, maybe they don't expect a 3 year old to mix up her own ingredients, but I just don't know yet.  I wish we could see photos of the actual lunches, maybe that would help?

My friend Lirona also pointed out that there is no way her daughter will eat $6.25 worth of food for lunch so she thinks it's a waste of money.  I realize some of that money goes toward the convenience of not having to pack a lunch but considering the program charges an additional $2 for sushi, I might as well run down the street to Gelson's to buy her sushi on days when I am lazy.  I can get her favorite rolls for less than $8.25 and they will be enough for at least two lunches.  But, I'm going to keep an open mind when the menu comes out and we'll see what happens.

I got some inspiration for what to make on Day One from the Wall Street Journal today in a small piece called "A Gourmet Lunchbox" where they interviewed 3 chefs about what they packed in their kids' school lunches.  Alex Young from Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan sends his son with a burger served cold (like a meatloaf sandwich).  It's so simple but I never thought to do it myself.

I can't promise daily updates of what I pack this year but I will try to document a whole bunch of them.  I do so love your comments about what I am making!

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