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September 2012
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In Quest of an Edible Lunch

The volume of kvetching over school lunch offerings increased this fall. Though that sentence does not paint an accurate picture. My kids would state their complaints if asked, but mostly they engaged in silent protest. Two of them independently decided that they would rather go hungry than eat anything served at school, and a third began hauling salt and spices to school in order to doctor the meals. Adding up all the information makes clear that something has changed in our current kid and school lunch configuration. Paying for school lunch bought me a measure of stress relief, but this year the kids are not demanding as much from me in the way of homework support, so I have extra cycles to explore home lunch options.

I began by ordering some bynto boxes from Goodbyn. These are three-compartment containers with lids. I figure we have a better shot at getting the kids to actually eat lunches from home if I can make the presentation enjoyable. The boxes are due to arrive at the end of the week. Until then my kids will be bagging it. I fully expect there to be challenges in the form of lost boxes, boxes left at school, and boxes not rinsed out after school. My junior high and high school kid have both been subjected to the indignity of having to actually seek out their lockers and learn how to open them so that they will have a place to put their lunches. I guess they’ve just been carrying all their books all day long.

The biggest challenge for me is going to be coming up with variety while keeping the prep process as brainless as possible. Kiki does not like sandwiches, while Link does not like wraps. Patch does not like cheese very much and everyone else does. We’re going to have to do some experimentation to discover which foods best survive transportation to school and sitting at room temperature. In theory this should be familiar ground. I grew up bringing lunch to school and considered buying school lunch to be a treat. I know how to do this, but knowing theory is different from practiced knowledge. It is going to take us time to add this into the rhythm of our days. That process is going to be disrupted by my departure next Monday, or maybe it won’t. There is every chance that Howard and the kids will own this process in my absence and I’ll come home to discover that there is a working system.

Let the quest for edible lunches commence.

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