Lunch Made Easy(ier)

My 8-year old son, Joshua, is making his own lunch (and snacks) for school now, because one too many lunches got composted at the end of the day.  And, it’s not because he didn’t like it; it was actually one of his favorites!  For any number of reasons, though, it went from my loving hands to the bus, to school, to soccer practice, and back home without so much as a bite taken.  Well, we all have our hot button issues and one of mine is waste.  I can’t stand it.  It makes me crazy.  And, believe me, my whole family stared wide-eyed as I vented and declared that I would no longer be making lunches. 

I did cool down, eventually, and realize that I will, in fact, still be making lunches for my 5-year old, because if left to his own devices, I would be getting him to school around noon with an apple, a peach, a half a watermelon and some raisins in his lunch.  For Joshua, though, this is a great opportunity for me to empower him in terms of making good food choices and taking care of himself. 

In the spirit of empowerment and teamwork, rather than sending him into the kitchen to fend for himself, I created a chart with the basic components of a balanced meal (protein, healthy carbohydrates, and vegetables) and listed foods that fit under each category.  I also made separate columns under carbohydrates for best sources, ok sources, and treats and under vegetables for the different types of veggies (leafy greens, cruciferous, root veggies, and what I call fruit-veggies, i.e. avocado, tomatoes, squash). On a separate white board, I list the foods we actually have, so he can use the two together to create his meals.   I certainly help him out when asked, but he’s pretty much got it under control with no unsolicited advice from me! He has packed fabulous lunches so far that are just as balanced and healthy as what I would choose for him.  

I wrote out the chart by hand for Joshua, because it seems easier to connect to Mom’s handwriting than a computer version (though the latter would be easier to read, I’m sure), but to give you an idea, I typed it out…unfortunately, I don’t have the faintest idea how to get it onto the blog in a readable form, so if you would like to see it, please email me at and I’ll send it to you:)

Of course, there has to be food from each of the categories available in order to make this work, but with very little extra effort, you can make that happen.  Leftovers are perfect for lunches!  

For those times when a little inspiration is called for, I’m creating a new category for lunch ideas…happy cooking!

1 Comment »

  1. Paul said

    For what it’s worth, I would commonly get uneasy shopping with other family members, being mindful of the fact that more usually gets purchased than is really truly conceivably consumed. That said, I would attempt to make up the difference, that doesn’t work either. Regardless, I think it’s awesome that you are making such a genuine effort to provide whole, legit foods to your son and encourage him to find his own way around the foody details. That said, I’m a college student and just thought I’d share since, I also get really frustrated when there resides an over-abundance of “left-overs” or “hang-arounds” (expecially the veggies and such) that inevitably end up in the compost. Don’t know why, I just felt like sharing sympathetically.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: