East of Weedin'

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   Aug 21

Lunch battles

My husband and I are having trouble deciding how to feed our daughter at school. He thinks we should make her eat school lunch and I think we should pack her lunch.

His argument is that having her eat school prepared meals will force her to try new foods. He thinks the peer pressure of other students will encourage her to eat whatever they are serving that day.

My arguments is she won’t eat all day, will waste food and come home ravenous. She’s stubborn and skipping a meal doesn’t faze her.

I wouldn’t describe my daughter as a picky eater. She eats a wide variety of foods and can usually be talked into trying new things. However, she doesn’t care for pizza or sandwiches, two of the lunch menu mainstays.

I also think we have the opportunity to teach her some responsibility here. She’s old enough to help pack her own lunch. I think we could make a nightly routine out of it and make her an active participant in feeding herself.

My husband ¬†thinks I’ve lost my damned mind and we will end up having to do it.

Lastly, as I’ve stated in my previous post, starting school will be a big change for her, and I think food she’s familiar with will help provide some comfort during the day.

What do your kids eat at lunch? Let me know your thoughts.


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  1. Dan Pind says:

    Same issue here. My son will be in 5th this year. He hates school lunches because he says he doesn’t get enough to eat. He’s picky and he’s skinny. I figure I’ll pack him something that he can eat in conjunction with school lunches.

  2. br says:

    I was a picky eater and a spoiled kid growing up….. my mom let me get away with saying I didn’t like it or didn’t feel like it. I wish my mom would have forced me to eat school lunches so I would be better prepared for real life. Now I feel terrible eating at social gatherings where everyone is raving about the good food and I won’t even try it because it is so far out of my own comfort zone.
    I made my kids eat school lunches and so far it has turned out great. My oldest eats anything now and doesn’t think twice about trying new foods. My youngest is still a little picky but eats school lunches almost every day. He will pack his own lunch on days where the menu is something that he really doesn’t like, which is about once every 2 or 3 weeks.
    My opinion is that we are crippling kids for life by pampering them and not forcing them outside their comfort zone.

  3. Kari Lucin says:

    We had school lunches as kids, and there were many, many, *many* occasions that my “lunch” would consist of a bun, pickles, and milk. See, my school always served the same sides with the same main dishes, and I hated barbecue sauce (and still do), a main component of the meal anytime it was barbecues or riblets. And if you hated the sides AND the main dish that day? Good luck.

    Back then there was no fresh fruit. There were no fresh vegetables. The only “salad” they served was limp, white iceberg lettuce, and it was always slathered with French dressing. (I hated French dressing, and still do. Sometimes I would eat the plain lettuce. I love lettuce salads!) There was no variety of foods, and there was no choice in the lunch line, either–no pizza line, no soup line, no salad line, just one option, and you just dealt with it.

    Our school was known in the area for having bad food.

    I try new foods constantly as an adult, and also sometimes go back and try things I don’t like just in case, but I still hate barbecue sauce. I also still don’t like canned peaches, which they always served with the barbecues. I can force myself to eat green beans now, which was the other element they always served with the barbecues. So now instead of pickles, a bun and milk, I would be eating pickles, a bun, milk and green beans.

    They also kept the portions very small, so even when the food was edible (leftover toasted hotdog buns were dipped in spaghetti sauce and called Italian Dunkers, for example, those were pretty good) you would probably be hungry soon. When I was 12 I was five feet tall and would have appreciated portion sizes made for people my size.

    I remember being hungry a lot. I think we had barbecued something once every 1-2 weeks. Bun. Pickle. Milk.

    Pickiness isn’t a good thing, but starving someone may actually be counterproductive. At this point I’m not sure I could actually swallow and keep down a canned peach anymore.

    I moved to another school and suddenly I was actually given full lunches. They had a SALAD BAR sometimes. They had fresh bread. They usually had two different lines with different main meals and fruit that was yummy and delicious. Real oranges! More than one tiny spoonful of food placed on our plates! No mandatory barbecue sauce and more than one kind of salad dressing!

    Maybe you should check out the food they actually serve before you decide? Ask kids who eat there every day what they like and don’t like and why.