Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ideal Lunch

J has just come out of her sandwich for school lunch phase. It was a good time for me even if it lasted all of two weeks. For that entire period, I did not have to find the answer to the dread question "What do I pack for J's lunch ?" and what a blessing that was. But now, I have to use what little imagination I have to conjure up lunches that taste good even when cold, do not overwhelm J and most importantly get eaten at school. One lunch too many has come home untouched and been served as dinner in the last three years.

I am in love with the Bento Box lunch ideas and think each is as much a work of art as it is a delight to the taste buds. However, that is my opinion and not J's. As far as she is concerned, a lunch menu for a school day, needs to be as simple as possible. A sandwich, a bowl of rice and beans, a bowl of salad, a bowl of boiled broccoli and so on. Milk and fruit is for snack. Variety must be avoided at all costs. J does not deal well with having to prioritize among several things.

That makes Bento Box idea quite unsuitable. Yet the small portions and the bright colors would make it appealing to her. The trick is to balance the contradictions in a way that J will enjoy her lunch and look forward to it the next day. I am sure parents elsewhere have already solved for this problem and so I continue to browse around hoping to find the answer

1 comment:

Priyamvada_K said...

I hear you. I am looking for an answer myself. Kamala has this in common with J: if she doesn't care for the taste or is not used to the taste, food comes back untouched.

So sometimes I experiment with a new dish on her on a weekend, and ask if it's ok to pack it for lunch.

We do a lot of sandwiches too - rice comes back mostly uneaten (simply because kiddo is a slow eater). Also her eating a pasta dish on one day doesn't guarantee the same on another.

Don't know how much of a hit Bentos will be. Sometimes I think the Bentos are more to satisfy a parent that they have done all they could to make sure the kid eats something.