BY JODY MOSES
I’ve been fighting with my six-year-old over school lunches for almost a year-and-one-term now! Every weekday I dread the big reveal! The lunch that I so meticulously and thoughtfully created comes home almost untouched.
The pressure of a thousand domestic blogs and Facebook posts about creative and gourmet school lunches has taken its toll on me.
I’m clearly inadequate when compared with mums who create characters from Disney movies out of curly carrots and sculpted cheese in each dazzling plastic or steel compartment of their child’s box of awesomeness.
I’m a perfectionist by nature, with a great ‘can do’ attitude. But I can’t do. I can’t create fuzzy whiskers out of cucumber skin or mermaid tails out of sliced olives. I have neither the time, nor, quite frankly, the inclination.
My kids are used to a sandwich, some protein and salad shoved inside, yoghurt and a few pretzels. That’s it. That’s my best offering.
But even this limited effort goes to waste, day in and day out, along with the leftovers that get pushed down the insinkerator.
Until last Tuesday.
Walking out of an after school activity, I bumped into a dad with twin boys in my son’s year one class.
As we cross the road simultaneously, me getting ready for the inevitable lunch box conversation with my son, I casually ask him what he gives his boys for lunch.
Fully expecting him to tell me has the same trouble as I do getting his sons to eat their lunch, he slaps me with the biggest “ahaaaaaa!!” moment I’ve had in a long time. “I give them very little, actually. Just enough to get them through the day. The want to get outside and play and I want them to get outside and play. They’re six-year-old boys. That’s what they need to do.”
As a father of three young boys, I immediately give him a mental merit sticker and pat on his back. He has a point. They need to go outside to play! It’s obvious. They’re little boys, fresh testosterone surging through their bodies.
“They’ll make up for it later”, he says. And he’s right.
My son eats a huge breakfast, a healthy afternoon tea and a hearty dinner. He’s robust, well-nourished over a 24-hour period and he wants to play!!! Isn’t that exactly what he should be doing?
Kudos to the parents who figured this out long ago.
One week later, I give my son a sandwich to eat in the classroom and a small container with cut-up veggies and fruit that he can take outside when he goes to play.
Everything comes home empty. EMPTY!!
2 Kids, 11 years later, I never stop learning!