School starts 3 weeks from today and frankly, we are ready. Ready for routine, freedom from some boredom and a little more time for this mom. It also means I will be making lunches times three. It takes a little getting used to again but this will be our 2nd school year of the kids eating lunch from home about 90% of the time. There are a few reasons...it is expensive for three kids eating hot lunch...$30 a week and more because my oldest sometimes does not get filled up on 6 mini corn dogs. Which leads me to another reason, almost everyday the menu consists of something fried. Really? and they think it is healthy. They even show the average calories and other nutritional facts for each week...the average calories for each meal is over 600 and the sodium is through the roof! It appears most of the meals fat content is within the 30% of calories but only becasue the calories are so high, still does not mean it is good fat. There is also very little fiber witch is growing problem with children. I realize that districts have budget constraints and that is some areas that is the only large meal a day many kids get. So my kids have a few favorite on the hot lunch menu and I allow them to eat that once in awhile...interesting thing is the menu items they love are the healthier options....chicken fajitas and taco salad. I have been learning how to send a variety of things. My kids sometimes get a sandwich pretzels and an apple but that is when there is nothing else in the house. We have been varying the sandwich, opting for veggies and dip or something else crunchy and other fruits and occasionally yogurt. My kids do not buy milk, as we also limit there dairy intake. They all take water and occasionally 100% juice but water is the best choice in my opinion. This year we are looking for more ways to be "green" in how we pack the lunches. Somethings I have found our way too expensive so I was pleased to see Rubbermaid is coming up with affordable improved options that will fit in lunch bags. We will also be watching the clearance of kid sized lunch thermos containers so we can embark on sending hot lunch from home. My kids were thrilled at the thought of homemade chicken wild rice soup, spaghetti or chili in their lunches.
I know this way does not work for all but it does for us.