My seven year old son has been complaining a LOT about his lunches lately. He takes his lunch 4 days a week. Last year he wanted PB&J every single day. This year, he suddenly decided that peanut butter was "yucky". He's been taking crab meat almost every day (the imitation stuff). A couple of times he let me put a thermos with macaroni and cheese in his lunch. And then I put in some carrot sticks or pepper sticks, some fruit and 1 Hershey's kiss (my mom always put a "kiss from mom" in my lunch, and now I do it. Even my 17 year old still gets one). But I guess a Hershey's kiss doesn't count as candy or a treat.
The last couple of weeks, he's been unhappy with everything I suggest. It all comes down to the fact that all of his friends have "cool" lunches, which I've determined means lunches that include chips, candy, lunchables, pop tarts, cookies and (to quote him from this morning) jelly beans and gummies.
There are two major issues at play here: first of all, we don't even have things like chips and jelly beans and gummies in our house. He does not eat that stuff at home, so I don't want to buy it for his lunch. The other issue is that I try to pack a trash-free lunch (I know, the kiss is wrapped in foil). And individual bags of chips or lunchables don't fit in with that aspect of our lifestyle.
Part of me thinks that I'll just pack a lunch and he'll either eat it or go hungry. But I remember wanting to have a fun lunch, too. My mom packed...let's say...unusual lunches, and she was into recycling bread bags into sandwich bags long before it became cool. So I can understand his desire to fit in and want what he sees other people having (especially if those other people ARE eating things like chips and pop tarts). But on the other hand, I don't want to throw up my hands and say "fine! Eat this junk food for lunch and I'll just make sure you eat healthy at home". That doesn't seem like a good example to set for him.
I know that there are other moms out there who feel like I do about packing a healthy lunch. And I guess what I really would like to hear is how you compromise your wishes to pack a healthy, nutritious lunch with your child's desire to have a "cool" lunch filled with junk food and excess packaging?
Edited by emelsea - 1/23/12 at 1:13pm