Last Day of School

I made the last school lunches of the year this morning. Hallelujah. One of my least favorite chores, this morning I packed those lunches with military precision and had them ready to go half an hour before my girls had to head out the door.

Last night I asked them if they could have anything in their lunch boxes for the last lunch of the year what would it be. “A lunch box full of powdered doughnuts!” was the first thing out of my 7-year-old’s mouth. Try again, I told her.

Like so many parents (including one mom who was featured on Today due to her brilliant blog) I have been so overwhelmed by end of the year STUFF!!! Homework assignments, teacher gifts, class parties…ACK!!!

But lunches are my nemesis. Last September, a mom at our school posted on Facebook that she and her daughter had started a challenge for the mom to provide 100 school lunches with no repeats. Really? Who has that kind of time? And while she posted pics of said lunches on almost a daily basis I could have been inspired but instead was resentful. “Showoff!” I often thought to myself. And while I could have tried to replicate those lunches (not all of which would have looked too appealing to my kids I might add) I instead thrilled at the prospect of having leftover cheese pizza from the previous night’s dinner!

I admit to Mini-Ravioli from a can! My oldest daughter once told me “That Chef guy is a really good cook!”

The 100 Lunch mom admitted to using leftovers from dinner the night before. I worked in reverse. Cooking up spaghetti, tortellini or penne at 7 a.m. and then reheating at 6 p.m. that night. Voila!

The saving grace? My kids will eat almost any vegetable. The peeling, chopping and bagging of something green made me feel like I was doing right by them even as they enjoyed their less than creative and sometimes less than good for you main course.

Next year, as I do every year, I pledge to be use fewer canned goods, less sodium and more imagination. But, like my daughters, I l will still look forward to cold pizza day. I can only do so much.