This is the phrase I hear from my son, Jon, yesterday morning after packing his lunch for school. Every morning he comes down from showering, asks me to make him breakfast and what I packed him for lunch. Usually it is the same type of thing….sandwich on GF bread, chips, applesauce, yogurt, drink, dessert (if I have made treats lately). Well yesterday I gave him the rest of the broccoli slaw that we had with dinner the other night. He really liked it and even mentioned how much the dressing tasted like his favorite dressing that I buy for him from a local restaurant. What he didn’t mention that he was only going to like this dish at home, not at school. Apparently now in addition to his gluten-free food restrictions there are also “coolness factor” restrictions. I guess it is bad enough that he has to bring his lunch to school when 97% of the kids buy, but then to show up with broccoli slaw, well, that is just SO UN-COOL! Now, when I pack his lunch in the AM, I normally aim for nutritionally balanced, not “coolness factor” balanced. This is where I have been getting it wrong. He tried to throw the slaw back into the fridge; I put it back in his lunch box. The container came home empty…anyone want to place bets on whether or not he actually ate it? My guess would be that once it showed up in plain view in his lunch box, he might as well have eaten it. Throwing it out at that point would have only served one purpose, to make me mad (and if I don’t know, how can I be mad?). Going hungry, or partially hungry is probably an option a 12-year old boy would choose over eating the broccoli slaw. So I brought this up to Aaron, who looked at me like I had 2 heads when I told him that I packed the broccoli slaw for Jon, and he couldn’t believe that I would pack it for him for school. He went on to say that I was calling attention to his already “different” needs, saying that it is bad enough he has to pack every day to eat safely, but then I had to throw in the good ole broccoli slaw on top of it. Okay, maybe the broccoli slaw was taking it a little too far. Who can blame a Mom for wanting to make sure her kids eat healthy? Apparently we will be sticking to applesauce or grapes for lunch and extra fruits & veggies at home for snacks and meals to make up for what he is missing at lunch. I do pack Lara Bars (they count as a fruit!), but he doesn’t always have room for one after his sandwich and other stuff. I make sure he has one every day in case he gets hungry, if he eats it, I replace it, if not it just stays in the lunchbox.
So, tomorrow, do I pack the roasted brussel sprouts or spinach salad for Jon for lunch? LOL! Just kidding.