For parents, the first day of school is like a combination of Christmas and Lent. It’s Christmas because there’s newness, there’s excitement, and you’re broke from overspending on back-to-school supplies like Ziploc bags, boxes of Kleenex, and fifty pencils. It’s Lent because you make promises that are hard to keep, like packing kids nutritious lunches that don’t come pre-packaged.
We’ve had school lunch debacles in the past. I wrote a humor column about Lunch Box Confessions over a year ago.
Here’s an excerpt:
I’ve had many epic fails in the arena of packing lunches. Here are some of my finest lunch box confessions:
- I’ve sent buttered bread because the pantry was as empty as the wine bottles in my recycling bin.During Earth Week, I’ve unwrapped granola bars and cheese sticks before throwing them into Tupperware to create the illusion of a litter-less lunch.
- Desperate for a packable lunchtime snack, I have sent my children an empty ice cream cone to school. Nothing says delicious like a cone without the ice cream.
And I know I’m not alone. Here are some lunchtime confessions from others.
- My cousin sent a thermos filled with hot water. To her credit, she was warming it up to put a hot dog inside. That meal, sadly, never made the transfer. But her daughter did wonder what crime she had committed to deserve lukewarm water as her main course.
- Another cousin sent a container full of croutons. No salad necessary. I’m pretty sure there’s a packing-lousy-lunches recessive gene that runs through my family.
- My friend sent a box of Kraft Dinner to school, as in still-in-the-box macaroni and cheese. I’m not sure if she thought it was pre-cooked or if she believed uncooked pasta is as tasty as Kool-aid crystals straight from the package.
An old colleague told me the story of how she and her husband had taken their daughter’s insulated lunch box on a picnic date. They put some cans of Pepsi inside as well as a few 50 millitre bottles of whiskey and rum. Fast forward a day. Their Grade One daughter opens her lunch and lines the items up on her desk: cheese sandwich, apple, cookie, Jack Daniels.
Who knows what this year will bring. I’d like Vivian and William to pack their own lunches, but that pretty much guarantees they’ll get nothing but pre-packaged goodness sponsored by food additive #42345.
Thankfully, the good people at the non-profit Heart and Stroke Foundation have taken pity on me and my children and–in a preemptive effort–have sent me a package of healthy goodies. And, because I don’t want the pressure of not disappointing them with a broken back-to-school/Lenten promise, I’m going to share the wealth.
That’s right, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me something about the lunches you (or your kids) had at school. I’ll throw darts at my computer to determine the winners. If that doesn’t work, I’ll use a random number generator. If you win, I’ll send you your prize, even if you live somewhere other than Canada.
And please check out the fabulous website of The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s “Time To Start” Campaign.
Because, trust me, it is time to start.
And I’m not referring to drinking.
At least not Jack Daniels.