After eight long years, I’ve finally let go. I really have. I no longer stress about making school lunches. I’ve learned that no matter what kind of speech I give my kids over breakfast, the little traitors will throw their cauliflower florets into the cafeteria trash can, trade away their whole wheat tuna fish sandwiches, and eat their dessert first. There’s a time and a place for kale and broccoli and Brussels sprouts: I choose to bring out these difficult vegetables at the dinner table, where I’ve been known to hover over my kids, bribing, encouraging, sighing. But for school lunch, I shoot for simplicity, comfort, and pleasure—for the lunch makers, and for the lunch eaters. Yes to finger food and protein. Yes to crunch, color, and ketchup. And a big yes to cookies, because dessert always makes them smile. Who knows, maybe they can trade the cookies away for an exciting sugar crack treat from another child’s lunchbox. I’m open to that. Let them be kids.
WHAT’S IN THE LUNCHBOX:
- Grilled cheese sandwich with creamy havarti and salami or ham
- Peeled baby carrots
- Handful of cherry tomatoes
- Sliced cucumber
- Mini chocolate chip cookies (classic Toll House recipe but undercooked and gooey)