Last night I opened up my girls' lunch boxes in order to pack them lunch for today. Here is what was left, UNTOUCHED in their lunch boxes: a bagel with cream cheese, apple slices (I even sprinkle a little lemon juice on them so that they don't turn brown), and a drink. So that means the ONLY thing that was eaten was an Oreo. I was not happy.
I try really hard to pack them yummy and interesting lunches. I pack something different each day so that they don't get bored. I pack a little treat each day and sometimes pack 2 treats so that they can share with a friend. Some days I make their favorite mac and cheese and pack it in a thermos. Other days I make homemade guacamole. Homemade cookies. I try really, really hard to make their lunches exciting! I even bought one of my daughters one of these cool lunch boxes. So why won't they eat?
When I was a kid, I had worst lunch at the lunch table. My mom was a health-food fanatic and would bake her own wheat bread. The slices were so thick that I could hardly get my mouth around them. And then when I did, the crust would scrape the roof of my mouth leaving me feeling like I had a pizza-burn in my mouth. Or some days she would pack me a hard-boiled egg and a mushy banana. I rarely had any "goodies" in my lunch. By the time I got to middle school, it was my turn to pack lunch for everyone: 2 sandwiches for my dad; 1 for my brother; 1 each for my sister and myself. I hated this job. By the time I got to high school, the job had been passed on to my sister. And I stopped eating lunch. I would rather not eat than eat something that was Yuck. So I would take a raw carrot to school and that was all I would eat. (I did eat a good breakfast though, I've never been one to go without breakfast food.) I am telling you this so that you will understand WHY I go to such lengths to pack nutritious and tasty lunches for my girls. I view it as an Act of Service. It is not something I enjoy but I work hard at it as a way to show them how much I love them. And they don't even touch what I pack.
The other thing that is frustrating is that my oldest daughter is on Focalin for ADD. The medicine suppresses her appetite and she is tiny for her age so we are working with a nutritionist to get extra calories into her. She used to drink water at lunch but we have switched to whole milk/yogurt products in order to increase her caloric intake. She prefers Yo Baby yogurt drink. But for 2 months I could not find Yo Baby. So I had to buy something similar but she didn't like it as much. She said there were too many "fruit pieces" in it. So I started straining the drink each day to get the fruit pieces out (like I have time for this!) But still she wouldn't drink it. We have switched back to Yo Baby but she is still not drinking it. I am wasting $1/day on her drinks that she is not drinking! I had a talk with her last night and told her that I was going to start making her pay me $1/day out of her babysitting money for each day that she doesn't drink her yogurt. I don't know if this will work or not.
So I am playing hardball now. No fun snacks. No extra food. Today's lunch consisted of a yogurt drink along with cheese and crackers. That's it. If they start eating what I pack then I'll add the fruit/vegetable back in and then will start giving them a treat now and then. I cannot believe I am having to do this. I would have paid money as a kid for the kind of lunches I pack for my girls.
Maybe I should just make them buy school lunches for a while. Or, worse yet, have my mom pack lunches for them!