Second year in a row, we’ve had to deal with the challenge of eating lunch at school.
Last year, after seeing the state of the canteen school lunch offerings, we decided that we will prepare lunch ourselves for Joshua.
We started with great lunch ideas, being creative and giving a variety of healthy yet tasty options. Jeff would deliberately cook the night before and I went out to buy a really cool kids-themed thermos to ensure the meal is kept warm for 6 hours (we have a 6.50am bus pick up!)
But in the first month of the new school year, lunch came back barely eaten, half eaten, somewhat eaten – rarely fully eaten. When we asked Joshua, he always said he didn’t have enough time to eat it all.
It was then that we found out that the kids have 20 mins to eat their lunch, and after that, it’s recess in the outdoor playground. For Joshua, 20 mins isn’t too short a time for him to finish as he takes around the same time to finish his dinner at night. So, we know he can eat a sandwich within 20 mins. However, with the looming playground time, chatting and socializing with his friends and other distractions, it’s seems it is barely enough time to finish his lunch portion.
So Jeff and I thought, if we grew up eating (soggy) sandwiches and cold lunches everyday, why does he need a warm meal cooked especially for him everyday for lunch? If I had to endure soggy tomato sandwiches, SPAM sandwiches and sandwiches with Kraft singles in them, he can too!
So we announced to Joshua that since he hasn’t really appreciated Daddy’s efforts in cooking him a warm lunch meal everyday, he was going to get sandwiches from then on.
Instead of apologizing for wasting food and our efforts, Joshua replied stubbornly: “Oh I love sandwiches!!! It’s my favorite food in the world!”.
“Well good, if you love it so much, you can have it everyday for lunch!” I said.
Defiantly, he cheered “Yay! Everyday!”
So for the rest of last year, Joshua had mainly ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch (though he did have treats once in a while). Still, there were days, lunch was not fully eaten.
Towards the end of the last school year, Joshua begged me one day – “Mommy, sandwiches again? Can’t I have something else?”
“But sandwiches are your most favorite food ever remember?” I reminded Joshua.
“Errr….” Joshua made a sound and then a hopeless expression.
Fast forward a few months to the beginning of this school year. He’s still not always finishing his lunch, but one afternoon, he came home proudly telling me that he had finished the hot dogs we had prepared for him.
“That’s great Joshua – did you like the hot dogs?” I asked
“Yes I love the hot dogs, it’s so yummy, Mommy!” and then he paused and hesitated “Oh but I don’t love the hot dogs THAT much, I don’t want it for lunch everyday!”
I guess Joshua is (slowly) learning that what he says, in his stubbornness, has follow on consequences!