Healthy snacks and lunches for school? Not my kids…

School starts today for Jase. And with the beginning of every school year, I see articles online and in my newspaper (yes, I still get the local daily paper) about healthy snacks and lunches for kids. But I always look at the recipes or suggestions and think “my kid isn’t going to eat that!”

Lexie won’t eat sandwiches at all and Jase will only eat jelly spread on a single slice of bread. They don’t eat soup or bagels with cream cheese. No boiled eggs or raw veggies eaten here. Now Jase will eat bananas, apples or grapes sometimes, but he is unlikely to want to eat them every day. Lexie is my fruit eater – berries, mangos, apples, pretty much any fruit except kiwi, melons and pineapple. Neither one will eat applesauce.  Nuts, seeds and dried fruit are out for both of them so that excludes trail mix from their snacking. And you can skip trying to feed them cheese though both will eat yogurt – just not the kind out of a tube.

So the items they say to stay away from – processed foods such as goldfish and pretzels – are what my kids will eat and are the easy things to pack for a snack at school.  The school don’t allow snacks that need refrigeration or the use of utensils. Though Jase no longer needs a snack at school as he is entering the first grade, Lexie still has two more years (pre-K and kindergarten) of packing a snack.

Now Jase is my picky eater. He doesn’t eat a wide variety of things. Last year when he was in kindergarten, I tried sending him some hot lunches to school, but he complained they were not hot enough by lunch time (five hours after I put them in his Star Wars Thermos food jar). This left me with pretty much sending him the same things every day – a jelly sandwich, pretzels, yogurt, and low fat chocolate milk. Sometimes I would include apples or grapes or even a cookie as a special treat. About four to five times a month he would opt to eat the school lunch (pizza, spaghetti, tacos, hotdogs or at their weekly yogurt bar).

This is the first year that I will need to send a lunch with Lexie. And I am at a loss on what to send with her. She doesn’t eat the traditional lunch things such as soup or sandwiches.  And while she will eat fruit, I don’t know if just fruit and yogurt will be filling enough as a lunch.

I don’t consider either child’s lunch to be unhealthy. I guess if I wanted to I could send them with the healthy lunch items listed in these articles with the mentality that if they are hungry, they will eat it. However, my kids are stubborn. I can see them deciding not to eat anything if they didn’t like the choices. So rather than have them hungry at school, I stick with sending them food that I know they will eat. Yes, it may not be the healthiest items, but at least they won’t be distracted by hunger when they should be learning.