Labor of Lunch
June 1st, 2012
One of the main reasons that my part-time work schedule is feasible is that day care is cheap down here. Really cheap. Less than half what it is in Pittsburgh, cheap. In fairness, we had the kids in the Cadillac of day cares in Pittsburgh and the options down here are more limited, but it’s still an amazing boon to our budget.
With the less expensive care comes the need to pack lunches, though. Our old center provided snacks and hot meals to all the kiddos. The new place does the snacks (which appear to involve regular doses of cheese puffs, I fear) but we send the lunch. This has given me the opportunity to dust off the kids’ bento boxes, much to my enjoyment.
The center has very strict rules about lunch. You must include a protein, a grain, and either two vegetables or a fruit and a vegetable. Having a nicely compartmentalized lunchbox helps me visualize the categories of food and make sure I’m getting them all!
I’m hoping to branch out into the cute side of bentos soon, with things like sandwiches cut into hearts.
Miss Mouse enjoys helping pack her lunch at night. We discuss food options and she picks her favorites and helps me load up the containers. Interestingly, my picky girl has also been eating very well at school. I’ve read multiple times that involving kids in the selection and preparation of meals tends to improve their willingness to eat said meals. It seems to be true!