Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sometimes it's all in the packaging

Just three days into packing school lunches and I think I have already worked through most of the stages of grieving. On the first day I was firmly in denial and now I think I'm somewhere between depression and acceptance.

Okay, but here is something I have learned over seven years of making school lunches: sometimes kids think they don't like something, but they do. They just don't know they like it because it has always been presented in the same way. For instance, if someone always served you wine in an old, cracked plastic cup you got one time through a promotion at a fast food joint, you might think, "I don't really get what the hype is around this wine stuff."

Then someone hands you a nice Shiraz in a glass with a stem and, suddenly, you're a freaking connoisseur.

Are you still with me? Are you wondering what plastic cups and Shiraz have to do with school lunches? Brace yourself: here comes the point.

This morning I got up and didn't know what to make for the kids' lunches. Then I spied a can of tuna. Then I admonished myself, "You know the boy doesn't like tuna!" Then I told myself to figure out a way to make the kid eat the tuna.

So instead of just making a boring old tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread, I dug around in my deep freezer for some pitas. Then I dug around in my crisper for an apple and some lettuce. Do you see where this is going? Look:

I mixed the tuna with some mayo and then threw in some chopped up apple, skin-on, for some crunch.

I layered the apple/tuna mixture in the pita with some shredded lettuce. Then I rounded out the lunch with some juice, watermelon, grapes, whole wheat crackers and a little treat.

Then I had some coffee. And maybe a little Shiraz in a plastic cup. Don't judge me, I am still grieving.

Did the boy eat his tuna-in-a-pita? Yes. Yes he did. And he even liked it. Although he seemed surprised that the crunchy red chunks were apple. "I thought that was radish!" he exclaimed.

Note to self: boy's taste buds are broken.


  1. That sounds good. I'll be by for lunch tomorrow. Expect me at noon. Now I am off to fish a piece of leftover pizza from the freezer to plop into a lunch box.

  2. Oh I should try that (with the apple). My MIL puts apple in her potato salad and it's really yummy.

    I confess I do use the compartmentalized lunch trays but I promise, nary a sushi roll in site LOL

    I started blogging the girls' lunches when I was testing out the Easylunchbox systems. I'm still not 100% sold on them but they are working out pretty good for us.

  3. that sounds great, my oldest wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, my middle guy would love it. Alas he is only half days so no school lunch, but I may try it here at home. I know I would love it!

  4. the thought of even opening the tuna fish can gives me the heebie-jeebies.

  5. Oh, I love tuna fish. And is it banned at my kid's school? Is it EVER.
    Stupid fish ban.

    I would like some shiraz right now, thank you. EVEN IN A PLASTIC CUP.

  6. Neither of my girls would eat this, but I would! I who does not eat any type of seafood, loves tuna. Maybe we need a Mom lunch program too?!

  7. I should add that fish is out for my daughter's lunches too. There's someone with a severe fish allergy in her class.

  8. If tuna isn't an option, you could make it with chicken salad, too!

  9. Hey, I would totally drink Shiraz in a cracked plastic cup. Sadly, I would probably drink it straight out of the bottle in a paper bag like a hobo, if the situation warranted.

  10. sounds good to me. My kids wish I would get this creative. I must say that lunches here are easier to be creative with than in Morocco.