As this year has worn on, I've learned that what we as adults would find boring - the same lunch every day for weeks on end - is actually comforting to kids. We may not like packing the same dull lunches day after day, but they like eating them.
And so, my kids have settled into a routine:
Monday - ham or turkey & cheese sandwich with baby spinach, yoghurt or cheesestring, banana, one other fruit or vegetable
Tuesday - see above
Wednesday - replace "apple" with "bag of plain popcorn for school fundraiser"
Thursday - pizza from school, snacks from home
Friday - egg salad for 5 year old, ham or turkey & cheese for 8 year old
It's easy to plan for. I have my fun mixing up the fruit / veggies they get based on what's on sale or tasting especially nice in a given week. And they come home with empty lunchbags, so either they're feeding seagulls or I've hit on a winning formula.
BUT I'M BOOOOOOORED.
This week, store-made sub buns were on sale at my favourite grocery store, so I decided to give it a try. Mix things up a bit. I bought the buns and asked the boys if they'd like subs for a change this week.
"WOW!" said 8 year old. "Like from Subway?"
"I LOVE Subway!" proclaimed 5 year old.
Here's the funny thing. The toppings on their subs are exactly the same as what they've been having on their sandwiches. Turkey or ham, cheese, baby spinach, mayo, little bit of spicy mustard.
But they are on a SUB. This is COOL. The other kids in the class are, apparently, ENVIOUS.
We have a winner, folks.
Is it any less boring for me? A little, actually. It's nice to hear "mom, that lunch was delicious! Can we have it again?" Now I'm trying to think of ways to repackage other favourites. I guess it's all in the presentation.