So my son is an ok eater at home, but is very picky about his lunchbox. He attends Playgroup twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And most of his lunch comes home with him at the end of the day. The school has one of those policies that they won't throw anything away---I guess so you can see what your child ate. But they also don't help him put it all back together so the lunchbox becomes a big mess of pretzels covered with half a yogurt, and sandwich all smushed together.
My son does not care for typical lunchbox foods such as sandwiches, deli meats (which is just as well as we don't have these in the house usually), cheese, and even normal snacks. He will occasionally eat some pasta with pesto sauce. And once I think I am on to a winner he comes home the next week with a lunchbox full of pesto pasta. He will sometimes have an apple, sometimes Japanese rice crackers, sometimes a yogurt, and other days they go untouched. (I am sure he would eat cake, chocolate, biscuits or crisps, but the school frowns on these items.)
I did have one failsafe item. He would always come home with an empty sandwich box when I made his one and only sure fire winner. This consists of a small tortilla, some cooked chicken, and shredded carrots. Some lettuce could be included in season. No other sauces, veg, etc is allowed. And all year I have been making this sandwich when I have the right ingredients in stock. And all year I have very happily opened his lunchbox to find it empty. It warms the heart.
Until yesterday, the 11 of January 2011. When I discovered an almost complete sandwich. There had been a few nibbles. But it sat there, heavy taunting me. The food waste (since I am pregnant I wasn't willing to eat it now that the ice pack had defrosted), my poor son who was telling me he was starving, and the lost confidence in being able to feed my son really got to me. (Pregnant=emotional). He had even helped me shred the carrot!
I look longingly at the bento boxes on anotherlunch.com and other sites. But I know that he just won't eat what is in them. Not the proper food anyway. No peanut butter sandwiches, cute cheese cut outs. A few grapes, yes, but no grilled chicken with a little sauce pot to dip it in.
Thanks to Jamie Oliver we don't need to worry about our school dinners. So bring on Reception class! I can't wait until September!