Guilty of Not So Healthy School Lunches #happilyblended

The kids started the school year off fabulous, with school lunches that is. I used to let my oldest eat the hot lunch at school but she started to put on a lot of weight and so as an experiment, I started packing her a home made lunch. Sadly, her Dad wasn’t on board with me on that area so she still had and still has on occasion hot lunch when she’s at her Dad’s overnight during school year. This means my experiment really wasn’t tested out 100%, but it was tested enough so that I noticed a significant weight decrease in my daughter while she wasn’t having school night sleep overs at her Dad’s home. You see, school lunches are great for families who need to use them or prefer to use them, but for my family all the hot lunch at school did was make my daughter gain weight.

Hot Lunch vs Cold Lunch for Schools

When you are in a family with a pain in the butt metabolism that isn’t so quick, you have to be sure to watch what you eat. Being a Mom, I want to try my best to set good examples by eating better choices and preparing better choices for my children during all meal times. It all started out with my kids having wonderful options in their school lunches, this school year is the first year my three children are all in school full time which means all three have home made cold lunch from their Mama to bring to school.

Kid Number One and Kid Number Two are not so picky eaters. The lunches for the oldest and middle child are usually some form of peppers with a sandwich of some sort and crackers or occasionally some cheese curls or chips alongside a carpi sun roaring water. While all options my children have may not be healthy; they also switch between having chips or such with pineapple, apples or bananas. Always a healthier option with a balance. I believe in allowing your kids “goodies” but keeping a balance between goodies and healthy. Kid one and Kid two are easy to balance out.

It’s kid Number Three …. he is the world’s pickiest eater and most stubborn. He once went five nights without eating dinner because he was convinced he didn’t like what I was cooking & my rule is you have to try it or go without, he wouldn’t try it and was just fine going without .. FOR FIVE WHOLE NIGHTS.

Kid Number Three has a different setup for lunch; I have found he does like pineapples and he loves mandarin style oranges. This son also only likes peanut butter and jelly for sandwiches but lately I have been sneaking in honey and peanut butter {because he loves honey for nearly every dipping food he eats}.

Lately, I have been failing miserable with a healthy balanced school lunch for all three of my kids. With two weeks of not working, so essentially living on one income in the house it was draining us and things are falling behind a bit. That means my kids lunches have not been as healthy as they started off, but I still feel they are not allowing them to gain the weight like my daughter had gained that one school year she had hot lunch at school.

Do I feel like a horrible Mom? Not really. I do feel bad because the whole point to making my kids lunches is so that they have healthier options and I cannot afford them at the moment.

Why does eating healthier have to cost more?? It’s absurd. I can’t wait til Spring when we can start our first home garden!


Refusal To Give Child Hot Lunch

My daughter has eaten hot lunch for the past three years of school and after watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution a few times I began to question if my daughter was eating too many calories at school for lunch. Another bad habit my daughter started getting into one year was eating breakfast at school after I fed her breakfast. Ki would ride the bus to school & then join her friends for breakfast. I was not impressed! Hopefully this year that won’t happen.

After seeing just how many calories are in chocolate milk and some school lunches across the nation on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution I made a decision to start doing cold lunch this year. This decision was discussed with my daughter and we both agreed she could choose hot lunch maybe once a week but the remainder of the time she would have cold lunch. I am hoping by me knowing what she is eating for lunch I will better be able to get a hold on her weight gain.

When Ki is home with me I am very anal about her food intake. Bad metabolism runs in the family and apparently she was not so blessed with bad metabolism as well. Being active and watching our food intake is something we do as a family, not just singling out Miss Ki.

Ki goes to her Dad’s two nights a week overnight & apparently he wishes her to have hot lunch on the school days he brings her, which is fine, that is his choice on his days. I have no say in that fact. Now Miss Ki is upset because I had told her she could choose hot lunch maybe once a week but I told her that since she is eating twice a week when she is with her Dad overnight that she can’t choose hot lunch on my days unless for some reason it’s an extra special occasion at school for lunch or I ran out of food for lunches.

Miss Ki is upset with me, but in all honestly I want to fully test out if school lunches are not good for her in the way that it allows for higher calorie intake than her body can handle. I simply have that right as a parent to make a decision to feed my child the lunch I feel she needs for energy and healthy eating.

What do you think about school lunches? Have you seen Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution? Let me hear your thoughts.

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That’s an Upside Down Number

My sons are pretty persistent when they want something to eat, but I try to keep snack time in between breakfast & lunch and lunch & dinner. I don’t like giving extra food, but AJ seems to especially love eating all day long. I finally got fed up with informing AJ that it is not okay to hit Mama and pull me or attempt to pick me up just because you don’t like the answer I am giving you.

What do you do when a child is acting up and you are getting frustrated? Well I must admit that lately I’ve been having a tough time being my normal self with redirection or placing AJ in the corner. AJ is one of those type of kids you see on SuperNanny who is being placed back in the corner for 45 minutes or 2 hours until finally they stay … yeah that’s my kid! Since I have AJ and Baby K alone most of the day I have yet to figure out the best resolution to time out consistency while still keeping Baby K attended to and out of trouble.

So my answer yesterday was this: use a timer in between meals so that the children will hear the timer go off and realize it’s either snack time or meal time. They will be so excited setting the timer by themselves (with a little assistance from a parent) and waiting to hear that alarm! At least my AJ was super excited! Here’s what I did …

Fess Parker NCAA ScoresHere is AJ posing so that I can get a picture beside my microwave which is what I have been using as a timer. I started this the other day as a way to make waiting fun for a hyper boy and give Mama less of a headache. I also decided to make this a learning experience for AJ. Instead of setting the timer myself, I actually asked him to press specific numbers – so let’s say it was 30 minutes until snack time – I would ask him to find and press the 3, then 0 and then 0 again. He would then ask if that was all? I would reply yes and tell him he could hit the start button. The timer began. Works great for AJ because he feels he is doing a big boy thing by using the microwave as a timer and I am proud because he’s learning his numbers in the process, but apparently he already knows his numbers.

The first day he was looking at the microwave he informed me that one of the numbers was an upside down number …. he pointed to the number 9 and informed me it was an upside down 6. Mind you I didn’t even know the kid knew what a 6 was so I was impressed! I informed him that the upside down number is actually the number 9 and ever since then he informs everyone that the number 9 is an upside down 6. Not only am I proud that this timer has worked for snack and meal time but it has helped encourage learning numbers with AJ.

Question for thought: What have you done to help alleviate a headache during the day or a frustration with your children that also encouraged learning?

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