Part of me really misses Bryn's former daycare/preschool that fed her a legitimate hot lunch; nonetheless, in exchange for a more sound curriculum, we've taken on the task of packing a lunch for her each day. This change dramatically affects the number of vegetables the poor thing is exposed to in any given week, but we make it work.
A typical lunch is a sandwich (either PB&J or ham/turkey and cheese), some type of fruit, milk, maybe some yogurt and maybe something crunchy like cinnamon granola bites or graham crackers. Raisins are a treat as are Fruitabu (if you don't know Fruitabu...get to know them. They are fruit snacks made up of--get this--just real fruit!)
Apparently some of her little compadres show up with slightly more exotic lunches. Clearly, they compare lunches, and Bryn must be coming to the conclusion that hers are fundamentally flawed. Here's the conversation coming home yesterday.
Bryn: Mom, how about this for my lunch tomorrow? ... apples and PEANUT BUTTER! (she exclaims with such enthusiasm as though she was the first to think of this combination.)
Mom: That sounds good, Bryn. We can do that.
Bryn: And, how about some healthy fruit snacks? (we've distinguished between the gummy junk that has princesses, etc on the packages from some gummy, slightly-less junk ones where the first ingredients aren't sugar followed by high fructose corn syrup. Here's where Fruitabu typically comes in, but we've started to cast a slightly larger net to include some sweetened with applesauce.)
Mom: That would be good in a lunch, too.
Bryn: And....(pausing for effect)...a Lunchable!
Mom: (wondering how she has become conversant in a branded product so dadgum quickly)...we don't have any of those.
Bryn: Well, we'll have to get them at the grocery store. (she offers incredulous that I don't know the simplest solution to our Lunchable-acquisition issues.)
Mom: What is it about Lunchables that you like, Bryn?
Mom: (thinking "OK, I've got this.") Oh, well... you know what, we do have cheese, and some crackers, and some ham, so we could kind of make your very own special lunchable. How about that?
Bryn: But it wouldn't be all together in a little TRAY! I really need the little tray.
Mom: (Pause)... Sorry, you're going to be disappointed about your lunch tomorrow, Bryn.
As a point of follow up, she got everything on her list--except of course the Lunchable or even the clearly sub-standard homemade version. Unfortunately, there's one little thing about peanut butter that's been refrigerated. Apples don't dip into it quite as well as one would hope. Fortunately, she said she liked her lunch, so maybe the secret is co-creation. We'll give it a whirl tomorrow and see how it turns out.