Lunchtime Blues: Today’s letter to the teacher

10 Jan

A sad irony of American life: loads of food, not all of it nutritious.

I can’t honestly say that I love making lunches for my son. It takes an extra half hour in mornings that are already too short.  I get him up around 6:30, since I start teaching at 8 a.m. and have to leave him at before-care. Since breakfast at before-care is a choice of not-really-food cereals or more-like-dessert cereal bars, I give him juice, toast and fruit at home. I make (or heat up) and pack lunch — usually leftover rice and beans or pasta with vegetables or quesadillas — and then after school there is snack and of course dinner. It’s a lot to think about, plan, shop for and do!

There are lunches to buy at school, but they are either stuff he doesn’t like or things I don’t trust. And he is not a sandwich guy. I don’t have time to fight the system, so I make hot lunch every day. I am glad to do it (because the alternative is unacceptable) and he is glad to eat it. But….I’ll let today’s letter to the teacher explain the rest, then await your comments.

Guess how this turned out?

Guess how this turned out?

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13 Responses to “Lunchtime Blues: Today’s letter to the teacher”

  1. rumpydog January 12, 2014 at 5:54 am #

    Truth be told, I don’t know that much CAN be done to stop it. However, I would say that instead of focusing on the other kids, talk to your own kid about how it’s OK to be different from the rest. This is the perfect learning opportunity to help your child understand that we don’t have to be all alike, whether it’s because of how we look, what we eat, or how we dress.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

      Thanks for the advice. He’s pretty calm about his own food preferences…and the teacher and the parents have been great!

  2. School Bites (@school_bites) January 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    I would ask the teacher to talk to the kids about how they need to use their good manners and that means not commenting on other kids’ lunches unless they have something nice to say, i.e., “That looks yummy!” I had the same problem with my 2nd grader. I have had to stop putting avocado on his sandwiches because he said that he was getting teased. Avocado is one of the few fruits/veggies that he eats and it killed me to have to stop packing it. I didn’t talk to the teacher about it but I may still as I think it is important for kids to learn not to food shame. I have seen the reverse–kids mocking the child who is only eating sugary processed junk–and I think that should be off-limits, too. It is not that child’s fault that his parents are making unhealthy choices. We need to show kindess and open-mindedness and respect each other’s choices, food and otherwise. Good luck–and look forward to hearing the teacher’s response!

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 12, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

      You are so right about being fair to kids who only get junk! I have not been as good on that count; I try not to be judgmental about the way others eat, but I am not all that successful….

  3. trixfred30 January 11, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    We have an issue with our youngest at them moment – he has been isolated by the other children who he was friends with – as mad dog says above children can be mean – i’d go so far to say positively horrid – but learning to deal with it is part of the process – and then next month someone else is feeling the pain

    • Mad Dog January 11, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      I think you are absolutely right. Kids do go through a phase of loving and hating each other. Currently I imagine they are being weird with Leandro because his food is different. Hopefully they will loose interest in that quickly and find something else to focus on…

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 11, 2014 at 10:48 am #

      Absolutely. It is a very nice class with great parental support, so it will all work out.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 11, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      Thank you for the support and I hope your situation gets better too!

  4. Mad Dog January 11, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    Kids can be very mean. I would imagine the teacher might have suggested that Leandro eat the same as the others. As someone who hated school lunches I’d suggest you stick to your guns.
    Maybe there’s another way of helping Leandro, by organising some kind of group outing and encouraging his “friends” to try your home cooked food. If they think it’s good they are more likely to want to be nice ;-)

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 11, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      It seems to be just isolated to the cafeteria…the rest of the time they are great friends…

      • Mad Dog January 11, 2014 at 8:38 am #

        That’s weird.
        I did see a TV programme last year where some chefs cooked some offal dishes with kids who made lots of disdainful noises, but because they’d cooked it they all tried the food and decided it was very good.
        I don’t know if that helps…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tales from the Lunchroom: The Story Continues | Hot, Cheap & Easy - January 12, 2014

    […] a couple of days ago I posted a note I had sent in to my son’s first grade […]

Talk foodie to me, baby...

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