Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lunch frustrations

I pack a lunch for Scooter four mornings a week; he has early release one day a week, so then I only pack a snack for recess-time (though I was so into the rhythm of packing a lunch that it took me half the year before I quit packing a full lunch on those days). Hot lunch is simply not an option since I have yet to see a single meal that would be gluten-free. Or, for that matter, that he would eat.

Most of the time, I'm at peace with what I send to school with him. Basically it ends up looking like a selection of snacks, packaged in a series of small containers and ziplocs. A usual lunch:
  • 1-3 carbs. The usual suspects are Puffins Cereal, apple and cinnamon cereal, and pretzels.
  • 1 fruit item. Slices of apple or pear, usually 1/2 of the piece of fruit. Recently, he's also allowed grapes.
  • Cheese stick. He doesn't like string cheese, so these are cheddar (from Trader Joe's) or colby sticks.
  • Orange juice.
  • An occasional extra. He'll sometimes accept raisins and is definitely willing to have a cookie.
If he actually ate all of this, I would not be worrying. This is relatively balanced, albeit a little heavy on carbs. But the fact of the matter is that most of this comes back home at the end of the day. Over the course of 2 recesses (when they're allowed to have a small snack) and lunch, he might consume 1/2 of one of the carbs, 1/2 of the fruit, the cheese stick, and the orange juice. And that's the upper limit of what he'll eat.

Sandwiches, the old standby of cold lunches, are a no-go. The only type Scooter will eat at home is grilled cheese, and that just doesn't travel well. He won't touch peanut butter. And, to be fair, the gluten-free bread just doesn't taste good untoasted. The one time I tried to include a hot dog in his lunch (sans bread), he screeched at me about giving him hot lunch when he didn't eat hot lunch.

On the plus side, we've been able to get him to eat eggs and breakfast meat in the mornings, good amounts even. And then we usually make a grilled cheese sandwich for him after school, so at least he's getting some calories.

Of course, after the afternoon grilled cheese, dinner can be an issue...

No comments: