Once a week G hassles me to come eat lunch with him. So I do.
And sadly it is sort of a treat for me to eat a public school lunch.
I dislike kitchen work to the extent that I don't even want to fix myself a sandwich.
(For those of my friends who are amazed at how much "energy" I have because I write and read books and do house-related projects, I want you to let that sentence sink in:
Too lazy to fix own sandwich.)
School lunches get a lot of flack for being tasteless or unhealthy, but I haven't found them to be that way.
I'm in no way suggesting it is the stuff of Michelin-starred restaurants, but they are better than some of the crap I see kids bring from home.
Today I noticed the boy across from me was eating a Lunchable that included Oreo cookies.
Now I am not a fan of Lunchables mostly because I can give my kids pepperoni and crackers for WAY less than $4. I also don't think they are a terribly healthy choice since if they come with a fruit or vegetable at all it is an overprocessed one. (N is allowed 1 Lunchable per year; G and M don't know what they are.)
But one Lunchable in and of itself is not the end of a kid's nutritional life.
However, what I really noticed was that the kid also had a container of Hunts puddling, a sandwich baggie of Fruit Loops, and a package of fruit chew snacks in his lunch box.
It was at that point that I thought, "Holy f*cking cow! That is a lot of junk in one lunch."
I'm a label reader for one reason: my gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with N. It changed me for life. I also happen to be writing an article about kids and nutrition for a local magazine, so it is on my mind.
It is my nature to internally rag myself about what I could be doing better as a mom and as a person, in general, which is probably everything.
But I now try to use comparative analysis to help me feel like I suck a little less.
When I feel like I'm not a very fit person, I read this, even though I know it is geared to an older population. But hey, I'm 40 now.
When I feel like a terrible dresser, I read this. (Although I should probably review my state just to make sure I haven't actually made the site with my own brand of "I don't care what I throw on.")
When I feel like a terrible mom for fussing at my kids, I read (WARNING: if you have postpartum mood issues and aren't in full recovery, you better skip) this.
And evidently, when I feel like I'm not feeding my kids all that is good and wholesome, I just need to go eat lunch with my kindergartener.