Friday, November 15, 2013

Lunchtime, and the picky eater

It seems like it’s one of the great laws of the universe: Every child is a picky eater. Both of my kids have been in a position to receive the World’s Pickiest Eater Award, if there was one to receive! Jennifer outgrew being a picky eater. I try to make the foods she likes, but she has grudgingly eaten even some of the foods she doesn’t like. With Jesse, on the other hand, it’s like I’m going through the Food Wars all over again – and this time, it’s interfering with his ability to eat lunch at school.

Recently, I asked Jesse what he ate for lunch at school. He told me he didn’t eat anything. I asked him why and he said he didn’t know. Then I asked him some other questions in order to understand what happened, such as if he was offered any food or if he wasn’t hungry, etc. He pretty much said he didn’t get to eat while everybody else did. And he told me he wasn’t offered anything to eat! I was upset about this, of course, as was my husband when I told him. Jesse normally takes a lunch to school, but today he was not able to. So I brought up this issue to find out what was going on.

I got a response this evening – a little too late for him to get a sack lunch from the cafeteria today. But when I read the teacher’s reply, it was definitely NOT the way Jesse had told it.

According to his teacher, Jesse IS being offered food at lunchtime, but the problem is, he’s not eating it. This was why I decided to send him a lunch from home in the first place; they gave him sack lunches and he never ate any of it! The food usually went to waste, and I hate wasting food. So I started to pack him a lunch, but when I couldn’t today, I just hoped he wouldn’t go hungry today.

Well, he did, but it wasn’t the school’s fault. According to the teacher’s email, there was a tray of sandwiches, fruits and veggies available for kids who didn’t have a lunch, but Jesse only picked an apple that he did not eat.

So, the bottom line is, he IS getting food at school, but he’s just not eating it. Ugh! No wonder he always comes home from school so hungry. (I usually fix him something to eat when he gets home from school. I know what kinds of things he likes -- hot dogs, cheese quesadillas, corn dogs, chicken nuggets and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- all things he can't get at school. Especially the peanut butter since a child in his class has a severe peanut allergy and his classroom is a "peanut-free zone.")

The reason why I could not send a lunch with Jesse today is because we were out of juice boxes. I did not have a cold drink to stick into his lunch. But I just remembered we have bottled water in storage for emergencies, so maybe the next time this happens, I’ll just give him bottled water to take along with his food. It seems like he’s just not going to eat school lunches at this time. Maybe later, he will eat the school lunches, but it’s just not going to happen now.

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