Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hot Lunch: In the Kitchen with the Sous Chef

The kid has a very interesting relationship with food as he tends to become obsessed with a particular food item; luckily it’s usually something healthy. Whatever food he is obsessed with, he’ll ask to eat any chance he gets before he gets finally tired of it. The problem is that he doesn’t always find a new item to replace the old one with so easily.

For a long time, the kid was eating a sandwich for lunch – more specifically, an organic nitrate/nitrite-free salami cucumber sandwich. I tried to switch things up many times, but he didn’t want to hear anything about it. A few weeks ago, he clearly got tired of his salami cucumber sandwiches, but it was hard to come up with a new lunch, and he often simply didn’t eat lunch and brought the sandwich back home. Yet, he refused to take anything else. He did make up for it by eating a big snack/late lunch when he got home though.

Then, one day, he said that he wanted hot lunch. His school has a good hot lunch program with local, organic food, but since it’s almost the end of the school year, it’s a bit late to sign up. Plus, I prefer making our food myself.

So we brainstormed and decided to make hot lunch ourselves. We bought a new lunch box, a thermos, and went shopping for the ingredients together. We made a simple pasta dish with onions, mushrooms, peas, a few tablespoons of half & half, and Parmesan cheese, and so far it is a hit. Now I’ll just have to find a way to convince him to switch things up…

If you want to check out how our cooking/assembling went, you can check out (parts of) our (long) video (which we made at the end of a looooong day…).


Questions: Growing up, what was your favorite lunch? Did you buy lunch or take it from home? Any funny lunch stories you’d like to share? I don’t remember much about my own lunches as they were pretty boring sandwiches. The kid’s older brother once “collected” sandwiches in his backpack when he was in middle school. At the end of the school year when I cleaned out his backpack, I think I found about ten completely rotten sandwiches…. I still get a visceral reaction when I think about it…

Be well,
Andrea

30 comments:

  1. That so reminds me of my 8 yo. He also gets tired of things, suddenly, usually RIGHT after I've stocked up. You are lucky your kid eats such healthy things. We have the "vegetables will not cross my lips" syndrome, although it came when he was older--he ate much better before he went to school and started having playdates! My lunches were like yours, from what I recall. I am glad I don' t have a lunch story like your backpack one, yuck!

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    1. Yes, it's funny how they usually get tired of things right after you stocked up on them! And, yes, the backpack lunch story is very gross...

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  2. The video is so cute! I can't believe how fast the kid is growing up. I love how you get him involved with these things. He seemed to really take pride in the finished product (even if he would only eat each item one at a time!) ;)

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    1. Yes, he is growing up extremely fast! I think since he is my "baby" I want him to stay little forever, so it seems even faster... :)

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  3. It's so funny that I'm doing something similar to your son with this pregnancy. Once I find something that I like, I'll eat it until I get tired of it and every time I get tired of it, it's a problem because I don't know how to replace it. Fortunately I'm doing better nowadays.
    You made me think how I want my kids to be raised foodwise. I haven't given much thought about it but I think I'd worry if they don't get a balanced healthy diet. I've heard that's a book called "how french parents make their kids to eat everyting". Maybe I should read it.
    I don't have much memories of food from my childhood, I don't know why and I blamed my mom's boring cooking. hahahah.... I hope I do beter job on that.

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    1. I haven't heard of that book. Sounds interesting! I have always believed in exposing kids to a wide variety of food and not in cooking "kid's food" but having them eat "adult" food. I think if everybody eats the same food, dinner time is actually better. I also believe in not "forcing" them to eat things they don't want to eat by giving them choices (we usually have at least one vegetable dish and a salad. If he doesn't want to eat both, he can choose and eat only one of them).

      However, having two kids, I can also say that each kid is different. The older kid was really easy when it comes to food. He ate anything. The kid is a bit more "challenging"... :)

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  4. For my entire grade 6 year I ate bologna sandwiches with yellow mustard on white bread with a can of peaches in syrup and 4 chips ahoy cookies. And a chocolate milk.


    Hmmmmm. Wonder where my food issues started..... :)

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    1. It's all part of the journey! :)

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  5. Your son is absolutely adorable! I love giving my kids lunch in a thermos, and we will ocassionally do hot lunch at school too. I was on a committee at our school district last year to get better hot lunches, and iit has been a success, although I do tend to still make most of their lunches. When I was it kid, I mostly brown bagged it, but I recall working in th cafeteria in elementary school and had free lunch every Wednesday which was taco day-the best!

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    1. It's great that more and more school districts work on better lunches although we still have a long way to go... Taco day sounds good! :)

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  6. I cant lie. if my child WANTED to buy the yucky lunches :) Id probably let her occasionally (ours are BAD here) but she doesnt.
    so we make it.
    together
    each morning :)

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    1. My older son never wanted to buy hot lunch either. In fact, there was no daily hot lunch program at his school, but we could sign up for it once or twice a week when volunteers came in to make it. I really wanted him to sign up to get a little break from making lunches, but he always refused... Enjoy the lunch making bonding time with the Tornado! :)

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  7. For some reason I can't see this video!! BOO!! I'm sad. I'm actually wondering if "the kid" is the toddler, or your older son?? I'm guessing it's the toddler and you no longer call him a toddler. I can't even see a clip of the video at all.
    So....speaking of my school lunches, I used to pack because I was SUPER picky! I loved all food, but even when I Was young I knew the school lunches were gross. I used to get yelled at when I did buy my lunch and I didn't finish it (the aids in the school would force me to eat it all!!). I was lucky my mom took the time to pack me healthy lunches.

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    1. Sorry you can't see the video! Here is a link directly to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm-j2QP8Kek

      And, yes, the toddler is now called the kid. :)

      Being forced to finish lunch you don't want to eat doesn't sound good... Glad you brought your own!

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  8. Oh how I loved this post. We really get a sense of "the kid", great writing. And the backpack cleaning- never know what' you'll find. Funny, I know my mother packed great lunches I loved black forest ham when I was younger and there was always fruit and a treat. However, when there wasn't anything in the house, I was packed cream cheese and jelly. This was something my mother loved and to this day I hate. I really couldn't eat it- thick and sweet but I also couldn't tell my mother. Funny what we remember and don't.

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    1. Thanks! :)

      The cream cheese/jelly sandwich is a great reminder that we all like different things and can't assume others like it, too. I'm sure your mother thought she packed you a lunch you'd enjoy a lot!

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  9. How cute! I used to love a lunch that my mum used to make called 'snacky' which was... you guessed it, basically loads of snacks all put together! So I'd have chopped up red peppers, celery, cucumbers with dip, rolled up turkey slices, some olives, marmite on toast and a few cubes of cheese all on one plate!

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    1. Love "snacky!" I'll have to try it with the kid again. I tried a while ago, and he didn't care for it. But maybe now it'll be more fun for him...

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  10. Your sous chef is just adorable! This video was too cute!
    I love that he enjoys cooking with mom!

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  11. That is adorable! My favorite school lunch as a kid was the chile and home baked cinnamon rolls! The school cooks made encrypting from scratch including the hamburger buns for their home made burgers. It was the best school lunch program ever.

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    1. Your school lunch program sounds amazing! Wish that's what school lunch programs did today!

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  12. What a cute video and terrific idea. I love how he's cooking for himself - I wish I would have done that with my kids when they were little. I think my daughter wouldn't have been such a picky eater.

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  13. So cute!!! I'm always so IMPRESSED by what the kid will eat. He really should give some advice to my kids!

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    1. Thanks! And the kid does eat a wide variety food but also has some weird habits... :)

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  14. I was about half a hot-luncher and half a brown-bagger. Though, in high school on Friday's they served cheese bread. The thing was a huge lump of bread and cheese and was probably 2500 calories and devoid of all nutrition but it was $2 and we all went nuts for it.

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    1. The cheese bread sounds dangerous... :)

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