Ever wonder what the kid of a chef brings to school for lunch? As a chef mom, I am well aware that other parents are sneaking peaks at my kid’s lunch. Once when it was my turn to bring the classroom lunch, I brought my preschooler’s favorite fruit at the time: persimmons! Many of the parents had never even tasted this fruit’s melony-pumpkin luciousness.
It’s not as easy as it sounds to slip in some spinach-tortellini or locally made artisanal bread (ie. tomato focaccia), some wine-country-style cheese and fruit. Even parents who are food savvy, avid Top Chef fans end up giving their kids the normal canon of either processed or boring lunches. We all struggle with providing variety and quality (that the kids will like) all during the morning rush.
Another added dimension is the state-wide ban on bringing nut products to school. Another increasingly common ban is no homemade products. When it’s my turn to do Parent Teacher duties and bring the Classroom Snack, there’s even more allergies to contend with: no milk and no dairy. As a Nature-Based Cooperative Preschool directive, parents are also requested not to bring processed foods, no sugary snacks, and minimize plastic-individually packed items. Well, I couldn’t agree more.
Philosophically, I want my dear preschooler to view lunch as a thing of beauty, something he knows came with deep love from his artist mom, something to be anticipated instead of traded. And being a frugal parent, whatever he doesn’t eat…I’d gladly finish! The basic philosophy of my blog is that these are ideas for schoolbox lunches grownups would eat.
With a little creative shopping and aggressive label reading you don’t have to buy everything at Whole Foods. Costco, Trader Joes and the local Farmers’ Market are great places to find appealing-in-every-way items.
Please feel to comment and I hope this blog will provide a venue to share your ideas. For more about my other culinary interests, go to http://www.silviamedrano.com.