back to school, back to lunches 

I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to back-to-school season — I love it. By mid-August, school supplies were purchased and labeled, backpacks were on hooks by the door and I started asking my menfolk if they were excited for the first day of school (to which I received mixed replies — the big one: meh, kinda. the wee one: YAY! the teacher: hell no.)

In an effort to be prepared, I stocked our lunch basket in the pantry with the essentials so, at least for the first couple of weeks, the lunch packing situation can be fairly self serve.

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I got two small plastic bins for the fridge as well to keep things like baggies of carrot sticks, yogurt tubes and cheese strings organized.

I’ve got to put my thinking cap on because “snack lunch” (as we call a mishmash of items from various corners of the Canada Food Guide triangle) won’t fly forever and they’ll need more stick-to-your-ribs options.

Last year, I got a couple great containers that have a freezer container on the bottom with another container screwed on the top and a spoon in the lid. It allowed me to pack cereal and milk for big brother for his lunches, which was a huge hit. It became a once-a-week staple. It wasn’t until (and please don’t call the elementary school police on me!) June when I realized that because we don’t drink dairy milk in our house, I had been accidentally sending NUTS (almond milk) to school with him. Yikes. So we’ll have to get a soy or coconut variety for this year. Thank goodness we weren’t the cause of someone’s reaction!

The whole thing is really like childbirth. Before it starts, you’re pretty excited and optimistic. Then it starts and it’s not so bad, totally tolerable. Then it really gets going and it becomes the worst. pain. on. earth. And then it’s over and you’re relieved and happy. A few months pass and you forget how bad the pain really was. Until September comes again. So, I’m still in that happy, glow-y phase. Ask me how my lunch contractions are feeling come second semester.

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