15 Jan 2013

If HE has nitrates, I want nitrates!!!!!

6 Comments Cooking/Baking, Family, Nutrition

This is my second attempt at this post. You see, it’s a very complicated subject; one that must be dealt with with such finesse, such a delicate hand, that I’m not sure of my exact approach. I’m sure by now you’ve guessed what the topic is.

That’s right. Lunchables.

Here is me trying to make my long, boring post more readable. Bullet points:

I pack very healthy, very tasty lunches for my son. Organic fruits, sandwiches with organic sunflower butter or nitrate-free turkey, snacks with no corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. Β He FREQUENTLY tells me how delicious these lunches are.

Now kids are bringing Lunchables to school.

G wants Lunchables.

I can not seem to convincingly talk my son out of wanting me to purchase Lunchables. I tell him I will make better versions of the same, exact thing. This falls on deaf ears.

Lunchables are packed in bright packages and include juice and candy. The teachers won’t even let the kids at school eat the candy that comes in the Lunchables! I explain this to G. G does not care. He says he can eat the candy after school.

Side note/bullet point: Except for one breakfast, in the car, on the way home from Central California… G has never been to McDonald’s. I know he will go one day, probably soon. Probably with me. But so far I have substituted In N’ Out for Mcdonald’s. It’s not the BEST. But I think it’s much BETTER.

I am trying to apply this philosophy to his lunches. I add fun snacks, like cheddar bunnies or organic fruit gummies. I let him have bad stuff, too. I promise I do. He gets treats. He gets candy. (Real candy made by Hershey’s and Jelly Belly’s!) He gets lollipops. He gets desserts. I don’t shield him from that stuff because I don’t want him to leave for college and shove so much junk in his face that he ends up in a sugar coma for 12 weeks.

I just think there’s a better way to do things. And I don’t want to give him crap to eat just because other people do. And please know that I do not, in any way, believe that these parents love their kids any less than I love mine. They don’t. This just isn’t their main focus. It is, however, one of mine.

So, what do I do? Do I let him have one Lunchable a week? Do I fight the good fight and make Lunchables so taboo that one day he goes out and robs a convenience store with a shiv? Do I show him sickening pictures of the inside of a human body filled with Nitrates, Corn Syrup and Nerds???? Do I start my own pre-packed lunch company called Edibles, filled with delicious, organic food? Do I PRETEND to start this company, just so G thinks he’s getting his own brand of pre-packed goodness to take with him in his Batman lunchbox?

GARRETT-ABLES!!!! Read that out loud. It sounds like “Garr-Edibles”.

I just became a possible millionaire. And it’s all thanks to Lunchables and a very boring first post on the topic.

Feel free to discuss.

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Lisa Arch likes being a working actress... but LOVES being a Mom!
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6 Responses to “If HE has nitrates, I want nitrates!!!!!”

  1. Reply Melisa says:

    The thought of your son holding up a convenience store clerk so he can get some Lunchables cracked me up.

    I am not sure what the right answer for you is, but let me tell you my experience and maybe it will help you make some decisions.

    Organics and such were never much of a focus for me (I LOVE how you put that. Thank you for basically saying, “This is the way I do it and if you don’t do it the same way, I’m not saying you love your kids less than I do…”) when it came to feeding my kids when they were G’s age, partly because of laziness but partly because we were busy (so I “needed” to buy convenient items). Lunchables were FAVORITES. Oh my gosh, they LOVED them. I purchased them regularly all throughout their younger years.

    One day in the last couple of months, I was grocery shopping with my 20yo and when we passed the refrigerator section, he picked up a Lunchables, examined it, and said, “Remember how I used to love these?” He then tossed it back and said, “I can’t believe I ate this. Gross.” The wisdom of someone who has grown up in a more food-conscious society?

    I don’t know: I think they have a purpose when you’ve got a young kid and maybe you’re going to the zoo and need a quick, well-packaged lunch to toss in the cooler…but maybe as a regular habit it’s not such a good idea. (Moderation, like anything else.)

    P.S. This post was great! You should send me the old “boring” one. I’ll be the judge. πŸ™‚

  2. Reply Kristy says:

    Does he earn his own money yet? If he does, you could say he can have a Lunchable if he buys it with his own money, after a couple times I’d bet he’d prefer to spend it on other things.

    If that isn’t an option, how about an exchange? You said that you do let him have real candy/desserts/etc, well how about if he has a Lunchable then the next time or 2 that there is real dessert/etc he doesn’t get it because he chose a Lunchable instead?

    Barring all that, maybe you can buy one, empty it and put your own similar items in it and then reattach the top with a piece of tape or something.

    BTW, I second Melisa up there on liking the way your worded it. Different things a re important for different families and that’s ok!

  3. Reply Milaka says:

    Oooo, this is a hard one. I started out banning them mainly because they were more expensive than making a PB&J. Then I bought them for the kids once a week or so. I wouldn’t get the full Lunchables with the drink and the candy, I’d get the ones that just had the “entree”. The thing is, my kids would pick and choose what they would eat – they didn’t like the little “crusts” for the “pizza” (don’t you like how I MUST put these items in quotes because . . . well, they are supposed to be these things, but they really aren’t) so they would leave them, or they only ate one or two chunks of the “cheese”. I told them that if they didn’t care to eat all of it, I wouldn’t buy it any more. Problem solved. I don’t know if that would work for G, but that’s how they found their way out of our fridge.

    We actually had a lot of success with home made lunchables. I let the kids pick out their own crackers, cheese and meat (of course, all natural) and they could pack what they knew they would eat.

    Hope this helps. There’s no right answer, just one you’re willing to live with. πŸ™‚

  4. Reply Bob K says:

    I was going to say what Kristy said: buy a Lunchable, then stick all your stuff in there and seal it up. The trick is to get Garrett to bring the Lunchable box back home after school without it being a filthy, banged up mess. That’s definitely a problem. But if we can get over that hump, then we’re in! (BTW, here’s an idea of what to do with the crap that came out of the original Lunchable box: put it in a little zip lock bag and sell it on Ebay. Every little bit helps.)

  5. Reply Christine says:

    Kate is almost 13. She has never had McDonalds. And she has never had lunchables. Does she want them? Of course she does. Has she ever cried, whined and/or begged? Certainly. And did I give them to her? No, I did not. Because I am mean? No. Because I control every morsel of food that enters her body? No again. Because I believe that these are not healthy choices and it is my right and duty as a parent to steer her away from poor choices whether she likes it or not? Yes. Yes indeed.

    One day, my daughter will want a cigarette. “All” her friends will be smoking cigarettes. She will bitch and moan and slam doors because I will hold firm to my stance that cigarettes are an unhealthy choice and are simply not an option in our family.

    One day she will want to smoke pot. “All” her friends will be smoking pot. She will bitch and moan and slam doors because I will hold firm to my stance that pot is an unhealthy choice and is simply not an option in our family.

    One day she will want to go to a party where the parents allow drinking. “All” the kids will be there. She will bitch and moan and slam doors because I will hold firm to my stance that underage drinking at parties is an unhealthy choice and is simply not an option in our family.

    Do you see my point?

    If I go against my best judgement now, when its only about McDonalds and Lunchables, then I am setting the pattern for later and she will learn that I will bend and break just because “all” the kids are doing it or because she bitches and moans and slams doors.

    And that is simply not an option in our family.

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