We’ve been limping toward the end of school and school lunch this year. It’s never easy to maintain lunch box enthusiasm into June, but this year, a perfect storm of birthday parties, class trips, book deadlines, travel and soccer games all jammed together has made the entire enterprise a real slog.
I was thinking about this yesterday when a reporter, interviewing me for the fall launch of What’s for Lunch? asked why I’d written the book. I told her that it had come out of my own desperation, wondering what to send my boys for lunch each day, and from there thinking that if I’m having such trouble, what do other people do around the world—many of whom have far fewer resources and less access to healthy food than I have here.
After I’d talked on and on about all the interesting people and organizations and kids I spoke to and interviewed and read about who are doing great things to make school food better, she asked if my personal school lunch angst had been relieved by the writing and researching process. Did I have any better idea about what to send with my boys?
I almost choked. I thought for a millisecond about making something up about some grand epiphany.
Uh…no, I confessed. I’m still floundering.
It was kind of embarrassing, but the reality is, it’s not easy to create an interesting, tasty and nutritious lunch for picky, fast-moving children every day of the school year. I learned enough about school lunch to think it’s one of the most important preventative policy measures a nation can implement—but not quite enough to figure out how to solve my own lunch box dilemma. Bring on the summer holidays!
[Photo by Andrea Curtis]