Friday, September 03, 2004

The return of hot lunch

One of the nicest parts of sending the kids back to school after their various summertime programs is this: I don't have to make lunches for them anymore. Brown-bagging it at day camp has been a challenge for my son, who is generally a very good eater but doesn't seem to want to eat anything he can tote. Sandwiches would come home uneaten, apples browning with but a bite removed. Toward the end of the summer I gave up and started investing in those pricey but easily packed Lunchables, but even there we got leftovers: One day he took tacos and came back with the pouch of taco "meat" rattling around in his lunchbox.

I was at the end of my rope by the end of August, but now school's back and with it hot lunches. I sat with him last night as he went through the monthly offerings and made his picks. Most meals feature a protein and a fruit or vegetable, and the food service folks have given us some sort of folderol about the healthy way in which the meals are prepared, but really, it's not their nutritional soundness that most endears cafeteria food to me. It's the fact that they don't send leftovers home. Even if most of his balanced meal winds up in the trash, I can rest in blissful ignorance, believing he ate every bite. That's a good deal right there.

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