22 September 2016

Shopping and Lunching

Now that I'm down to my two "easy" kids, I run errands during the weekday again, and while I don't hear it quite as often, I do still hear "You have your hands full!" a lot. Maybe because Eleanor and Theodore are so close in age? Anyway, I used to respond with a polite smile, but lately I've been trying out the "shock jock" method.

"You have your hands full!"
-"And I have one in kindergarten!"
-"Normally I have three, this is a breeze!"

"You have quite a load there!" to my full cart at Sam's Club.
"And I'm not even done yet!"

I can't believe how much food we are suddenly going through. Part of it is Theodore. He eats like a boy. A hungry boy. His record is 2.5 blueberry muffins. He wants in on every meal we eat and is more than happy to take down a spoonful of Mommy's food instead of his baby mush.

Part of it is school. Abigail eats more because she is more active and has the peer pressure of all her classmates actually eating.

And part of it is that a lunch - and two snacks - that works well in a lunch box is more expensive than lunch at the dinner table. Over the summer, if we weren't in the mood for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I could whip up something special: donuts with smoothies made from the fruit about to go bad in the fridge. If Abigail didn't eat breakfast, I could just let her finish off her cereal for lunch. I could buy a big container of yogurt and scoop some out in little pink bowls for a snack. If we ran out of granola bars, I could just make popcorn or muffins or whatever and in 20 minutes, we'd have a hot-from-the-oven snack. Now I need individual containers of apple sauce, I can't run out of pre-packaged granola bars, I can't send leftover mac 'n cheese in a tupperware with a kindergartner.

I'll find cheaper ways of doing things as time goes on, I'm sure. This is, like, my third week ever of packing a kid's lunch. But it does have me wondering: can I prepackage my own food? Can I make a couple batches of granola bars (these ones are SO GOOD!) and wrap them up individually? Is there a way to make my own no-refrigeration-needed apple sauce pouches? Do I need to buy a thousand feet of cling wrap? Sandwich bags by the thousands? Disposable tupperware? Is there a way to do this without filling up a new landfill every year?

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