Operation Lunch Bag

It’s been a long time since I’ve worried about where my five-year-old twins rank on the “percentile charts”.  They weren’t freakishly long, abnormally thin, or sporting ginormous noggins so I didn’t pay much attention to the so-called “norms”. But I can tell you this: if there was a percentile for a child’s healthy diet, my boys would be off the charts.

Yes, of course, the rug-rats love cookies, ice-cream, and every other junk food that personifies childhood, but one of Jack’s fave snacks is a green salad with raspberry vinaigrette and Liam’s top munchie is cherry tomatoes.  As far as they know, Mac n’ Cheese consists of a homemade cauliflower/cottage cheese puree baked with whole-wheat pasta and Goldfish is something that swims in a tank, not your belly.   They have so completely given up on ever going to McDonald’s that when our neighbors drove up to one after taking Jack on a hiking trip, you would have thought by his face that he found the Holy Grail.  He then proceeded to convince our neighbors to buy an extra toy for Liam, who was at home with us, and then put exactly half of his cheeseburger and french fries back in his Happy Meal bag so he could share the momentous occasion with his brother.

SIDENOTE: If you’re actually feeling bad for my sons right now because you think they have some sort of deprived childhood, shame on you!  No child deserves the processed, genetically engineered garbage that fast food companies produce. Period. I don’t care how fun the stupid toys are.  That Happy Meal toy lasts 2 days — this body has to last them a lifetime. You do the math.

Today marked the end of Jack and Liam’s morning preschool which meant a longer program and the need to pack snacks for the kids. Our usual culprits went in their bags: European-style plain yogurt and no-sugar granola, fresh strawberries, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and one gluten-free cookie the size of a poker chip.

When I came back to pick them up, all the kids were still having snack time and the table was littered with wrappers and lunch bags.  My Health Nut senses were tingling as I noticed the other kids chowing down on sandwiches made from white dinner rolls filled with processed deli meats, bags of potato chips, and overflowing tubes of sugary yogurt. There were no vegetables in sight but I may have been distracted by the kid who was devouring a chocolate chip cookie the size of his head.

Jack took one look at me and with a disgruntled frown, blurted out: “Mom, everyone has better snacks than us”.


It should be clear to you by now that I won’t cave to the societal norm and fill my kids’ lunch bags with highly-processed, nutritionally-void “food” just because they develop lunch-envy. One day, they’ll be thankful that I cared more about what’s going inside THEM than I do about what’s going inside their lunch bag. But at the same time, I want them to appreciate that good-for-you food can still taste good and I also don’t want to create a “forbidden fruit” complex when it comes to food.

And thus begins Operation Lunch Bag.  I will spend the next three months before my boys start Kindergarten perfecting healthy recipes that make a kid go “darn right that’s my lunch, yo!”.

Chocolate Pudding Cup — bring it!

Fruit Roll-Up — it’s on!

Chocolate Milk — you’re going down!

Mommy Domestica is on a mission and it ain’t lookin’ good for you.

Domestically Yours,
Natasha Kay

10 thoughts on “Operation Lunch Bag

  1. Peter Robson says:

    Great work mom! Right behind you, in full support. Definitely don’t want to put you off, but get ready to take a few knocks along the way – it won’t be easy. You’ve hit the nail on the head with the ‘forbidden fruit’ thing, the number one enemy is peer pressure. Little people love to be part of the gang. Our dear Katy was (and still mostly is) eating all those good things you describe but after leaving prep has now been introduced to ‘school dinners’. Her favourite dish ‘fish fingers, beans and chips’ – hey, at least there’s fish in it … Luckily the school is very sports and activity driven so she burns it all up at the moment. My concern is more about the future when study pressures come to the fore and there’s not so much time left for running around.

  2. Rahel says:

    This is what Filipa got on her first day of kindergarden. Everyone has to stick to these rules and the kids are really strict about it (peer pressure also works the other way round!). Yay Switzerland!

    • Natasha Kay says:

      RAHEL!!! Why would you do that to me?!?! It absolutely irks me that we won’t be in CH for the boys schooling. And that is just ONE of the many reasons why. 😦

      • Rahel says:

        LOL — So I won’t tell you that they also have a cooking class once a month where they learn how to prepare snacks and simple meals. And that they grow their own veggies in a “secret” garden in the middle of the woods 🙂 Kindergarden really IS amazing here!

  3. Erin Philps says:

    Ok first…Jack saving half his precious happy meal is perhaps the best part of your post. Not because it’s a happy meal but because he had the self-control and consideration to save half for Liam. Cutest!

    But I know what you mean about the lunch bag dilemma. My Mom always made us a sandwich, (which by grade 8 was made with homemade bread), piece of fruit or veggie, crackers and cheese and two of her choc. chip cookies (you know the ones I mean Tash). The downfall was that I could trade those cookies for ANYTHING I wanted. And I did. I had them at home, I could get more whenever I wanted. And right now, I wanted…hmmmm…let’s peruse what other Mom’s have stuck in the lunch bag. Gushers! Personal favorite. Or, fruit snacks, or fruit-roll-ups. I craved them because they were like candy (ok they are candy but I didn’t realize that then) and I never got candy at home (except on Halloween).

    So…whole new problem…trading. Kids aren’t supposed to do it anymore because of the allergy scare but it still happens. Just a bit more food for thought 😉

  4. Lynda says:

    I agree….so cute about Jack! I hope you wrote that in your memoir book! As for their lunch…..since you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink, then I think it’s important to have your children involved in the “making lunch” process. Worked for you guys!! Besides, their future wives are going to love you to death for teaching them to cook!

  5. Melissa says:

    I can’t wait to see the delicious goodies you come up with, than I will steal your recipes and give them to my sweetness, because I agree 100% with you:)

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