Whoa is Lunch

by | Sep 19, 2008 | Food, Henry, Parenting | 0 comments

I’m kind of finding the kindergarten lunch-packing routine to be anxiety-producing. (Predictably) there’s a kid (they don’t say who) with a peanut/tree nut allergy in Henry’s class, so Henry’s snack has to be free of nuts. His lunch can have nuts, though, since the nut-allergy children (this is kind of sad, actually) get some special table far off in the distance in the lunchroom, so they don’t have to contend with nut bits. If I couldn’t send nuts as part of lunch, I have no idea what I’d send for Henry to eat. Snack packs of black beans? Anyway, so snack has to be special and nut free and packed separately, and lunch can have nuts. They sent out a letter with nut-free foods listed, which caused me to complain (I’m totally already one of those complainy parents — I sent a frantic 3 am email requesting a specific teacher, but that’s another story) because they included all kinds of candy (ring pops, for heaven’s sake) as options. The nurse seemed annoyed by my complaining and said that no, they weren’t allowed to bring candy as a snack (um, then why include it as an option on the nut-free chart?) but included candy because, “sometimes those kids are out somewhere outside of school and are really hungry and need to know what they can have.” Which makes no sense to me, unless there are kindergarten-related scenarios I’m not understanding. Will I be forced to have a playdate with the anonymous nut-free child, and the only place we’re allowed to go is the circus? She also said something about, “We just want people to know what these families are dealing with.” Like I’m going to think, “Oh, poor kid, no nuts, but at least he can have Swedish Fish.”

The more hilarious sheet was something obviously copied out of a workbook or website. It included a category called, “Major Sources of Peanuts and Tree Nuts” and listed such things as “Anything labeled ‘nuts.’” Which, yeah, maybe they have to list everything, but I would think that would be fairly obviously. There’s also a list of “Hidden Sources of Peanuts and Tree Nuts” which includes things like “Frangelico and Amaretto Liquors.” Dave said we should complain and say, “But he won’t take his afternoon nap if he doesn’t get his Frangelico at snack!”

Anyway, this is all to say that when I realize I have to tackle the lunchbox packing at the end of a long day, it kind of stresses me out, because I know I will really have to focus on it. I pack a lunch for Eli too, which maybe makes it even more complicated, since he can obviously eat whatever he wants, since he’ll be eating it at home. I’m a little concerned about the fact that I am having so much trouble with the lunch boxes already — will it get easier as I get used to it, or will I be fresh out of ideas by December, and start packing Lunchables?



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