School Lunches: Trusting Kids to Make Healthy Choices

My daughter went off to first grade this fall, and, for the first time ever, I do not have to pack her lunch. Hooray! However, this also means my six-year-old now makes her own lunch choices at school. Not so “hooray.”

I now worry about my sudden lack of control in this area. What if Sofie eats nothing but bread and ice cream every day? Maybe peer pressure will take hold and she’ll decide it’s not cool to eat veggies. Anything could happen.

The good news is that her school has a healthy menu of food selections. Every day there is a sandwich bar, a salad bar, soups and fresh fruit. Dessert is served twice a week, a parent-approved reduction from previous years. The other days, Sofie makes “rainbow yogurt” — vanilla yogurt mixed with fruits of her choice.

The milk is local (Rhody Fresh), and we have reached an agreement where Sofie can choose chocolate milk once a month. I have never allowed it before, but I don’t want chocolate milk to become the forbidden fruit, so much more tempting by being off limits. When she first tried it in September (such a big build-up!), she reported that it tasted “only okay.”

The daily hot meals sound mouth-wateringly delicious (see sample below), and, to my surprise, Sofie tells me she has tried several of them including baked cod, roasted potatoes and pork loin. Huh? If I told her that’s what we were having for dinner, the complaints would be flying left and right.

Perhaps the freedom to make her own choices has made my daughter adventurous. Perhaps we’ve coddled her at home by not offering enough variety. (How many times did I give her macaroni or hot dogs for lunch because it seemed the easy option?) Perhaps she’s positively influenced by the other girls at school. Perhaps I worry too much.

I knew there’d come a time when I’d “lose control” of her diet. (And, God, I hope she doesn’t ever start to diet.) I have to trust in the food values we’ve imparted—both consciously and not—in Sofie’s first six years. She knows about eating the rainbow, about balancing carbs with protein, about getting vitamins through food. She’s pretty good about trying new things. She likes to eat.

That’s important, I think. Food can be such a loaded subject, especially for girls. I want Sofie to enjoy food for the sake of food– without any of its psychological or emotional implications. I want her intuition to guide her toward making healthy food choices… most of the time, at least. Because there will always be days when nothing beats a butter sandwich.

Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel is Great for Camping, Biking & More!

I have told you before, hubby rides his bike – a lot.  His daily commute to work is about seven miles each way, so you can imagine that he works up quite the sweat by time he arrives at work and needs to shower and get ready there (thank goodness they have a locker room!).  The issue he has run into with getting ready at work is, his towel.  He has limited real estate space in his backpack and he never really wants to drag a stinky towel back and forth on a regular basis – and it would be fine, if he did not have to keep throwing the towel back into his locker and were allowed to leave it out to dry.  But, so is life and the towel goes into the locker and gets stinky/smelly, etc.  So when we received the Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel – he was really excited to test it out in this towel-tough environment!

What did we think?

The Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel is a microfiber towel that is light weight, dries quickly (both your body and itself!) and folds up quite compactly!  Andrew loved that the first time he used this towel, he noticed that he was saving time drying off since it absorbed so much water, so quickly.  He was also pleasantly surprised to find that it had dried during the day inside the locker!  Which was huge for him, because that meant the next day, he had a nice dry towel (that didn’t smell!) to dry off with again without having to haul one back and forth!  Hubby really likes that the towel has a handy-dandy loop to hang the towel and ensure that it has maximize exposure so it can dry.  He was able to keep this at work nearly two weeks before it was clear it was time to wash it (I am certain many people have differing levels of what they find acceptable – but for him – two weeks was it!)  The microfiber towel washed beautifully – since it is microfiber, I recommend washing it with “low lint” items and with hot water, such as your sheets.  If you launder it with other linty items, you risk the microfiber picking all of that up and being less absorbent over time.

The Verdict

The Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel is the perfect option for a bike commuter that has to get ready “on the go”.  Hubby is also looking forward to using this microfiber towel for upcoming races this summer.  For myself, I see this as being a great option for camping trips, swim lessons and workouts.  The Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel is available on Amazon in three neutral colors that can benefit the whole family!