I love my boys, but if they keep bringing home 95 percent of their homemade lunches, I’m going to have to knowingly let them starve.

I don’t know what else to do.

I thought I was being a nice mom. I was letting them skip the “nasty” school lunches by taking a made-with-love sandwich instead. They get to choose which days they won’t be able to gag down the school’s food and I pack them something amazing. (We have a system on how we choose what days they get to take a home lunch you can read about that here.)

But I don’t think I’m going to do it anymore. Well, let’s be honest, I don’t really know what I’m going to do.

I’m not a morning person. It’s a serious struggle for me to get up and get everyone ready to go to school. We hardly have time to eat breakfast. So on those mornings when we have planned for my boys to take a home lunch it’s particularly rough.

I am scrambling to snatch up a Go-gurt, drink, sandwich and – if they’re lucky – a small treat. If they are really lucky they get a hand-scribbled “I love you” note on top.  I chuck it all into their lunch boxes and we barely make it to school before the late bell.

So imagine my surprise when last week I hustled like crazy to pack something for them to eat and it came home – nearly untouched. Again.

Here is a picture of my kindergarter’s lunch. AFTER he “ate” it:


Here is a picture of the second grader’s. He did one or two bites better:

Sandwich 2

Seriously? I think my 5-year-old took one bite of his sandwich. One bite!

And this isn’t the first time this has happened. It’s becoming more and more common at our house. Don’t they realize there are starving children all over the world who would LOVE to eat my sandwiches?

What am I supposed to do? I am sick of wasting my time and energy on these uneaten lunches.

Do I make them eat whatever the school is serving knowing very well that they won’t? At least the homemade sandwiches have a chance of getting eaten.

But I hate paying $1.75 a person for a meal that I know will get wasted.

Do I keep packing the homemade meals when they aren’t eating them?

Maybe I’ll start saving them and they can eat them for dinner. If they don’t get eaten for dinner, maybe they’ll be ready for them by breakfast.

I’m going to stop giving them snacks after school on the days they don’t finish their food. Maybe I can starve them into eating.

Oh, and who knows why they don’t just ditch the sandwiches in the cafeteria garbage. They would still be hungry after school, and I would have my suspicions on why, but at least I would be somewhat oblivious.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jenn
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 08:31:38

    This is an occasional problem at my house. We’ve resorted to making the kids pay for what they don’t eat, or if they’ve hardly eaten anything, they get to save it and have it for dinner. No after school snacks in between either. I’m OK with an extra carrot or the crust of the sandwich left behind, but when entire portions of the lunch haven’t been touched, I can’t stand the waste!

    Also, a bit of advice, if I may….making lunches the night before is soooo much easier!


    • Natalie
      Mar 13, 2014 @ 09:47:31

      Jenn- I love the idea of making your kids pay for what they don’t eat! I may have to adopt that. I have made meals the night before and you are right it is so much easier. Why don’t I do that more often? Seriously. I need to get my act together 🙂


  2. Anonymous
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 10:49:14

    Before I was homeschooling Nathaniel I used to pack him some lunch meat in a bag on fruit and a veg. I has the same thing. But maybe just maybe when they get to 5th grade they will eat all there lunch and they may even still be hunger. isn’t motherhood a joy


    • Natalie
      Mar 13, 2014 @ 10:59:25

      I keep waiting for their appetites to kick in! I think you are right, maybe when they are older. Yes, motherhood is awesome sometimes 😉


  3. Kaye Clemens
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 13:53:28

    I work in the lunchroom and a lot of first graders and 2nd graders have a hard time finishing their lunch because they socialize too much. Make 1 sandwich and cut it in half for both of them. They are probably wanting recess time instead of spending time eating a whole sandwich. Hang in there.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: