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packing a lunch

the fact that paul now needs a full-fledged lunch packed for him every day is a little intimidating. sure, i can pack a cute snack twice a week, but lunch five days out of seven is brutal. because of his allergies it's not like i can give him cafeteria money and call it done, so i guess i should potentially prep myself for 13 years of lunches.

i bought a copy of vegan lunchbox (not because he's a vegan, but because it's more appealing to add meat to a vegan meal than it is to use dairy and egg substitutes in a non-vegan one -- who knows if the substitutes will blend well or not?) and pored over it, but cam warned me to stay away from fancy. he's right, of course, but i'm hoping that these recipes might get me interested in cooking again, period. i've also spent some time looking at bento sites online and know that i will never reach that level of lunchtime coolness, but i'm hoping at least to pick up some tricks.

happily, paul has agreed to carry his lunchbox again. when i asked cam why paul wanted paper and plastic bags, he thought it was to fit in, which struck me as weird because i thought most of the kids carried lunchboxes. but when i asked paul myself, he said it was because it was too heavy. i managed to convince him that with the substitution of a milkbox for the thermos, the lunchbox would be fine. he's been carrying it ever since. the trick now is figuring out what kind of containers to use inside. the standard containers that we use for lunch aren't really working too well because there's too much space between the top of the subcontainers and the lids, which means that contents are mixing (sometimes unpleasantly). i've heard that press 'n' seal works well to keep stuff in those interior containers, but i haven't had the most luck with that (i learned this while packing my own lunches back during the gestational diabetes days). he does have a set of nesting shinkansen containers, but i suspect that the lids might be too hard for paul to remove. i like lock & lock containers (used one for my own lunch on friday), but there's still that little gap at the top. tomorrow i'm hoping to get to the local japanese 99-cent store so i can hunt for a container narrow enough to stand upright in the lunchbox.

foodwise, these lunches have been pretty boring. a plain turkey half-sandwich, a fruit (either a fresh fruit, a fruit cocktail cup or blueberry applesauce), a cereal bar (possibly for snack), milk and crackers seem to be it. i've put in some baby carrots and unshelled edamame and neither were particularly successful. (we usually eat shelled edamame, but the unshelled was all trader joe's had during my mom's shopping trick last week.) from what usually remains of his lunch, i think he eats very little at school and then maybe eats a little more while at his grandpa's house. i'm not terribly concerned about when he eats as long as he eats enough when he's hungry. i figure he'll adapt to the lunch schedule over the next few weeks.

i'm hoping to get a bit more creative with his lunches, at least in part because i've been packing my own lately, too -- since i pump, i need to eat. maybe once we all get settled and have the proper supplies, we'll be able to move past the crustless turkey half-sandwich and applesauce.



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