Last year, Izzy came home from school nearly every day having eaten or at least sampled, most of what was in his lunch bag. So far, this year has been different. At first I attributed the difference to beginning of the year kinks, now I am not so sure.
Today I packed a small smoked turkey sandwich on challah, with basil and mayo, a container of red cabbage and kasha varnishkes, and a small container of yogurt. All he ate was the sandwich. When he got home he sat down at the kitchen table, gobbled up a few snacks and then ran off to play.
When I ask him why he didn't finish his lunch, he claims that he wasn't given enough time. Not surprisingly, the school staff beg to differ and insist that he is given plenty of time. They have suggested that he is a "social" eater..I should know that this is teacherese for "talks too much and doesn't eat". At the same time, I am proud that I have raised him to be a social eater since eating is and should be a social activity.
I don't want him to "hurry up and eat". I would prefer him to linger over his meal, as he is accustomed to doing, either at home or in restaurants. The worst part is that I fear that our preschool lunch issues are only minor in comparison to what we will encounter later on.
My niece and nephew, one in high school, the other middle, just informed me that they are only afforded 20-25 minutes for lunch. How can we ever teach children to eat properly if they are not afforded ample time in which to do so?
Fortunately, change is afoot. In California, Alice Waters has spearheaded programs to change school lunch programs and Deborah Madison visits France for a true vision of what school lunches should be like. Even here in JC, local moms are trying to enact change. Who knows what the future holds?