MagPad Dinner Table

MagPad Dinner Table

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lunch Sack Ideas

• Buy paper sacks and baggies for sack lunches at Walmart or Smart and Final. It’s cheaper.
• Look for good deals on boxed drinks and stock up.
• Buy reusable box drink containers (Rubbermaid makes one) and fill with Koolaid or Crystal Light.
• Make your own fruit cup: Buy 5 ½ oz disposable container with lid from Smart and Final. Put in fruit from #10 can, available at Costco, Sam’s Club, or Smart and Final. Our favorites are applesauce or pineapple. Put in freezer. When ready to use, put in zip sandwich bag (in case it leaks in lunch bag). Don’t forget the plastic spoon. Smart and Final has small cheaper plastic ware.
  • Fold corner of napkin and cut heart shape to let your kids/husband know you love them.
  • Include a note in lunch sack to brighten someone’s day.
  • Use large heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out brownies or rice krispy treats
  • Make “carrot coins” by cutting carrots circles for a lunch treat.
  • Make ‘orange smiles” by cutting oranges in circles and then in half.
  • Roll up ham slices with grated cheese in a flour tortilla
  • If a microwave is available put leftovers from the night before in a container to be heated up for lunch the next day.
My daughter, Janelle, wrote a college essay about the power of lunches.

“This I Believe”

I believe in the power of lunches.

My mom has six children and a husband, all of who needed a lunch for school and work. And so mom made seven lunches every day for twenty five years. That’s over 63,000 lunches.

Love seems to be expressed in two ways: word and action. Over the years, I began to realize that mom’s lunches were full of love. Every day, my brown paper bag held basically the same thing: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple, tortilla chips, and water bottle. But it also held something more.

Each and every lunch held time. Mom’s day began earlier than mine. She would be up early in the kitchen, spreading peanut butter and washing apples while in her pink robe. Making lunches only took a few minutes, but those were precious minutes that I could use putting on makeup instead of bagging my own sandwich. Mom never called attention to this time she spent serving. She just did it because she loved me.

Each and every lunch held acknowledgment. Mom wrote our individual names on all the paper lunch sacks. Kind of elementary, I know. But mom liked writing our names. She would say them out loud as she wrote, writing them phonetically: “Janelllllllllllllllllle” for Janelle. “Li-a-sa” for Lisa. There is love in a name spoken and heard—something so personable and individual. Sometimes kids at school called us names, or made us feel as if we did not have one. But at lunch time, there was our name in front of us. It was a mother’s acknowledgment of who we were. And we knew that it was spoken and written with love; because of that, nothing else mattered.

I think I first began to realize what lunches meant to me in elementary school. Some kids brought things like “lunchables,” which was the unspoken “cool” lunch to bring. These included yummy treats like candy and mini pizzas, and they didn’t come in brown paper bags. I remember sometimes wishing I could walk into the cafeteria with a “cool lunch.” But then, my brown paper bag occasionally held homemade cookies or rice krispy treats. All of a sudden, I was the spoken of bringer of a cool lunch! My friends would “ooo” and “ahh” over my good fortune of a mom who would actually make treats for me. And then my cookie would get split into eight different shares and passed around the cafeteria table.

Love is spoken through acts of service, and my mom served me every day of my school career. Not only did her lunches fill me nutritionally, but I was also daily filled with reminders of her love. Now I live away from home, and so I make my own lunch every day. What do I make? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Though they aren’t spread with a mother’s love, I don’t think I will ever eat a sandwich again without thinking of my mom.

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