I try my best to get my kid to eat a good solid lunch.
On weekdays, when he's at school, he doesn't eat very well. I send good food, but most of it comes back home. I've tried sending less food and only the things I want him to eat and they come back home carried by a very hungry boy. If I pack stuff he likes, even if it's not what I really want him to be eating, he eats.
On weekends, when he's home with me or my husband, he eats better. That's usually because of threats and bribes. Eat all of this and we can go do this fun thing. Eat this and you get this fun treat. If you don't eat, you can't do this or that. I know it's not the best method, but generally it works.
And really, all I want is for him to have enough of a meal that I'm not doling out snacks all day and maybe to get some nutrients into him. I know not every meal needs to be a powerhouse, and in this house that's definitely not an issue. This kid is picky, so as long as he's eating enough I'm pretty happy.
I worry though that he's not getting enough of all the things he's supposed to be getting. I try to make every meal have a grain, a dairy/protein and a fruit. That's much harder than it sounds, but that's the goal.
This morning Nathan and I were playing a game with two throw pillows and a pile of Angry Bird stuffies. We were pretending to make sandwiches and eat them. One of the sandwiches he made me was ketchup and mustard.
I told Nathan that when I was a kid, that was one of my favorite lunches. Ketchup and mustard on white bread.
And then it hit me how differently my kid is growing up than I did. I don't know if it was because we were poor or I was picky or my mother didn't know or didn't care, but many a day I made myself a sandwich slathered with ketchup and mustard and nothing else and that was my lunch. I paired it with a tall glass of sweetened iced tea made out of the store-brand powder drink that was loaded with caffeine and sugar.
It's true that there's so much more knowledge now. Maybe parents back then were just glad when their kids made their own lunches and went back outside to play.
I've grown up to be a relatively healthy adult. I'm pretty smart, responsible, hard-working.
I can't help but wonder though, could all my faults be traced back to a poor diet as a child? Could it be that ketchup and mustard sandwiches are to blame for everything that is wrong with me now?
I think I'm going to make sure Nathan has a good lunch tomorrow, just in case.