Ok…so anyone with a “picky” eater- likely dreads daily lunch making for their school kid. 3 of my kids will basically eat anything I send them. Of course they all have their funny little requests, but nothing too out of the ordinary.
Enter Mason. When he was in kindergarten, he would ONLY eat from a thermos. If I tried sending something else, the school would phone and tell me I forgot his lunch. 2 years of Thermos-only lunches. Then suddenly, as quickly as a sneeze- the sight of a Thermos in his lunch bag, sends him into a tailspin…..ok…..no Thermos. sandwich? No. Veggies and dip or hummus? No. cheese and crackers? No way in hell. Lunchable? No. Oh I know! I see those mums online putting together bento boxes for their kids! I will do that- *insert expensive bento box purchase here*. Now what to put in it? Veggies? No. Fruit? No. Sushi ? Hahahahahahah no fucking way. Yogurt? No. Apple sauce? Nope. Ham roll-ups? Noooo way. Pretzel sticks? Yes. Yes he will eat those!!! Pretzel sticks it is…..he eats 4 pretzel sticks from the divider. I’m sending vegetarian sushi, charcuterie skewers, veggies and hummus, yogurt (dairy as well as cultured coconut for Manning and Mia), deli sandwiches, you name it- for the others.
What are Mason’s favourites you may wonder? Well…..he will eat noodles with butter (he prefers “tube-y noodles <penne> but will tolerate spaghetti or elbow shaped), he will eat pizza ( if it started in a circle and is cut into triangles- cheese only <he first tried pizza in 2015>, he likes peanut butter on saltine crackers (can’t send to school though), vanilla yogurt, chicken strips, chicken breast (with no seasoning on it or sauce) and won’t touch it cold. He likes cereal and waffles with Nutella, French toast with real maple syrup, cookies, fruit roll-ups, pudding, sugar, sugar, sugar, sugar. The Bain of my existence.
I started sending him to school with snacks. Simple snacks. The crackers he likes, an apple, vanilla Greek yogurt (it was hard taking him from fat free to full fat- I try to get at least 3% fat) and a treat – either cookies, or a fruit thing, or the granola bar he likes (has to be a certain brand, and flavour). Sometimes I will send a special thing like a muffin or croissant from the coffee shop or something….and it ALL.COMES.HOME. Every single time. So I’ve sent chocolate milk and yogurt to school to keep in their private fridge- so he at least has something if needed.
I got a call today- because he became escalated when he looked into his lunch bag and didn’t see anything new In it. Apparently – I’m the worst mum in the world because he had his favourite snacks in his bag- but he didn’t have a treat. I stay calm while talking to his aid- and ask if he still has yogurt in the fridge….well yes, but….he didn’t want that today. He didn’t want…..he said he didn’t want…….blah….blah….blah….blah. I wanted to scream into the phone and ask her if she understood how hard it is to feed a kid like Mason. Instead, I calmly asked for her input and suggestions going forward. Please sensei- teach me your ways. Realistically, I make sure he’s eaten quite a bit before school, and I give him a protein packed snack after school and as healthy and nutrient packed dinner as possible. I’m not worried about starvation.
Mason attends a specialized school, people. He’s not one child of 30. He is in a special program, called ‘day treatment’ and there are 7 kids in the class. Food issues shouldn’t be a new thing. He has Autism level2, sensory processing disorder, adhd, anxiety (and odd). He prefers chewing on non-food items like his shirts, zippers, etc. Why on earth is the school calling me about his lunch!!??!!?? I’ve offered to send supplies in to prepare his lunch (he could get himself a bowl of cereal with milk on his own) but they won’t allow that. No we can’t accept a toaster to keep in the kitchen to pop some waffles in for him. No , we can’t use the kettle or microwave to prepare his Mr.noodles. No nuts permitted at school.