Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Day I Got Reprimanded by AK's School for Not Packing a "Perfect" Lunch

I made a pact – with myself and with my newborn child – that I would do my absolute best to nourish her body with healthy foods.  As a full-time working mom who made all of her baby food, it’s been a commitment.  But, then again, I nursed her for 13 months, so I get commitment and I remain committed.

With AK in school every day, I pack her lunch the night before (thanks to T for slapping me upside the head for attempting to pack it in the morning – and for what reason?!)  Her lunch includes all of the necessities – grains, fruits, veggies, dairy and protein.  Recently, however, she’s been resisting her veggies.  I know, I know, shocking, huh? I know it’s a phase, so I do what any veggie-loving momma would do – I put them in everything else.

The Barilla brand of pasta makes pasta with veggies packed right into it – a full serving of veggies in every serving of pasta.  Yes, please.  I put grated carrots in her turkey meatloaf and grated everything into her pasta sauce (broccoli, carrots, kale, etc…)  I also pack her an organic baby food pouch with fruits and veggies in it on top of her full lunch every day.  That way, if she ditches the blueberries, I have tricked her by ensuring she gets those key nutrients in other ways. 

So you get it – I pack healthy, I am healthy, blah blah blah.  Then imagine my surprise when I go to unpack AK’s lunch one day to find this pretty little note from her teachers.  “Dear Parent – please remember to pack food from all food groups for your child’s lunch.”  Included on this pretty little note is a drawing of the five food groups, just in case I had forgotten.  Forgotten?  I am like the antithesis of forgetting. 

Confession alert:  I freaked out.  A little.  OK, a lot.  I picked up the phone, called T, who is my source of support on everything baby  (Duh.  We’re writing this blog together) and I went off.  “Don’t they know…”  “Who do they think they are?”  “Did they not know what that was????”  After I released on her (what are best friends for) and gave her more than an earful, I took my best fine-tipped Sharpie and went to town on that pretty little note.

I wrote down everything I had packed, what food group it had come from and probably inserted just a little bit of attitude.  I then put that pretty little note back in her lunchbox to ensure that they read it the following day.

Fast forward to the following day:  AK is home sick from school.  In a series of messages to the teachers, I tell them they won’t see her, they exchange pleasantries regarding her recovery and then I get up the nerve:

ME:  Quick question:  the note that was in AK’s lunch box yesterday – did I forget something in her lunch?  I was surprised, as I am quite cognizant of what goes into her lunch and consequently her body each and every day.  (Yes, this message took restraint.  I was still quite heated)

THEM:  You are one of the few parents that do an outstanding job on their child’s lunches.  We just had to put this reminder in everyone’s lunchbox because we don’t want to single any parents out.  We are doing this because, sadly, some parents are not getting the proper nutrients into their children during the day.  And, we assure you that this is in the best interest of the children.  Therefore, please don’t feel offended.  You make awesome lunches for AK.  Sincerely, AK’s teachers

ME:  (Tail between legs)

Lessons learned:

1.  Not every thing from your child’s school is directed at you personally.
2.  Trust yourself and your intentions.
3.  For heaven’s sake woman, breathe.

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