Not-so “Cookie-Cutter” Lunches

Yesterday afternoon, I cleaned out a drawer in our kitchen island to make room for all of the supplements we’ve recently added to our daily regimen. That may not seem like a big deal, but it hit me hard.

It was the top, right-hand drawer, where, for years, I’ve kept the kid-sized utensils, condiment containers, colorful little bags, and small cookie cutters with plans of making fun school lunches for Isaac and Gillian. (The kind of school lunches you see on Pinterest, with star-shaped cheese cuts and Mickey-shaped fruits.)

I want so much to give my kids every joy a childhood can hold, including sheer delight when they open their lunch bags to see what Mom put inside. But given everything we’ve learned (and witnessed firsthand) about food and its effects over the past five years, I find myself instead in the position of nutrition police/warrior mom, carefully choosing each ingredient that comes into our home and doing everything in my power to make sure the food that’s going into their little bodies–especially Isaac’s, as he is most vulnerable–is making them strong and healthy instead of sick.

I still aspire to make fun lunches for the kids. I try really hard to fill their bento boxes with different colors and flavors, a mix of things I know they enjoy and some foods to stretch them a little (aka vegetables). But I spend far more time worrying over what goes into the lunch box than what shape I can cut it into.

For the curious: Go Verden guacamole, homemade paleo chicken nuggets, homemade mayonnaise, snow peas, cucumber & tomato slices, sunflower seeds.

I know I am doing the right thing for our family, because we have seen the differences in Isaac’s health, behavior, and maturity from both dietary and supplemental changes. And I truly believe in the power of food to make us all healthier. But that doesn’t make this path we’re on easy. There is a further isolation, a social cost, to eating differently, and I hate that it’s one my children have to pay.

I swapped out the cookie cutters for capsules, and it stings.