I remember my school lunches very vividly. My mother was cutting-edge in the seventies in that she latched on to the health food movement when all of perhaps 1,000 people in the United States were doing it.
I went from bologna sandwiches and chips to peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat with an apple. I was devastated because who wants to trade their Twinkie for an apple? Nobody, that’s who.
I also remember hating my lunches because they sat in my lunchbox, moldering all morning long in the coat room. By the time lunchtime rolled around, anything that was supposed to be cold was nowhere near, and anything that should have been warm was no longer. That seems like it should defy the laws of physics, doesn’t it? How does a cold thing get warm and a hot thing cold in the same box? I say the government should spend some of those research dollars on this topic, don’t you agree?
Anyhoo, lunches have evolved greatly since those days, and it’s high time they did. The paper sack was discarded in favor of a lunch box or reusable bag. Then, the reusable bag/lunchbox added insulation to better ensure that food temperatures stayed true.
Apparently for the hip moms, even those are passe now.
It’s all about the bento. And listen, the debate on whether kids today are more spoiled can be for another day. Today I’m all about the lunches.
These are not necessarily the laquered kind served to you in Japanese restaurants, or even the kind that Molly Ringwald had for her sushi in The Breakfast Club. No, some of these babies are pretty high tech.
I kind of like this because it looks fairly indestructible. You can stack the lidded bowls in the stainless steel canister. To me, stainless steel spells long-lasting, and if I’m going to spend that kind of money on a lunch “system” it had better make it through a year of dropping on the floor by accident. Which as we all know happens way more than you would think. Or perhaps my kid is just a klutz. Don’t answer that. Even on sale, it is a bit pricey.
Or you can be creative like my bloggy friend J, and create your own bento with brightly colored individual containers. Behold the beauty of this balanced lunch:
So, this year, try to do something different with lunches. You just might surprise yourself with your brilliant ideas. And if you have any, please share them with the rest of us!