Constant Chatter: September means the start of school…lunches

Jade Steckly
It’s officially my favourite time of year. I love pretty much everything about autumn, and this one is proving to be even more perfect than most. The weather is still warm, and the trees turn spectacular shades of orange and gold. There is a perfect blanket of leaves on our yard for our girls to play in, and I love the way they crunch under our feet when we go for a walk. We’ve been walking often lately, trying to soak in every last bit of warm weather before the snow falls. 
I also love that the girls go back to school in the fall. Not because I don’t like having them home…I like it very much. However, I just so happen to have a seven-year-old that gets bored super easy, and she likes to switch activities every 15 minutes. It gets tiring for both of us. She gets cranky, I get cranky, she starts complaining that she misses her friends, I’m sure most of you parents can relate.
Needless to say, by the time September 5th rolls around, we are all more than ready for the change in pace!
This brings me to my next topic…school lunches. I feel very blessed our girls can attend the school they do, and that they get the option of hot lunch twice a week. That schedule doesn’t start until October though, and September has been the longest. month. EVER. As parents, we tend to have a few factors working against us when it comes to the daily grind of making lunches. Here are just a few of mine:
The school is peanut-free, so PBJ and the like are a no-no. That right there pretty much cuts out half of all lunch options. At least it would have when I was in school.
I don’t want my kids to be picky eaters, but I also know if I prepare something I know they won’t like, it will just come back in their backpack and be wasted, and they will have gone hungry all day. Thankfully, they haven’t learned about tossing stuff in the trash and telling me they ate it. 
Speaking of picky, one of the things my oldest is picky about is sandwiches. She simply won’t eat them. Grrr.
So, I need to get creative with my lunch packing. My favourite way to do it is with thermoses. I bought a couple small ones at Walmart this summer. The girls love them because they are pink and purple, and I love them because they keep the food just at the right temperature for lunch, and they don’t leak everywhere. I find lunchtime is a lot less stressful when I send it in the thermos. I like sending mushroom soup, Kraft dinner, leftover casserole or chili! When I send that along with some cut up veggies or apples, I’m pretty much guaranteed they will eat it, and I feel better knowing they were properly fed.
I’ll leave you with this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Banana Muffins. My girls absolutely love these as well, and I can substitute two of these for the thermos and just send the veggies with them.
A friend gave me this recipe a few years ago, and I have not made another banana muffin recipe since, although I have tweaked it a little here and there. I promise you will not regret making them. Happy Lunch Making!