Kids’ school lunches provides yet another oppurtunity for children to be cruel to one another. Since I’m not a believer in school lunches, we send lunches with the kids. Elsa, the one who is probably least likely to be swayed by others’ opinions, finally intimated to me that our healthy leftovers weren’t getting rave reviews from the other kids at the table.

We teach the girls to follow the Thumper rule from Bambi. “If you can’t say something nice (about the food), say nothing.” Apparently, either other kids haven’t been taught this, or they completely forget it once they reach the communal school cafeteria table.

Not only did Elsa have to defend healthy leftovers — she also had to put up with teasing about our discount yogurt from the Grocery Outlet because it had a pregnant mother on it. I roll my eyes. Grow up! I think. Then, I remember that they’re just kids.

I looked back into my own cafeteria lunch days. My mom wasn’t a believer in school lunches either. Everyday, I’d open up my brown paper bag. Inside it was a fruit, two buttered Franz wheat rolls, chips wrapped in Saran wrap (it was cheaper than buying the individual bags), and two cookies. Often, there was a love note, too, which could be highly embarrassing if I got caught by my peers and somewhat gratifying if I didn’t.

The lunch was not super healthy. Not super unhealthy. Sort of … unnoticeable.

And that’s what every kid strives for. If you can’t be the envy of the room, the next best thing is to slip by, unnoticed.

So, I’m striving for the proper lunch that will slip by, unnoticed. No yogurts that are good for pregnant women. Fruit is acceptable. Nuts and dried fruit can substitute for cookies. Crackers instead of chips. And two homemade gingerbread scones all lovingly made with ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. There! Elsa might even be promoted to envied with those! A couple slices of smoked cheese … perfect. Maybe I’ll even add a little love note, if I remember. I might try to warn her though. Kids don’t need much ammunition to start firing away at each other.

To make my life easier, I followed my mother’s steps. I made a big double batch of scones, pre-wrapped them, and popped them in the freezer. Even my 7-year old can assemble her own lunch that way. Thanks, Mom, for making my lunches all those years. You’re an inspiration.

Gingerbread Scones

2 sticks of melted butter

2/3 c. milk

2/3 c. molasses

1/2 tsp. cloves

2  tsp. ginger

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

4 tsp. baking powder

4 c. flour

 Put it in the bowl in above order. Mix with a mixer or wooden spoon until it forms a ball. Roll it out like biscuit dough and cut it with a biscuit cutter. Bake in a 425 oven for 10 minutes.

The molasses is good for my anemic Dagne. High in iron and phosphorous. The butter? Animal fat is wonderful for growing brains.The cinnamon and ginger is excellent for your health too. Moreover, the scent of those spices feeds the soul.


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