This was from a time long ago (last summer) when my little girl still loved a good old-fashioned PB&J.

Bee has gotten awfully tired of the affordable peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I pack for her.  I add carrot sticks with maple syrup for dipping, pretzels, or baked sweet potato chips in there sometimes.  Applesauce, pears and peaches are favorites, but it has all gotten boring, and she told me so recently.  She balked at my offers of making her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich this entire winter vacation.  She refused to eat even one, and pointed out that the different jams, jellies, and preserves don’t make much of a difference.  Cold pasta does not go down well.  I try my best to be creative, but the girl only likes a few things cold or lukewarm, and there is no way for her to heat things up.

I have begun to find the sweet little healthy lunches I so lovingly prepare barely touched in Bee’s lunchbox, and it makes me sad.  Okay, actually it really pisses me off, because I hate to throw good food away. 

Fresh whole oats with apples, cinnamon, and a little brown sugar.

In recent years, there has been a supposed movement to make cafeteria meals in public schools healthier, but I think it’s more of a fa├žade than reality.  America is a country that excels in obesity and depression, and it's a direct result of our food industry (the USDA as well as the FDA) opting to care more about money than health.

It starts with our kids in public school cafeterias, where they are still serving some nasty representation of what they say is a healthy, well-balanced meal. 

Me and Bee are vegetarian.  It has been very difficult (time-wise and financially) to send her to school with a diverse, healthy lunch on a daily basis.  It would be great if Bee’s school offered vegetarian meals.  A warm lunch would be so nice!  Also, it would be awesome if an alternative to a dairy beverage could be offered.  The USDA is pumping our kids full of antibiotics with those little strawberry and chocolate milk boxes.  Dairy cows are incredibly distressed and tortured in the factory farms which are supplying our schools with milk.  None of this is a secret anymore, it’s common knowledge, so why hasn’t there been a significant change?

Partnered with the USDA, Michelle Obama has started a new campaign, but I’m not sure enough progress is being made there.  Apparently, compliance to USDA-set standards is up to individual schools, so it’s time to get active.  I’ve been meaning to go have a little talk with my daughter’s school principal anyway…the last time I had lunch with Bee, I noticed that the cafeteria was using Styrofoam lunch trays.  

A girl who works this hard needs quality fuel. 


  1. They should have different options for kids at school. The middle school I work at offers them such bad, fatty foods. And so much sugar! They always have a slushy machine set up.

  2. Have you seen the Vegan Lunch Box Books? http://www.veganlunchbox.com/ We're not vegan, but I use the books all the time making school lunches for my son and daughter. I even found some cute little bento boxes to send in their lunch boxes. And chops sticks, loves using his chop sticks at school.

  3. @Breeanna: Slushy machine! Wow! I would have really loved that as a kid! I remember having the option to have pizza and nachos every day once I reached middle school. I thought it was fantastic. Little did I know...

    @Melissa: Yes, I tried to use that book a few years ago, and bought both Bee and I bento lunch boxes, from here: http://www.laptoplunches.com/

    Bee didn't like eating most of those recipes cold/lukewarm. I didn't try them all, though. Maybe I should give them another go, now that her palate has expanded a bit. She liked the mini pizzas with kale marinara. I thought that was the best thing in there.