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I hate lunch....


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I've been a failure at lunch my entire adult life. I joked that one of the reasons I homeschooled my kids was because I knew I could not manage a packed lunch every day.

I am content with a piece of bread and cheese, or a bit of cottage cheese, or yogurt and fruit.  It's these other people who want actual lunch. But at least now everyone is old enough, and knows well enough, that I am not going to provide it so they must deal with it on their own. 

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When it's just me and youngest, I can just tell him to grab a sandwich or something... but with everyone home all the time - meals have to be more planned (or people will eat the ingredients intended for some other meals or make themselves something basically the same as planned dinner then balk at dinner or .... they're all spoiled and annoying lol) and .... so it comes back to being a regular family meal. And it comes back to me being responsible for it. 

Yes, my kids can cook but it doesn't work out for every meal. 

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Lunches have become a weekly routine around here.  Everyone knows what is for lunch each day of the week, except weekends.  When I was a kid my mom always did sandwiches and fruit every day, although on weekends we would sometimes get canned soup.

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This is going to sound awful, but I hate trying to feed my 17 year old.  They like (as in enough to be willing to eat) relatively few things, and they get bored easily and then will drop that food.  They weren't a picky eater as a toddler or small child, but they've become increasingly picky as they have gotten older.  They also don't feel hunger really, so if nobody hands them food, they just don't eat, and then they feel crappy.  

It's not an eating disorder in the sense of body image issues or wanting to lose weight, and when they find something they like, they're very happy, but most of what they will eat is simple carbs or chicken, and it just is so frustrating trying to get more than one meal a day into them.  And I genuinely worry about how this child will live independently if nobody hands them food that is just exactly right.  

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I agree. I hate lunch! 

Recently, I've started having one thing around as "lunch seeds" for us. There's me plus five kids, as well as DH, who is working from home now. I may throw some rice or two pounds of beans in the instant pot, or ds8 might make a double-batch of cornbread. The key is that there is *something* to start with and kids go from there. That has helped alleviate the stress. 

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41 minutes ago, theelfqueen said:

When it's just me and youngest, I can just tell him to grab a sandwich or something... but with everyone home all the time - meals have to be more planned (or people will eat the ingredients intended for some other meals or make themselves something basically the same as planned dinner then balk at dinner or .... they're all spoiled and annoying lol) and .... so it comes back to being a regular family meal. And it comes back to me being responsible for it. 

Yes, my kids can cook but it doesn't work out for every meal. 

Yes, that is a problem. I keep a list of what's for dinner every day so everyone knows what not to eat, and will also verbally warn someone I see eyeing the contents of the fridge. There is also a white board on the fridge with a list of any leftovers that must be eaten (with their freeze or toss date). My husband, at least, knows to start there.  

None of us actually cook anything for lunch; we might reheat or cook something frozen which is basically reheating. But there are only 3-4 of us around so it's pretty easy. 

 

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I cook a family meal once a day.  It’s always dinner, except for Sunday.  Dh and ds are picky eaters, dd17 has to eat gluten-free, and dd4 is currently in therapy for Sensory Food Aversion.  They know that if they want something for breakfasts or lunches to put it on my grocery list.  Even dd4 can make reasonable requests.  It’s hard enough to plan 1 meal a day so that everyone gets a decent meal they can/will eat.  Don’t feel bad about providing things they can fix themselves for lunch.

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I don't make lunch.  I cook really large suppers and we eat leftovers for lunch.  My suppers are so large that I cook about 5 of them most weeks and that covers all lunches and suppers for the rest of the week.  When having lunch, everyone eats the lunch leftovers in the order they were served.  So if it's Wednesday and we still have leftovers from Monday, people have to eat that before starting on Tuesday nights supper leftovers.  It works really well.  On the rare (like once or twice a year) that I get caught without enough leftovers, there is things like bread for grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or frozen pizza.  But really just cooking large suppers has solved all my lunch dilemmas.

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The best homeschool decision I ever made was putting DD who was then 13 in charge of lunch every school day. She gets to pick what they have and she makes it and I no longer have anything to do with it except making sure staple ingredients are on hand most of the time and replenished when they're out. I call it her home ec and it's great! Now that she's older and has more school work, the next DD in line has the job. 

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As soon as our kids were old enough to manage a fork and knife, they were pretty much responsible for their own lunches.  When we homeschooled, we all had lunch around the same time -- we took off for about an hour.  I generally had some kind of leftovers and week-long pot of soup or beans they could take from, but then they'd create their own lunches.  I had simple ingredients on-hand.  Often some of the kids would "partner up" and make meals together or for each other.  They were simple lunches:  soup, burritos, beans and rice, sandwiches, etc. 

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Thing one, I've never seen it written that Nestle Drumstick ice cream cones and pie are not appropriate lunch...

But seriously, we started food combining years ago, so when it's just me and my dc, we're following those rules, eating starches for lunch, proteins and low starch veges for dinner. So then it's very clear what we're supposed to eat and when we're off. Our usual lunches are things like bean burritoes (I splurge because Trader Joe has them and it's just the two of us), baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, pasta, lima beans and corn, rice pilaf, kale, etc. 

If my dh comes home for lunch, all bets are off as he proceeds to cook a pound of meat for himself to make carnivore's delight (some kind of meat/bean/cheese filled burrito thing) for his lunch. If he does that, then I just switch and serve whatever I would have done for lunch for dinner. So the potatoes might turn into potato soup, just to make them a fuzz swankier, or he'll show up to rice pilaf and limas/corn. If I'm particularly miffed, I'll serve split pea soup, the perpetual easy/cheap favorite.

Maybe you could make a list of 6 stupid easy, cheap lunch meals and just rotate through them? We eat pasta once a week on Sundays. It's just our thing and what we do. If there are leftovers, we eat that for lunches the following days. It's super easy to make baked pasta using 1 bag of pasta (I use rice pasta) to 1 jar marinara. Add some spices and whatever you have lying around (kale, spinach, veges, pepperoni, cottage cheese, anything) and bake with cheese on top till bubbly. 

-baked pasta

-potatoes or sweet potatoes in instant pot

-tomato soup (open a couple cans and doctor or make your own from scratch which is surprisingly easy)

-hummus on rice cakes or baby carrots

-bell pepper strips

-bean burritoes

-lima beans and corn (succotash)

-rice pilaf (throw in veges if you want)

-cans of soup

-cans of baked beans

-pie

-Drumsticks

-corn dogs

To me, if someone wants more rice, potatoes, lima beans, etc. I'm in the fine camp, lol. They're cheap. You could premake and freeze burritoes to make them economical. I make my rice in the instant pot with the whole bag and then divide and freeze it into servings. Super easy to heat up. You could use that rice for bean and rice burritos. You could make them ahead and freeze. 

I know someone who actually made two MEALS every day. Like a protein, full MEAL for lunch and another protein, full meal for dinner! Not my cuppa. We need variety in our diets. I like okra, so I keep bags of that around too for soup. The trick with frozen veges is to rinse them first (unless they're organic) to get the detergents off that make them taste bitter. So maybe you need some of those economical, filling meals to try, things that aren't too hard to make. Rice pilaf is like a 5 minute good. I keep peas as a staple and throw them in the bowls to help cool the rice, hehe. With that and hummus and carrots you're totally good to go.

I admit, my ds is a little skinny on this food, but he seems to be fine. He has the backups of ice cream and cans of baked beans, lol.

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Several years ago, I made this resolution to get better at lunch. I made a list of lunches. I committed to making a hot lunch most days. We started eating really well at lunch and watching documentaries while we ate and eating on time. It was great.

Then I stopped making dinner. Oops.

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We struggle with lunches, too. "Mom, what is there to eat?" every. single. day. 

Mine are old enough to prepare their food on their own--IF I have something they are willing to eat. Fortunately, we have been living off of Thanksgiving leftovers lately. This is SHOCKING to me because normally my people hate eating leftovers from supper. So I'm enjoying a reprieve.

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6 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

When it's just me and youngest, I can just tell him to grab a sandwich or something... but with everyone home all the time - meals have to be more planned (or people will eat the ingredients intended for some other meals or make themselves something basically the same as planned dinner then balk at dinner or .... they're all spoiled and annoying lol) and .... so it comes back to being a regular family meal. And it comes back to me being responsible for it. 

Yes, my kids can cook but it doesn't work out for every meal. 

Ahhh.  Now I get your problem.  I was going to say, I don't make lunch that is on your own.    Can you just write down what they can have?  Or a do not eat list?  Then they are on their own.  Or just have them eat leftovers.  

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