The latest dilemma for us parents is not just in providing a healthy lunchbox, we now have to provide a packed tea!!
Last week school activities reached an all time peak for Tuna. Not only does she play netball, sing in the choir, play in the orchestra and run for cross country, she was selected to go and perform at the Royal Albert Hall as well. This naturally meant lots of extra rehearsals after school, leaving little time for homework etc, but us parents always think, “oh, but what an opportunity!” So we agree to these extras with little thought for what this will mean logistically on a daily basis! and not forgetting with the other family dynamics – we have Spike and King Julien too!
The letter came home. She would need: lunch before they left school (no food on the coach please!), mid afternoon snack and a packed tea. She would be gone from school at around 11am and not return home until after 11pm, so it was going to be a very long day.
Challenge for the parents was to give the children involved a lunch that would keep them going, a mid-afternoon snack to be eaten after the dress rehearsal, and a packed tea, to be quickly eaten before the performance. Hopefully I would provide her with enough fodder, so that she would last the whole performance without her stomach rumbling at the most quiet moments!
How embarassing would that have been!
Luckily to help us out, the school agreed that whatever the children ate for lunch, that all the waste and containers for this could be left at school and collected the following day, so we did not have to try and squeeze three meals into one lunchbox! We would all have failed if that was the challenge!!
As tea would be eaten in London, the whole of the packed tea had to be disposable. In total contrast to my recent posting – the low waste lunch challenge, this was to be the high waste packed tea challenge!
After much thought I came up with a solution : pasta salad for lunch, followed by a sandwich tea.
The pasta lunch would give her lots of energy (hopefully), was all in containers that would come back home (unless they were lost at school) and the sandwich tea would be quick and easy, in plastic bags, juice in cartons, etc, etc, all in one large named plastic bag to be thrown away.
Providing the low waste lunch did appease my guilt a little when creating the high waste tea. All the time in the media we are being encouraged to reduce, re-use, recycle, yet the school are encouraging us to do the opposite. Gosh it is a difficult one, as whatever we do, there is always the practical side that must be taken into consideration. There are always exceptions to the rule, such as these day trips away from school.
Everything in moderation I say, and do whatever you can for the environment when you can. Above all make sure you are happy in your own skin!