This year (pleeeeease let me stick with it this time), I have sat down with the boys at the beginning of the week and made a lunch list for the week. Art stays at school because he likes to have more time to play with his friends but Macboy thoroughly enjoys any break from the day that he can get, so he comes home.
History has taught us that if we don't discuss it much, my kids will eat the same bologna sandwich every day for months without complaining, then one day it will just stop. You know that moment where it's like "if I ever see another piece of bologna again...." It's not that I force feed them the same thing every day. I don't. I ask them every morning what they want, and they tell me. I'm not awake enough in the morning to even think that it's the same thing they've eaten for the last 476 days straight. They are not allowed peanut butter, and are picky eaters, so I'm kind of screwed for ideas.
Oh, wait.... I should have said grilled cheese. Or anything else. My kids still willingly eat bologna everyday even if it's not in a sandwich. I've gone through at least a package every week for the last .... oh.... 6 years. haha
(wish I was kidding)
I talked to them about the importance of variety, getting a good assortment of foods in and absorbing different nutrients and blah, blah, blah....
We started with a general list of 'acceptable' ideas, which I have kept and will add to as we find more variety, then we listed the days of the week and chose their lunch picks for the week. When we got to Friday, I added a 'Surprise Lunch' The big surprise is that I don't have a clue what the surprise is either.... I haven't decided yet. It depends on the amount left in the paycheck after the bills clear!
Art has asked to come home for lunch on Fridays, I agreed on the basis of Surprise Lunch days, but not necessarily every Friday. We would discuss in advance as the year goes on. I know he likes to come home, but it all depends on the day. If he had a super morning recess he wants to continue it at lunch, if it wasn't so great, he wants to come home. For a few weeks last year, he figured I could come into the school to check with him. Ummmm..... No. I don't go there to pick up Macboy, so I would have to go out of my way to see IF he was having fun or not. I finally put my foot down and made him come home everyday. And of course, because Art will argue with everything just for the sake of practicing his english, both of those months, he wanted to stay almost every day.
I don't want to get into a rut for food, and I need to expand Macboys cooking skills a bit. Lunch is a great time for this. Most of the time it is just him and I and the Angel Baby, so I've been teaching him how to make more of his own food. There will be a time not too far from now that he will need to make his own lunches everyday.
I couldn't eat the same thing every single day.... I'd go nuts! So, I'm working on making sure they don't repeat their meals too much either. Plus it saves me time every day, I don't have to guess, I know I have what I need. They get more time with mom because I'm ready. Win, Win, Win.