My daughter has started a new problem with the lunches I pack for each day. She barely touches them. Apparently she’s afraid people will laugh at what she brings.
Here’s the thing, though. No one has.
She has decided on her own that the foods I pack will be laughed at. You see, she’s the only kid, or so she says, who gets fresh vegetables in her lunch.
Old favorites are going ignored. She wouldn’t touch her pasta salad, even though I threw black olives in to attract her attention. All she wants to bring is the canned soups and such I give her if I’m out of time to make something healthy.
And I’ve long been resigned to the fact that this girl who loves my homemade bread will never, ever eat a sandwich. Not even at home, so at least that’s consistent.
The one relief for this year is that she appears to be inventing the peer pressure. She admits to being worried about what the other kids will think of what she’s eating, but also admits that no one has ever said a word to her about it.
I ask her about what the other kids are eating, and she rarely knows. Except for the day a classmate shared fruit snacks with my daughter because my daughter spilled her snack.
This is a tricky situation, but I am determined to use it as a lesson in ignoring peer pressure. Better now when the problem is a matter of her perception, rather than actual teasing, I hope.
I’m determined to find healthy foods that she will eat at school. Sure it’s easy to give in and feed her the canned stuff, but ugh! I don’t like to. I want to keep her eating habits healthy, not lazy.
I’m going to have to experiment on her at home and figure out what she will eat. If it’s a big enough favorite I know she will eat it despite what her friends say. She did the day her friend told her that her pesto chicken looked gross, after all. She loves pesto chicken well enough to not care what others think.
At this age, I figure not giving up is the key. She just won’t take to rational arguments such as “you love it at home” or “if no one has said anything, it’s not a problem.” Six year olds aren’t always the most rational of creatures, after all.
But you can wear down their resistance and show them ways to cope with their problems. Hopefully I can get it to take before the next problem comes up.
Do your kids face peer pressure in bringing lunch to school? How do you cope?