Guess what my 22-month-old chose for his lunch today? A small piece of bread, some Honey Grahams cereal, and a handful of Reese's Pieces. Hmmmmm. Sounds close enough to a peanut butter and honey sandwich for me. He ate it, too. I felt like I stepped directly out of the Bill Cosby routine where he gives his kids chocolate cake for breakfast: "Hmmm, eggs, flour, milk...that's nutrution!" Sure--bread, peanut butter in the candy, and honey from the cereal--it works. I doubt my husband would agree with my logic.
I hate making lunch for my kids. There--I've said it. I, a stay-at-home mom, go against all conventional images of mom's who choose to be at home and state my position on the mid-day meal. I guess most of it stems from the fact that my three sons won't all eat the same thing, but I think some of it comes from my lack of confidence as a nutritionist. All moms obsess about food with their first child. You know how it is: no cereal until 4 months, start with vegetables and then go to fruit, no milk products until 1, then no orange juice or peanut butter until 2, restrict juice intake, and so on and so on. You'll jump through any hoop to ensure that your child will be as strong and healthy as possible--no early onset of heart disease or diabetes.
I followed "the books" religiously with my first son. He was pretty picky for a while, but he's now nine and will eat most anything I fix. He still has his dislikes, and I try to respect them within reason. My second son got pretty much the same feeding program as the first, with a few exceptions. (Is it normal/healthy to allow your 15-month-old to eat an entire jar of green olives all by himself?) He turned out to be an incredibly picky eater. I don't know how he does it, but the kid survives on cereal, chocolate milk (Ovaltine) and fruit snacks--literally. He'll occasionally throw in a ham sandwich, some baby carrots, and some applesauce, but that's it. I worry that his skinny little body isn't getting what it needs, but he's still growing taller and taller.
So given that my other two sons have thrived in spite of my efforts, it's no wonder that when son number three came along I started to not care. Not that I gave him uncut grapes at 6 months or anything, but I didn't have a heart attack if he took a bite of my peanut butter toast. In fact, he'll be two in October and is the only one of my three boys who LIKES nuts! I wouldn't have know this except that my RN sister, who should know better, has been feeding him nuts at her house and proudly announced to me that Tommy likes them.
Knowing that my kids seem to be healthy regardless what I feed them or what they eat when I'm not there, it seems almost pointless to make lunch a big deal. You want chocolate chip cookies with milk for breakfast? Sure, honey. How about some ice cream on your waffles?