Sending the kids back to school can be bittersweet, and not just because September marks the passing of another summer when they were an age they’ll never be again. The relief parents may feel at getting the little guys out of the house and on schedule again is tempered by the return of what can be the most dreaded daily chore: packing school lunches. And as fathers increasingly take on the role of house chef, they are also getting stuck with this inescapable daily task.
So how do some dads manage to send their kids off with the superior lunchtime swag? For a start, we suggest forgetting the crustless PB&Js and let your own taste guide you. Following your own food style will teach a child to follow his bliss — or he’ll be so embarrassed by his lunch he’ll start “forgetting” his lunch box at home. Either way, you’ll have your little one making and packing up his own lunch in no time, a plus for you, and some of your creativity will surely have rubbed off.
Like so many other moments in your child’s life, the time you have control over their lunch is fleeting. So enjoy it. You’ll look back in this as one brief shining moment in your life as a dad.
Every day this week, we’ll roll out five sample menus here catered by different dads’ eating styles. First up, below, is the most devoted lunchbox, from the stay-at-home dad.
Stay at Home Dad
You’re the full-time caretaker, you work from the house, or a combination of both. We understand the stay at home dad whose time is devoted to parenting, or is just procrastinating getting other things done, can get pretty creative with the kids’ lunches. So go ahead, cut the sandwiches into stars, sculpt a rocket ship out of a banana, spell out “I Love You” with shelled edamame. We just might get a little worried when you start spending all night taking pictures of your daughter’s Bento Box to post on the new lunch box blog you’re calling Daddy’s Delights.