|Not a FAQ: What the heck does this thing do?|
A: The Boy is a Type 1 Diabetic. Because his pancreas doesn't do it's job (lazy thing), The Hubby and I (and his other caregivers) have to act as his pancreas. The non-diabetic pancreas is a smart little thing, able to sense sugars (ie, from carbohydrates) in the bloodstream and release insulin to break them down. The diabetic pancreas doesn't make insulin, having come under attack from the immune system. So, we have to measure the amounts of carbohydrates The Boy eats, so as to do the best job we can of dosing him with insulin. This is not an exact science, but it is generally a pretty good approximation. The reason I have carb counts on his lunches is so that the school nurse (who checks the blog for the carb counts) can dose him correctly for what he has eaten. Sometimes, I have to make a "S.W.A.G" (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) about the amount of carbs in something, but I don't seem to be too far off most of the time, since The Boy's blood sugars are generally pretty good. I have a kitchen scale that I use to weigh out many of his lunch components, to be more sure of serving size.
Q: Doesn't packing these fancy lunches take a lot of time?
A: Generally, I spend no more than 10 minutes packing both lunches. I work both a full time job, and a part time job, so I understand the need for expediency. Sometimes, I do more fancy lunches, but still, it takes me generally less than half an hour when all is said and done.
Q: But what about your fancy baking?
A: Ok, so some of that takes some time. But, I have a bread machine (which I use to make nearly all of my bread dough), and it is truly set-it-and-forget it. I don't tend to bake *in* the bread machine - I love it to make dough, but I prefer the results from baking in the oven. As far as other things, I can whip up a batch of muffins with the help of my trusty stand mixer in less than half an hour. I really love baking, so it isn't a hassle to me. Cleaning, on the other hand... well, let's just say, we all have our strengths...
Q: Don't your lunches tend to fall on the fruit-heavy side?
A: Yup. My kids love fruit, and I think that lunch is a great time to get a good variety of (mostly) fresh fruit in them. They get the majority of their veggies in dinner (and sometimes in breakfast, if I make smoothies with kale or spinach, for instance...) Sometimes I find a particularly popular recipe for veggies (like my cauliflower popcorn!) that they will eat without problems in lunch, but since lunch is a meal that they have limited time for, and since I am not there to remind them to eat their veggies, the veggies often come home uneaten.. and I hate wasting food. I'm always on the lookout for veggies that they will gobble up in lunch, but until I find that balance, fruit heavy it is. Remember, lunch isn't the only meal they eat all day... they get their diets balanced out during the rest of the day.
Q: Don't the apples go brown in your kids' lunches?
A: My kids don't complain about browned apples, but occasionally, I will use Fruit Fresh, which is an ascorbic acid/Vitamin C powder. It is pretty much tasteless and it works great! You can also dip apples in lemon water or sprite, but my kids don't like that taste.