i asked quinn about his preferences for what kinds of foods he’d like to pack in his lunchbox for school, and we ended up having a splendid conversation. first, i told him my reason for making a list, which was both to refresh my memory on days when i couldn’t remember what to pack, and also to remind me not to pack any nuts or peanut butter, since ols is a nut-free school. i explained that one of the children in his school is allergic to nuts, so we all are going to bring foods that aren’t nuts in our lunches.
“well, it’s when a certain food makes a person sick whenever they eat it. i think this particular child even gets sick being around nuts, not just eating them, and gets very sick if he or she eats nuts, and so we want to keep this child safe.” he seemed to understand.
we talked about other forms of protein- easter eggs, sun butter, cream cheese, cheese sticks, yogurt… we discussed fruity things like jam, berries, applesauce, peaches, plums, apples (he let me know he only wanted fresh ones or applesauce, not dried apples in his lunch), melon (!!!), and grapes (“yes, occasionally, if they’re red.”)
crunchy things are his favorites. pretzels (“yes, a lot of pretzels, tons and tons of pretzels, because i love pretzels!”), tortilla chips, crackers, bunnies, sunflower seed-trail mix without nuts, and “pack 1700 of those ranch chips every day. or 100. dada knows how to make 100.” good to know, in case i get stuck.
other things that would be a-ok with him: noodles with butter, macaroni and cheese, rice.
veggies: how about carrots? “i’m allergic to those things.” oh, i see. cucumbers? “maybe occasionally now and then.” right. beets? “yes, but only if they’re mixed in mac and cheese.” um, ok, noted. backing slowly away from the delicate subject of veggies and deciding to simply apologize later if i choose the wrong ones…
snack/dessert items like barnacles (our family name for granola bars… “yes, chewy barnacles”) muffins/sweet bread. “occasionally now and then a honey melon muffin. with honey melon in it.” (right, like you have ever once refused a muffin of any kind! and i have never put melon in a muffin! ahem.) i reminded myself out loud and on paper not to add nuts to barnacles or muffins, and he replied, “and actually, i don’t like nuts, so i guess there’s two people in my school who can’t have nuts: me, and another child that we don’t know yet.” since this is totally bogus, i am hoping it just means he doesn’t want the other child to feel lonely, or is attempting some empathy, which would be fantastic news.
meats? maybe on a sandwich? “turkey!” ok, how about chicken? “yes but only if it’s mixed with rice and apples and mac and cheese, and only the inside of the meat just in case i don’t want spicy outside.” (is he pulling my leg with that combo?) what else… fish? “no fish. i’m allergic to the bones.”
“if you took the entire thing of bones… if you take all of the bones in the fish out, i would eat it.” okey dokey, allergic to fish bones mcgee!
why do i get the feeling this list is going to evolve (or devolve?) rapidly over time?