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Topic: School Days Challenge entry: LUNCH MACHINE!!!  (Read 6263 times)
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« on: September 10, 2012 03:00:27 PM »

I have 3 younguns in school (1 in preschool) & my mortal enemy is MAKING LUNCHES.  It's like a parenting pop quiz every morning, when I'm already not at my best, "What do we have?  Is it fresh, whole grain, low sugar, low salt, not embarrassing, of a color found in nature, not too much packaging?"  To combat this enemy I give you...
The Lunch Machine!

It's a 3-part flip book, like ones my kids have to make silly outfits on people or fantastic bug bodies, but this one makes meals.

I took apart a 4-color spiral bound book of index cards, cut 3 sets of the colored pages into thirds (with a little more shaved off so that the pages would turn easily), turned the covers inside out & rebound it.  **Keep 4 year olds away from the binding coil if you want to use it again.  Ask me how I know.

I left the remaining color of pages intact (pink in my case) & meant to put them in back, but did it in front instead. 

I had the kids help fill in the pages by section:  orange = proteins, yellow = grains, green = fruit/ veggies.  We came up with so many simple things, I was surprised.  I listed condiments ("No, jelly is a condiment, it is not a fruit, it says so on the condiment list!")  and treats guidelines (no more than 2 cookies, etc).  And bust my britches, it works!!  The kids are responsible for their own lunch creations & are learning how much they can eat in the short lunch period.  Their combos can be weird (tortillas, cream cheese, red peppers), but this honey badger DON'T CARE.

It's most certainly not the most 'crafty' of creations, but there is a direct & opposite corollary between how much time you spend on something & how much a kid will like/ wear it (ask any knitter). 

Now all we need is a Lunch Machine tracking device (it's named after the scene where PeeWee Herman makes his breakfast in 'Big Adventure', called Breakfast Machine, BTW).
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012 04:18:38 PM »

I think this is brilliant! I could use one myself!

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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012 09:02:11 PM »

This is the smartest thing I've seen in a really long time. Awesome job!
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Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?

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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012 09:06:05 PM »

Fantastic idea!
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012 09:32:42 PM »

Brilliant new idea.  I think lots of mums will bless you for that. And their children too of course  Wink
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012 09:33:49 PM by elderflower » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012 12:22:45 PM »

Great idea.  So often have a fridge full of food, but just get burnt out on ideas.  This is like an inspiration machine!
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2012 06:26:23 AM »

What a great idea!

« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2012 09:28:23 PM »

Very smart! I like it. Takes the decision-making part out and puts something fun in its place. Very nice!
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012 05:08:42 AM »

I want to come through the computer and give you a huge hug!! This is brilliant!! I'm a stay at home mom, and I've been getting really burnt out trying to figure out lunch and supper for my toddler. I think your creation may have just saved my life! I can't thank you enough for this amazing idea!!
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2012 08:48:55 PM »

Thanks for the appreciation!!  We've been using it all month now & it's working great.  Also helps when food shopping-- kids tell me when we're out of something they want that's in the book!  Hope you can make one & it works for you!
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