When my kids went back to school this fall they didn't "score an A in fashion" as the clothing industry would like me to believe they should. They don't have designer jeans or snazzy brand-named sneakers. Instead they went back to school wearing hand-me-downs, pre-loved clothes from consignment stores and last year's shoes (they still fit!) Last year's backpack (a high quality one from REI) works just fine thank you very much. The only new thing was a nice durable lunch box from Land's End.
When my 8 year old opens that new lunch box at school, he won't be able to "unwrap a smile" (with Little Debbie snack cakes), "snack strong" (with Doritos) or "dip into fun" (with Nabisco Handi-Snacks). He won't have the excitement of opening up a Lunchables, a product I don't buy even though it "feeds their day". I wonder, will my son be ridiculed because he has peanut butter and honey on wheat instead of fancy, schmancy (unhealthy) Uncrustables? Will he be embarrassed because he has a reusable container of crackers instead of a disposable bag of chips? Frito-Lay may think they "grow the best snacks on earth" but I beg to differ. Those "dangerously cheesy" Cheetos? Plain old dangerous is more like it.
Sorry dear! No pudding cups or tubes of squeezable goo. No soda-pop or sugary 'juice' drinks. No bags of snacks in neon colors and crazy shapes. A cereal bar might sneak its way in there every once in awhile but that's about the extent of my pre-packaged snack inventory.
We've been conditioned to believe that we need to buy all this stuff in order to be 'good' Moms....for our kids to "be cool for back2school"!! It can be hard to resist the attractive ads and the seductive tag-lines. The pressure's on...buy MORE, buy NEW and buy NOW!! But at what price?? To fill up the landfill with discarded, out-of-fashion clothes? To fill our children's stomachs with unhealthy, processed food?
Lucky for me my two boys (aged 8 and almost 4) don't give a hoot about what they wear. (..and yes I realize that it would be a whole different ball game if I had teenage girls!) The snacks are a little tougher, especially when they see other kids that have them. But I stick to my 'green' values and keep packing those healthy, waste-free lunches and keep my fingers crossed that my kids will thank me for it someday!
(lunch box photo from laptoplunches.com)