The Lunch Box — M&Ms?

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“Mommy,” said my child at dinner, lima bean poised on fork, “I like M&Ms.” She then pops the lima bean into her mouth and eats it.

“M&Ms?” I replied. “Oh, not me, I like peas. Are you going to eat that one?” I take a pea off her mixed vegetable stack. This is not 100 percent accurate, I don’t like peas better than chocolate, but I can fake it for the greater good here. It’s a lot less of a lie than hiding spinach in brownies.

Internally, I am fuming, again, at her teacher, who just yesterday sent my child home with disgusting “Nerdz.” I never taught my child the brand name for M&Ms. She knows dark chocolate, but not that.

Across the table, the Kid is frowning. “That’s not an M&M,” she said. And, I finally realize what she’s talking about. “Oh! Edamame!” Duh, Mommy, her favorite veggie. Once, as we were driving, she even handed me up a half-eaten, soggy chocolate cupcake (store bought) and asked if I would make her edamame when we got home. I nearly swerved off the road. But, she was right, the cupcake was pretty nasty, even before it became a soggy mess. It’s amazing what a Mom will reach out her hand for and retrieve from the backseat.

“Yes! Can I have some edmummee?”

“Sure, Honey.” Whew. Am I going to tell her the truth of what M&Ms really are? Not a chance. I am sure somebody will do that for me soon enough — probably at school.

The Lunch Box recipe — “Soyccatash” after the jump.

1 cube low sodium, organic vegetable bouillon
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
2 cups frozen edamame
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 tbs. unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs. chopped basil
1/4 cup water

Boil the edamame in salted water for six minutes. Add corn two minutes before the edamame is done. Drain and set aside in bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tbs. butter and the bouillon cube to the saucepan. Stir to dissolve the bouillon. Add the red pepper and onion to the saucepan and cook until the onions are fragrant and transluscent, about a couple minutes. Add the edamame and corn to the saucepan and toss to combine well. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add the chopped basil. This can be served hot, room temperature or even cold. Which makes it a great side for the lunch box.

4 thoughts on “The Lunch Box — M&Ms?”

  1. Ya know, I think I prefer edamame to chocolate, actually. But I’m sort of a freak like that. However, when I was your daughter’s age, my favorite food was bologna. So, go figure.

  2. Me – I love edamame, going to our local farm, etc etc, although I came to this stance much more militantly after having kids. But my oldest? From day 1, prefers the sweet fake stuff, and she can sniff out these things from a mile away. Now in kindergarten, it is the school that has complicated things so much; off she goes with the lunch box, carefully packed with balanced nutrition, and home it comes, uneaten with candy wrappers shoved in the pocket. Lunch trading, without the swap. I’m finding it so hard to walk that line of not forbidding something so much it becomes her challenge to sneak it (because wow does she love to assert her independence!). Power struggles with a 6 year old over food just don’t end well…sigh. Somebody tell me that what the nutritionist tells me is correct: what they see us eating and what we offer will become what they turn back to later on, even if it’s not working now.

  3. I will tell you that: The good news is, parental influence still rates higher than peers even as children grow up. Parents and their children share 76-87 percent of food likes. But only 19 percent of shared likes occurred among adolescent friendships. Most of these preferences shared with peers were for snack foods.

    It is hard, but likely these snack preferences will lesson as your child’s tastes mature. If you want to read more, this article is helpful:

  4. I was grinning my face off reading this. Not over the fact that junk food gets handed down through school, but over her asserting her food preferences. Too sweet (and off to a good start)!

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