Feed their imagination too!

I feel bombarded. Spiderman Cheese Nips. Batman Doritos. Power Rangers Everything.  And on and on. Of course they want, want, want.

I choose to give my son the experience of these superheros…but with a difference. He gets his superhero experience on his lunchbox, not with the food’s that in it.    I started teaching at a rather early age that real superheroes need the best food to be…superheros!  So I have a small collection of superhero lunchboxes, water and juice holders and stickers.  So he gets the superhero experience without eating the superhero junk food.  Yes, that lunch box you see here is actually a Spiderman lunchbox, but it’s turned around so you’ll have to just trust me on this.

I have also seen too many apple and fruit slices come home brown  so I incorporate those into breakfast.  The whole thing seems to be working.  Now in third grade and 8 years old, my son is rarely sick, is 5’3″ and is growing so quickly, I could almost measure him daily.

No I don’t have a lot of time on my hands. I’m sure no one reading this does. And obviously everyone who reads Mrs. Q is doing their best to feed their children the best they can. I don’t sit on lunch review committees or am an activist that way.  I’m a one to one activist. Just me and my son. It’s great to see so many parents and caregivers take this so seriously. I’ve taken my son’s lunch seriously even when the lunchbox was almost as big as him!

A miraculous side note. Not once have we ever forgot his lunch. A big sign on the back of front door works wonders. Change it every so often so you don’t get too used to it.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found that feeding my son’s imagination is one reason why he’s perfectly happy to eat lunch food that’s good for him. Even when I’m not around…well I can hope, can’t I? I invite your comments and thanks for reading! ~Mike

All snapshots © LaMonica Productions, Inc.

26 Responses to “Feed their imagination too!”

  1. Organic School Project Says:

    Getting kids to eat the healthy food is just as important as getting the healthy food into the school. Your superhero lunchboxes and message to your kid that this is the food superheroes eat is very creative and seems to be working!

    The Organic School Project takes the approach of using recipes that kids are familiar with and enjoy, but using healthier ingredients in the recipe… such as fresh fruit and produce instead of canned.

    Good job! thanks for the creative ideas

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Thank you so much for your comments. But bigger thanks for what you are doing in a larger sense! This experience has been an important and instructive eye opener for me. In your post, you referred to the childhood obesity issue. I wanted to share with you a wonderful message from The United Way and the NFL. It addresses another side to this and that is the importance of exercise for our children. I actually included in a recent post of mine, but I will share it with you here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCCgYHpeuTQ. As I said in the blog party, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet.” Thanks for your work and for your approach to this issue that is so important to so many of us. ~Mike

  2. jean Says:

    mike, you rock! great advice and solutions to the deluge that is american marketing…bravo!

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Thanks so much! From a textbook standpoint, I find my post to be the weakest I’ve read. But perhaps my post might resonate because I am primarily in the marketing business. All I did was take what was readily there and use it to my son’s advantage. I have huge praise for marketers who support the healthier eating initiative. I said it during the blog party and I’ll say it again: “My son’s health is not for sale.” Even though we’re a time zone apart, I’m glad this issue has brought us together. ~Mike

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Twitter Trackbacks…

  4. Perla Terzian Says:

    Great post and good ideas for my little one. It’s incredible how easily they are manipulated into the cool character wrappers even at 22 months. I’m big on limited sugar intake and healthy snacks. Let’s hope I can extend it for as long as you have. Great idea with the lunchboxes and sticky notes!

  5. Rebecca Kollaras Says:

    What a great post Mike! Often we get caught in the protocol, the repetition of our daily lives missing the adventure of the simple things like a Spider Man lunchbox. Thanks for dialing it back and reminding us to embrace the opportunity to be creative in a way that counts. My daughter was born prematurely at 32 weeks. She was just 4.5 pounds at birth. With some careful attention, good nutrition and lots of love, she’s a thriving (nearly) six year old who is now off the charts with her growth and development. Healthy samples from the food groups rather than the Disney Channel, have made it work.

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Thanks for throwing your hat into my little ring! I think you hit it when you said the word “love”. Love is the most nutritious thing we can feed our children and it’s obvious that you do.

      I encourage you to follow @fedupwithlunch on Twitter. Both Mrs Q. and several others are off the charts themselves. They are keeping the spotlight on this issue that is important to so many of us parents and caregivers. Your daughter wouldn’t be off the charts without you and…here’s to the simple things! ~Mike

  6. Mike LaMonica Says:

    No, thank you for hosting. To me, it’s looking like everyone’s a winner! ~Mike

  7. Mrs. Q Says:

    Very, very cool. Thanks for sharing! Good point about the sign on the door. I did that when I first started taking my son to daycare. Thanks for participating!

  8. Jennifer Says:

    Well written my friend. From the looks of the ever-growing Diego, your take on properly feeding and nurturing a “superhero” is obviously a brilliantly masterminded plan! I was, unfortunately, fed on the school lunch program …so very quickly I managed a system to trade up daily to the fabulous lunches my friends brought from home. My friends were clueless and like anything to kids, what they don’t have….they want! Can you even imagine wanting crappy school pizza??? I, on the other hand, enjoyed every handmade egg salad sami, grapes, cookies and occasionally the “bonus” that was meant for my unappreciative, non-foodie friends. OH…..but one more thing…..what’s the dealio with PB+J being banned, sorry peanut allergies, that’s just blasphemy!! Long live brown baggers!

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      And we have the West Coast ringin’ in! I have too many years under my belt to remember what I ate at school. These days, it’s against school policy to share food. But I know they do, so good for them! Probably kinda like prison where they secretly pass “kites” from one cell to another. Maybe I watch too much “Lockup” on MSNBC, ya think?

      As I understand it, peanut allergies is serious stuff. Here is an article from http://www.allergicchild.com: http://www.allergicchild.com/peanut_allergy.htm.

      That’s it for now. Huge of you to stop by and thanks! ~Mike

  9. Palmbchgirl Says:

    Another great and intresting post Mike…The only suggestion I have is maybe slipping a little note in his lunch each day, (doesn’t have to be every day) short and sweet, it could be words of encouragement or just to tell him you love him and thinking of him…I’m sure it will make him smile and he will look forward to eating his healthy lunch!

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Hiya and thanks! I used to stick notes in but they got eaten! Now I get the same result when I surprise him with a triple decker sandwich. Must be cut on diagonal though. I’m thinking about sticking a FlipVid HD in there so he can film himself eating the fruit, but that could get expensive…Thanks a chinzillion! ~Mike

  10. christine bucan Says:

    Oh, what to pack for school lunch. Drives me crazy! My daughter refuses to eat what they serve at school and she hates sandwiches. That means I’m standing at the stove at 7 a.m. every morning cooking her pasta or making her soup. She hates anything and everything from a can or sack. I honestly wish she would just eat what they offer at school. (I sound like a bad mom, don’t I?) I know that homemade meals are better for her, but I’m constantly running out of ideas and it makes for some very stressful mornings. Congrats on Diego — he’s already bigger than me!

  11. Chuck Says:

    Good one!

  12. Sueanne Shirzay Says:

    Three kids, all different. One peanut butter addict. One has to have exactly 3 Oreos. Not 2, not 1, not 4. Three. The other one is not aware that anything can go into a sandwich that isn’t Turkey. You don’t want to know what the girl’s lunchboxes have looked like. You’ll lose testosterone reading that. But the boy had to have blue. Just blue. He was the easy one. : ) Sweet post, Mike.

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Wow, something I kind of overlooked. My bad. I really don’t know how parents with more than 1 child do the lunch tango. Or the homework tango. Or any other tango. For me one kid is a lot of kids. To all of you parents out there that do that dance, hats off! Thanks a skabillion and one more thing!

      Regular or Double stuf? ~Mike

  13. Idalma Says:

    Great job.. next you should give us all some ideas of what to put in those cool lunchboxes.. cuz I, for one, am running out of ideas! Doesn’t help that I have the pickiest eater on the planet! She’s all about “Just Say No”.. to fruits and veggies, and recently added to the list.. yogurt! The only thing she’ll eat so far.. salami-and-bread sandwiches, juice, & nutrigrain bar OR a chesse pizza lunchables. Thats it… oh, and I almost forgot.. I do it old skool.. in a brown paper bag, with her name on it.. and a new fun drawing just for her every day! 🙂

  14. Brad Says:

    I still use a Spider-Man lunch box to this day as an adult, gotta give Diego some style points. Great post, Mike!

  15. Jarret Says:

    Great post. I limit the sugar intake with my kids. Fruit and water are always packed. Good food = energy. With active kids they need to right fuel to keep them going through the day and extending to their evening activities. Their brains and body need to function all day long, so why hop them up on sugar?

    Good job Mike!!

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      I know how you take care of yourself. So I would imagine your minis are all set in both the lunch and exercise columns. Thanks for being an example and inspiration to so many of us in the South Florida community. Your dedication is contagious…Thanks for ringing in! ~Mike

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