My post for the Make Lunch - Not War BBF Blog Hop was inspired by my children in many different ways. For one, neither my daughter nor my son have been drawn exclusively to toys or colors associated with gender "norms". Before attending preschool and kindergarten and experiencing social expectations and pressures of peers, my daughter always said her favorite color was blue and she loved reptiles. She had a strong interest in everything related to dinosaurs, snakes, lizards, etc. She didn't select dolls for toys; instead she preferred Legos, collections of animal related toys, and "scary things" like pirates and snakes. My son on the other hand has enjoyed playing house, caring for dolls, and playing dress up. At age three, pink is his favorite color and Disney Princesses are just as fun to him as construction vehicles (which he calls "mighty machines") and fire trucks.
Another inspiration for this post occurred on a recent afternoon when my children were outside singing to each other. They often watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood together and they were singing a song from an episode which emphasizes the importance of simply liking one another. My daughter had her arm around my son and she was singing, "I like you. I like you just the way you are." My son then repeated the song to her. It was a sweet, genuine moment, and thanks to the convenience of cell phone cameras, I was able to get the quick snapshot above to save the memory.
That evening I packed a fairly ordinary lunch for my daughter in a single tier MyBentoMeal box. It held ham, pretzels, crackers, grapes, orange pepper slices, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, and lettuce.
Along with the lunch, I included a piece of string cheese and a blank Lunchbox Love note on which I wrote the line she and my son had been singing.
For the breakfast my son took to daycare the next morning, I tried to convey the same message, but without words since he does not read yet. In a pink Sassy box, he had orange slices, chocolate covered sunflower seeds and spring colored yogurt covered raisins in a pink cherry silicone cup. He also had Frosted Mini Wheats, orange pepper slices, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, raspberries, and blackberries, with a heart ring nestled in. He loves berries; it is fun to shop for produce with him because he gets so excited!
In honor of the topic for this hop and my pirate loving girl, I packed a pirate themed lunch in a blue Sassy box for my daughter. She has a sealed peanut butter sandwich decorated with food safe markers to look like a pirate map (two hershey kisses in blue wrappers are near the X on the map for her own little "treasure"). Blueberries are placed on blue spears and a pirate hat sits atop her celery, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, peas, and carrots. Apple slices and spinach leaves are also included along with a little alligator pick that is "biting" a cucumber slice.
And, in honor of my preschooler who currently thinks "sparkle shoes" and "princess hats" (crowns) are beautiful and fun, I packed the following lunch in our new pink Yumbox. He has pink yogurt, blueberries on sparklly slipper picks sitting above apple slices, carrots radishes, snap peas, cucumber slices on a crown pick, mini Triscuits, red pepper slices, a small orange pepper piece, and a granola bar with a pink, glittery heart pick.
I included the following LunchBox Joke with my daughter's lunch. It asks "Why is U the happiest letter?" and the answer is "Because it's in the middle of FUN. I think this little joke fits this hop because when children say that they like various topics, things, or colors, they are simply trying to have fun while pursuing an interest and learning about the world. There should be no harm in exploring or enjoying areas outside the gender norms of our particular times and society.
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