My daughter started pre-K this year. Every day, I pack her lunch. I pack it for a number of reasons, but mostly, because I want to know what she is eating. Since the first day of school, she hasn’t touched her lunch. Seriously! Nothing eaten at all. It started on the first day of school. When I asked her why she didn’t eat, she said she couldn’t get her lunch box open, and she was too scared to ask for help. My heart was crushed. I was sad that her belly was hungry all day. I wasn’t even thinking it would be hard to open when I bought her the super cute lunch box that zipped on the side. After my cry fest, I decided to buy her a lunch box with a snazzy velcro opening. When she came home again with a full lunch box, I was puzzled. I called her teacher and asked if they could pay extra attention to my hungry baby. She assured me she would watch the best she could, but she doesn’t go to lunch with them. She also let me know they have snack time later in the day, and sometimes my daughter eats and sometimes she doesn’t.
Now we’re halfway through the school year and she still isn’t eating her lunch. She eats well for breakfast and dinner at home, and she gets upset when I ask about lunchtime. We’ve packed different things, her favorite things, and she still comes home with a full lunch box. I have even gone to peek in to see her at lunchtime, without her seeing me. She just sits there looking around. After worrying for some time, I spoke with a dietitian. She assured me that a healthy child will not starve themselves. She told me that parents are responsible for what to eat, when to eat and where to eat, while the child is responsible for how much to eat. I’ve decided to stop bringing it up. Who knows? Maybe she doesn’t like eating in front of people. All I can do is make sure food is available to her.