Monday, October 5, 2015

JK Update and Lunches

Well, we're nearly four weeks into JK. There are still some strong emotions rushing through the house, but overall, things have mellowed.

Teagan still has some anxiety over drop off in the mornings. She wavers between being excited about school and telling me she doesn't want to go. We've found a routine that works though. The ECE meets her at the gate of the kindergarten playground and walks her in. She really only has to hold T's hand for those few steps in and then she's fine. On the walk to school, T usually tells me that she's going to be brave. In the evenings and on the weekends, she talks about school very positively. This past weekend, she told me how much she was missing her teacher.

Teagan has been a fantastic source of info into their school life. She has told me all about the different activity centres in the classroom -- the room is split up into several (not sure how many) educational and play areas. She's talked about a writing centre, painting centre, drama corner, carpet construction (building blocks), arts n crafts, play dough. The kids can select to spent one period, about 20 minutes, at a centre. She says that they have to sit quietly on the carpet and raise their hand when the centre of their choice is mentioned. "If you shake your arm or yell 'me, me!', you don't get picked!" She tells me. The girls usually pick different activity centres, but told me that they decided to do carpet construction together the other day. They built a castle with a bird house. Once the period ended and the class had assembled on the carpet, the teacher asked Quinn to explain what they had built. She was apparently feeling shy that day so Teagan jumped up and explained their creation.

When Teagan starts telling me a story about school, Quinn usually chimes in too. She's generally not as willing to share details, unless she's in the mood. I usually ask about lunchtime as well. Apparently, they have a very strict lunch monitor. She might look like a sweet, old grandmother, but from the sounds of it, she's far from it! They must all sit at their placemat -- no moving and no talking! Talking is met with a quick, "zip it!" I can't blame the woman. She's trying to keep 25ish 4 and 5-year olds calm during what could be a very messy and loud lunchtime. After lunch, they head out to the playground. The playground stories are usually my favourite. The girls do share some friends, but seem to have made their own friends as well. I only wish I could be a fly on the wall of that playground! Teagan has become good friends with the daughter of one of my childhood friends. It has definitely brought back memories!

I've been thrilled to learn that they get a ton of outdoor playtime. They are usually out for close to an hour after lunch. They also get one or two other outdoor playtimes during the day, between free play and gym class. It sounds like the teacher does "outdoor classroom" a few times per week as well.

T&Q aren't sleeping as much as I had hoped overnight. They need a lot of sleep too -- they come by this honestly. I'm the same way (as is most of my family). I'm finding that the lack of sleep is affecting their mood as the week goes on. I spoke with their teacher last week and have decided to let them do a half day once a week so that they can nap in the afternoon. I kept them home last Thursday afternoon and they both ended up sleeping for two hours. Clearly it was needed. I really don't want to push it and know that lack of sleep will end up leading to an increase in colds and other sickness. Their teacher said that I'm one of many parents making arrangements like this and is 100% ok with it. JK is optional for this very reason -- many kids aren't ready for the full day.


Making lunches for the girls has been a lot more fun than I had anticipated. They often come home and tell me how much they loved their lunch :) Pretty sweet coming from 4-year olds. I've been trying to get creative with it. I bought them each a Yumbox and so far, I've been thrilled with it. It holds a good amount of food and doesn't leak. Everything stays in its respective compartment, even liquids.

Here are a few of the lunches that I've made since they started school. I'm definitely not the best food photographer, but you'll get the idea. They need to have enough food for a morning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack. I always send two additional containers for snack, but those are only pictured below in one photo.

Spelt wrap with goat cheese and raspberry jam, preservative and nitrite-free roast turkey, carrots and cucumber, sweet potato hummus, concord grapes and quinoa-sesame snaps.

Homemade chicken and wild rice soup, rice crackers and cheddar cheese, tomato and avocado salad, kiwis, animal cookies. Snack is carrots and apples with granola bites. The bag has snap peas in it. 

Spelt pitas with tuna, roasted sweet potato, banana, grapefruit and pomegranate, cucumbers and a homemade oatmeal-chocolate chip-raisin cookie.

Roasted chicken and tzatziki for dipping, carrots and cucumbers, hummus, cherry tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad, concord grapes. 

Butternut squash-sweet potato-lentil soup, hardboiled egg, carrot and sweet potato muffin, grapefruit, red pepper and lemon spelt cookies. Snack is grapes and granola bites. 

Beef meatballs with ketchup for dipping, carrot sticks, rice crackers, seaweed and pears. 

Chicken and goat cheese wraps, carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, plums and kiwi and granola bites. 

Spelt pita with sunflower seed butter, raw honey and jam, snap peas and tomatoes, oranges and strawberries and a homemade oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie.

It gets a bit tricky because I only want to make one thing for lunch, but have kids with different tastes. T loves beans and legumes, but Q doesn't. I guess at some point, I'll have to send different things on occasion.

What do you send in your kids' lunchbox? Definitely share your ideas. It's going to be a loooooong school year!

1 comment:

  1. Those lunches look great! So different. I stick with main meals my kids like and I always pack based on their likes. It's not too bad packing different meals/snacks for the kids. For instance, only Quinn likes kiwi but they all like grapes. I keep that stuff in mind when I buy fruit/veggies/snacks and make sure I always have a couple of things each kid likes. I try to offer a variety of snacks so that they don't get sick of one thing. My go-to easy lunches are cold cuts, hummus and chips, salsa and nachos, melba toast and cream cheese (Riley spreads it herself at school so I pack it all separately and send a plastic knife), soup, beans, meatballs...those Thermos containers are amazing and keep the food warm.