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February 12, 2009

Lunchbox Blues

-5 Growing up in New York and attending public schools, I'm all too familiar with the quality of cafeteria food. The smell of grilled bologna served with breakfast is impossible to forget, try as one might. Was it considered healthier than bacon, or just cheaper? There really isn't a good excuse when you think about it.

Flash forward 20 years and I'm still faced with the same poor food choices, except this time it's for my five-year old. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that I send her off to school with a healthy, home-packed lunch. Problem is by this point in the school year, packing it feels a bit like the movie Groundhog Day. After 100 days of school, you start to hit a wall. Then comes this peanut butter scare.

While I pack a variety of meals, PB&J has always been my standby when I'm running late or need a break from the stress of figuring out what to pack that'll keep the kid fueled and ready to learn. It's also an inexpensive, healthy choice, or at least was until the recall of more than 800 products. Now a second plant has been closed, this one in Plainview, Texas, due to salmonella contamination. Recent reports go so far as to say Peanut Corporation of America owner, Stewart Parnell, actually gave the greenlight for the tainted shipments rather than have his bottom line affected.

I've done due diligence and checked to make sure the items I buy aren't involved in the recall, but even the CDC admits new products are being added daily. The only way to be sure is to keep checking the CDC website frequently. On behalf of moms across America, thanks Mr. Parnell for adding one more thing to our "to do" lists.

This has been an original post to NYC Moms Blog. When Jennifer isn't packing lunch, she's blogging about food and parenting at The Mama Chronicles and The Daily Juggle.

Photo by Ian Britton courtesy of freephoto.com.


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