Eeew, that's disgusting. Elementary school lunchtime social resilience.
August 27, 2013 6:28 PM Subscribe
How can I help my son to not feel embarrassed socially for having the healthy (and admittedly a little weird) lunches that I give him for school?
posted by spbmp to human relations (65 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
My son's lunch on his first day of 3rd grade was: tofu pieces that he'd cut up into parallelograms, and that he'd doused in sriracha (he loves sriracha); some cut up melon that he likes; some white rice that he asked for; and a chocolate cookie that I snuck into the lunchbox. I pack a lot of non-elementary-school-standard stuff. Little cups of red or black beans, vegetables, fruits, hummous wraps, ...
He's pretty okay with eating these things. I'll qualify that a little: He's unhappy if things look soggy. He'd prefer lunchables (which his mom often packs) and he wishes he could get meat sometimes (which his mom also packs. I'm vegetarian and prefer not to; we have separate households.) The biggest thing going on, though, is embarrassment, and that's what this question is about.
He told me he *hid* the lunch under the table, because he didn't want to be picked on. That breaks my heart! (He's told me at other times that everyone has lunchables. He's also told me that lots of kids have just junkfood, and he named four kids including himself who eat healthy lunches, sounding like he did in fact respect them and himself for it.)
My question: Is there anything I can do or say to help him not feel self-conscious at lunch time. Do I have to change the lunches? Can I help him feel good, even if the kids really do sometimes say "eeeeww, that's disgusting".
(One very nice thing: he told me if someone picks on him like that he doesn't say anything back because they'd just do more teasing.)