BY PAT VOLCHOK
IT’S A QUESTION POSED by parent to child I predict you’ll discover your child is either
almost every day after school: “Did you eat the bored with or doesn’t particularly like what is made.
lunch I made for you?” In our home, the standard Once the truth is out, ask what foods your child
reply to such a query was a muffled “Uh-huh,” fol- prefers and commit to prepare or pack at least one
lowed by a quick skedaddle out of the room. of these items each week. Conversely, your child
So how are you to know if your child eats all or must pledge to eat the fruit, veggie or sandwich
part of the lunch sent from home? It’s an important packed in the sack lunch first.
question, because lunch is the meal you have the least Next, show your child a copy of the new U.S.
parental control over (read: junk food, here we Department of Agriculture (USDA) healthy food
come). And you hope that your kids don’t waste food. pyramid (a MyPyramid mini-poster can be down-
As I see it, you have three choices: Hover over loaded at www.mypyramid.gov/index.html). Point
your child at school and watch to make sure he or she out that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or
finishes the lunch; keep making the same old same low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats, poultry,
old and hope for the best; or turn this hassle into a fish, beans, eggs and nuts are the new “in” foods.
valuable real-life lesson for you and your children.
If you choose options one or two, you flunk the Time for a field trip
smart lunch test. With the help of the Costco buyers The next step is to take your child along with
who oversee lunch products in the warehouses and you to shop for lunch items. A family field trip to
Consumer reporter several nutritional experts, I’ve put together a course Costco, where lunch resources are vast, quality is outline for smart, easy and nutritional lunches, guaranteed and savings are phenomenal, is a good
Pat Volchok gives a designed to make students and parents alike happy. starting point.
behind-the-scenes look Assign your child the cart detail. Discuss every-
at Costco products Gather vital stats thing from the size of paper bags preferred and type
and services. Hold a family meeting and begin by asking your of lettuce favored to how to read labels.
Send your questions to: child (or brood) to truthfully disclose what is really At home, create a “Lunch Food” list in the aten in the lunches you prepare. (In our home, this kitchen and ask everyone to add new suggestions or
buyingsmart@ type of family get-together is considered an amnesty note when a favorite item is running low.
costco.com meeting, which means that everything can be divulg- Here’s a sampling of Costco products for
ed and a parent pardons all past transgressions.) such a list.