Category Archives: Parenting

The Dumbing Down of Lunch

Every year.  Every single year.  It happens every darned year, and you’d think I’d know by now not to expect that it’ll get better, but I can’t help it.  I’m an optimist.  I keep thinking that THIS year will be different.  This year, by golly, we’ll get some back-to-school lunch segments in the mainstream media that don’t make me feel like every parent in America is a functional food illiterate who needs to be talked down to in order to pack lunches for their kids. This is a lunchbox!  And THIS is a sandwich!  And did you know there’s something called fruit, too?  Fruit is a wonderful thing for children, … Continue reading

Posted in Feeding kids, Food culture, Lunchbox, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

My Top Five School Lunch Packing Tips

Hoo boy.  It’s been a while since I posted — mainly, I think, because the back-to-school season is no less hectic and stressful for me than it is for most of you.  We’re trying to finish up the summer, visit with friends and family, get P. through the transition to his new Pre-K classroom (which happened this week), get L. finished with camps and prepared for 1st grade (which happens in a couple of weeks), and continue all the usual work/home/writing/etc. commitments.  I bet the majority of you are nodding in solidarity right now.  Everybody’s nuts, schedule-wise, at this point in the summer. So tonight, I thought I’d try to … Continue reading

Posted in Feeding kids, Lunchbox, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Lunchbox 180

It’s back-to-school season, and you know what that means around here. Lunches!  And lots of ‘em! This year, I wanted to try something new — so I made you a present. :-)  This flipbook contains photos of 180 real-life lunches I’ve packed for L. and P. within the past year or so.  Many will look familiar, some may not, but they’re all collected in one place now — to show you the good, the bad, the ugly, the REALITY of lunch-packing every single day.  I hope you’ll enjoy the inspiration and share with your friends!  

Posted in Feeding kids, Lunchbox, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Me…On Parenting…On YouTube!

I mentioned a while ago that I was invited to be a part of a very special, very emotional, indescribably amazing event — the inaugural Providence performance of the national reading series “Listen To Your Mother.”  I told you how honored I was and how scary it was.  Some of you asked to hear more about it, when I had more to tell. So many of you who read this blog faithfully are parents yourselves, or hope to be someday.  And I’m a parent, too — that’s the major reason I started this blog.  It’s why I do what I do.  See, waaaaay back in ancient times, when man was … Continue reading

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Loosening the Reins

Sometimes you have to loosen the reins a little bit.  This is a gut-check moment, I think – it’ll be different for everyone, and it’ll be based on your kid’s personality or what you (or they) happen to be up against at the moment.  But our gut-check moment came this week, and it came in the form of a rather put-out kindergartener. This week, after nearly six years of eating (and being enthusiastic about) Mommy’s packed lunches, L. started to rebel.  I’ve been waiting for it, not because I think J. and I do a lousy job of educating our kids about food or because L.’s a rebellious child (he’s … Continue reading

Posted in Feeding kids, Food culture, Parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

The “Gifted” Keeps on Giving

There has been a lot of talk about gifts, and “giftedness,” in our house lately. Proving that things are never boring, at least not for long, in this old red New England home, J. and I received some interesting, unnerving, not all negative, in some ways wonderfully positive, and completely flummoxing news about L. this week.  When we went to talk to his kindergarten teacher about how his year has been wrapping up, and what we ought to do to help ease the transition to first grade for our quirky sensory boy, she used the G-word. Not just a little “gifted.”  Possibly a lot “gifted,” she thinks.  And I wouldn’t, … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments


Yesterday I was at a rehearsal for Listen to Your Mother: Providence – our last time running through the show before we perform it live on Saturday afternoon before a huge audience of screaming fans (okay, a few hundred likely quiet, respectful friends and family members, but whatever).  I’m one of a lineup of fourteen women who are taking that stage and speaking the words that we’ve written about mothering; it’s an experience I can only liken to suddenly being invited to eat lunch at the cool kids’ cafeteria table, and sitting there holding your breath the whole time because you’re wondering when they’re going to drop the bomb that … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Parenting | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

After Boston: Family Dinner Matters

Today I am thinking about two things that are not a secret to anyone. First, I’m thinking about – preparing for, excitedly awaiting, nervously anticipating – the Family Dinner Conference, which will be happening on Thursday in New York City.  If you read my posts or follow me on Facebook, you know all about this, of course; I’m thrilled and honored and in all other ways tickled completely pink to be a part of the speaking lineup.  Thursday is going to be a big, big day. Secondly, I’m thinking about Boston. How these two things converge into a cohesive post comes from the crazy, crazy thought that popped into my … Continue reading

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Meal Plan for a Busy, Busy April

I’m quietly freaking out.   Except…now that I’m writing about it on a public blog, I guess it’s not so much “quiet” anymore, right?  So now I’m PUBLICLY and NOISILY freaking out. It’s all good stuff that’s making me this way.  But I’m looking at the calendar and realizing that I am just absolutely booked SOLID for the foreseeable future.  And since I’m the type of person who almost never acknowledges, for real, just how busy I am…you can imagine how bad things must be for me to be using the term “booked solid.”  “Calendar stuffed fuller than a Thanskgiving turkey” is probably a more accurate way to describe the next … Continue reading

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March At Last! A Meal Plan

Oh, hooray, it’s March at last! I’ve spent much time bemoaning the winter weather, and while I know that March doesn’t exactly bring balmy temperatures to New England (and, in fact, we’ve still got a few weeks left where there’s a fair shot at snow, to be accurate), it still signals something.  A change in the air, a change of seasons, a new ushering-in sort of feeling.  Before you know it, March turns to April, and then it’s a short leap to summer.  March is POSSIBILITY. March is also the birthday month for me and for P., so there are a couple of days in this month’s meal plan I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Feeding kids, Meal planning, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments