Preparing for Kindergarten (Part 1)

August 1, 2012 in Categories: by

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My oldest daughter is about to start kindergarten.  Her first day of school is in (gulp) 12 days.  We didn’t put her in preschool so she’s going to be making the transition from nearly full time at home with me to a full day at school (she took ballet and swimming lessons that were drop off, went to a Mommy’s Morning Out program once per week, and also is a veteran of the daycare at our local YMCA, so it won’t be a total shock).  She is ridiculously excited.  I am a mixture of excited, nervous, and sad. 

We have been diligently preparing for kindergarten.  One of my areas of focus has been finding foods, especially good protein sources, that my daughter will eat (she’s extremely picky) and that will travel well.  She needs protein and fat every time she eats, otherwise her blood sugar tends to drop very low.  I am going to be packing both her morning snack and her lunch for school (we don’t currently plan on participating regularly in the school lunch program).  I am sure to have plenty of posts about lunch ideas as I face this new challenge. 

In preparation for kindergarten, I just placed a hefty order for grass-fed lunch meats with US Wellness Meats.  I ordered grass-fed bologna, kielbasa, liverwurst, braunschweiger and hotdogs (I threw some sugar-free pastured pork bacon, some ground beef and some pemmican into the order to round it off).  I know that she will like the bologna and have high hopes for the other meats (especially the organ meat sausages).  I find it very comforting to know that she will be able to eat grass-fed, nitrate-free, filler-free, high-quality meats that will help to give her energy throughout the day.

If you want to try some high quality lunch meats for yourself or your family, US Wellness Meats has the best selection around and has free shipping even in the summer (a $75 minimum order and $7.50 handling charge applies).  And, I wanted to share with you that the coupon code paleo2012 will give you 15% off any new order. 


My oldest is starting preschool in the fall as well and I’m SO nervous about the snacktime thing – it says that the mothers all do a rotation on bringing the snacks and it must include a “low fat cracker or snack type food and either low fat milk or juice”…ACK! My girls have never had fruit juice and only raw milk let along low fat crackers or processed snacks…do I just pack her a snack for her preschool days and just say she can’t have the other snack…will that make her feel excluded. I think I can explain to her pretty good why I don’t want her eating it – she knows what “grow food” is and why we eat what we eat even though she is only 3.

You’ve made excellent food choices for your kids so far; no reason to change now! My oldest just finished preschool, and we brought her own snack every day. My second will be starting preschool this year, and we intend to pack his own snack every day too. Simply let the teachers know you’ll be sending your own food, and ask that they let they other parents know they can decrease the food they bring since one child will not partake. How much information you share with the teachers and other parents is your choice. We have gluten intolerance so we shared that, but chose not to explain the details of our other choices. Just take care of your kiddo and don’t worry about what other people think. As long as you’ve talked with your kids about the reasons why you make the food choices that you do, in my experience it’s unlikely they’ll have any interest in what the other kids are eating.

Have a rising kindy kid here, too. But he’s been doing preschool snack and lunches for a few years now. Don’t miss the US Wellness beef sticks. My kiddo is really tough to convince when it comes to protein and he gobbles them down. The pemmican, not so much!

I will enjoy running a parallel track with you!

I was thinking about the beef sticks. Are they kinda pepperoni like? No one in my house likes pepperoni (I tried to stick with ordering things that I knew I would eat if my daughter didn’t and I can’t handle red pepper which is an ingredient in the beef sticks). and the pemmican was for me out of curiosity. 😉

I asked the kids … got some hilarious replies.

Mine won’t eat pepperoni either. I’d say they are more like a flavorful skinny hot dog. They are really terrific snacks and I use them for lunch when I am in a protein pinch.

We don’t go back until September 4th. Mine will be in gr.1 and gr.5. We are working this summer on eating new foods, in hopes I’ll have new options for school lunches. Looking forward to your school lunches posts 🙂

Sarah, my son is very much like your daughter and he is about to enter 1st grade. I will look into the US wellness meats website. Thank you and keep us posted!! Greetings from Cali 🙂

Thank you so much for posting this! My oldest is about to go into Kindergarten as well & I’ve been trying to get ideas as well! I can’t wait to hear about all the stuff you try! Good luck with school! We can all have a good cyber cry together on our babies 1st day of school! Lol.

Our oldest is starting Kindergarten in September and we have been trying to prepare as well. He’s done 1/2 days at preschool. We packed a yummy snack for him and found that half the time he ended up eating the snack that was provided by the school–very frustrating since that was usually goldfish or “fruit” snacks. Hoping this year will be better. Can’t wait to see your posts!

Thank you for this tidbit! My oldest son is also starting kindergarten this fall! Thankfully he is used to taking his lunch, as it was a requirement at his day care/preschool/4K programs. It won’t be a total shock for him, but I am worried about how he will react when only a handful of his friends (if any?) are bringing lunch and everyone else is participating in the not-so-impressive school lunch program. I am sure I will here a lot of begging from him to eat pizza and tacos at lunch. I’ve been packing my son paleo lunches since I started in November. His day care was fine with no grains, but I’m worried about the school district. I read an article from another state where the school made a child eat the school unch because her fairly healthy lunch did not comply with the state regulations on what was required in a lunch meal. She only at the school chicken nuggets (not the thing the school wanted her to eat b/c it was missing from her lunch!), did not eat her homemade lunch, and disgarded everything else. In Wisconsin, the kids are required to have grains in their lunches, so I’m worried that there might be some conflict. Will I have to get a doctor’s note? Who knows at this point. I’m looking forwarding to seeing your posts on healthy school lunches. I’m always looking for new ideas!

The other thing that really sucks is that we were required, as a part of the school supply list, of all things, to provide three boxes of cookies or crackers (has to be non parishable, and not a nut product). We did the best we could on choosing right, but how crazy is that, that you HAVE to provide crackers? What ever happened to kids bringing their own snack? I also dislike that cookies was an option. I ran into a conflict this summer when he was in transition to kindergarten summer school. I sent him each day with an apple or nuts, but he was not allowed to eat it because the other kids were eating the bulk cookies and crackers provided by other parents to the whole class. Sorry I’m venting here, but I am really upset that we, as the parents, do not have control over what our kids eat at school.

I have heard these same sorts of stories from so many families now. And the whole kids have to eat grains thing is so crazy to me. You never hear of schools forcing the kids of vegetarian/vegan families to eat meat. Sheesh.

We haven’t had to deal with any of this yet because we didn’t do preshcool (and the MMO was a packed snack). I will get a letter stating that my daughter is gluten intolerant if I need one (going to just send healthy lunches at first and see if anyone says anything). I know lots of people who are planning on sending their kids with packed lunches (usually because their kid is picky), so I don’t think my daughter will be the only one. On the bright side, she’s crazy picky and isn’t likely to actually want any of the lunch program foods (she doesn’t like pizza). She knows that gluten doesn’t make her feel well. And as long as I throw something treat-ish in her lunch, she won’t care is someone else is having a cookie or ice cream in front of her.

I can only speak to GA, but a vegan parent and I had to meet with the administration of our private preschool b/c when it converted to full time care by providing an aftercare program, it had to adhere to the USDA food service guidelines which requires whole grains and dairy. It was a very scary moment for both of us. Luckily, the school agreed to work with us, but to be truthful, I can still conceive of an instance where if our school was being inspected, an inspector could require that my child be given a carton of milk to drink despite my having packed his/her lunch. It is extremely, extremely frightening for me that the government can control what my child consumes in a private school.

I guess it is the same for vegans then. But only with dairy? This is all new to me because I grew up in Canada where there is no school lunch program. It is such a strange thing that the school/government can override my judgement as a parent. It wouldn’t bother me so much if if the dietary guidelines were closer to reflecting an actually healthy diet. I’m just going to keep hoping that my daughter is going to a big enough school that what is in her lunch won’t get noticed.

“It is such a strange thing that the school/government can override my judgement as a parent.”
THIS! So true, so invasive, so scary! It’s a very large part of our family’s choice to do a combination of homeschool and public school next year. I didn’t even know that was possible, but apparently here in Missouri it is. She’ll do just a few hours at public school each day, and the rest at home. I’ll still look forward to your lunch posts though! Best wishes.

Oh my, you poor moms! As if there isn’t already enough to be anxious about when the kiddies go off to school, now you have to worry if your child will be able to eat the lunch you pack her!! Have school districts gone mad? My heart goes out to all of you. My son, who is now a grown-up man at 21, went to a private school where everyone brought a lunch from home and sweets were discouraged. Crazy boy, he still comes home for lunch from his summer job even though he has his own apartment. You may not be able to control everything your kids eat when they are at school, but believe me, they will grow up knowing what good food is and they will prefer it!!

Can’t wait for your school lunch posts! I have a 5, 7, and 8 year old – lots of lunches to pack!

Definitely checking out the meat website – than you for the link and the promo code. Please post a review of some sort letting us know what products you and/or your kids did/didn’t enjoy.

Love your blog! Found you just a few days ago and have been reading like crazy. Thank you for all the information, recipes, etc.

Good luck to your daughter, I know she will love kinder! As a retired teacher, I understand the anxiety regarding school lunch. I always took my lunch, it looked a lot like your daughter’s list! Try getting her a really cool lunch box, like Planet Box, and let her help pack it the night before. I bet all the other kids will want her lunch! Here in Tx the rules for lunches are only for those who buy lunch. otherwise you can bring whatever you want except peanut butter! Don’t cry too much on her first day!!!

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