I have an ongoing battle with the lunchtime meal – not mine, I’m happy to pack up anything from my fridge or freezer. But my son is another story. Recently, through the creative genius of my sister, I have started packing meals using toothpicks to create appetizer style lunches. Cubed cheese and meat, skewered onto at toothpick seems to do the trick these days.
I was initially hesitant to use a toothpick, as I remembered my son’s fifth birthday party. I thought it would be creative and inspiring to allow the kids to build geometric shapes and structures with mini marshmallows and toothpicks. It only took about one minute for the little people to realize it would be much more fun just to eat the marshmallow and use the toothpicks as attack swords.
However, I was pretty desperate, so I took the chance and sent the food with toothpicks. The first time I sent then I was so amazed, not only was the container empty, but he actually returned the old toothpicks (no sword matches!). When I asked how he liked his lunch, he enthusiastically told me his friends loved them. Ok, not exactly what I was looking for, but an endorsement from his peers did seem to increase the appeal of these lunches.
I have learned, however, that these little gems can lose their lustre if they appear on the menu too often, so I have had to restrain my use of them. Of course, I mentioned this to a friend of mine who looked at me and laughed, telling me that every parent knew the lure of the toothpick, what took me so long to figure it out?