Brussels Sprouts

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This morning, my youngest almost caught me putting Brussels Sprouts in his lunchbox. Almost. But I snuck them in before he saw me. Yes, you heard that right: Brussels Sprouts in his lunchbox.

This is the point in the school year when I start to get bored with the lunches I pack for my children. Now, I understand that my children are perfectly capable of packing their own lunches. However, they would put it off until the last minute, remember as they are running out the door, grab something from the pantry, and call it lunch. On any given day, such a “lunch” might consist of an entire ‘party size’ bag of chips or a single granola bar. Then, the kids would arrive back at home hungry and cranky, and they would snack their way through the pantry and the refrigerator before dinner, ruining their appetite for real nutrition. Since I don’t want to take my chances, I pack their lunches. Every day.

So last night, I put out the question: What do you want in your lunch that I haven’t been putting in there?

And W, being the smart-alec 14 year old that he is, said (without hesitation), “Brussels Sprouts.”

“Ha!” I chuckled. “What do you really want?”

And I got the typical 14-year-old-kid response: “I don’t know.”

Surprisingly, I actually have Brussels Sprouts in my refrigerator. Last week, there was a story on NPR about the local crop of Brussels Sprouts, the fact that they are in season despite the cooler weather, and how they are actually sweeter after the cold sets in. And I bought some on my next trip to the market.

This morning as I packed lunches, I popped two Brussels Sprouts into a sandwich bag. I was getting ready to draw a smiley face on the bag in Sharpie when I heard the upstairs bathroom door open. I quickly threw the bag into W’s lunchbox, minus a note or smile face. I went about the rest of the breakfast/lunch preparations as if nothing unusual had happened. Because in our house, that really was nothing unusual.

As expected, he didn’t eat the Brussels Sprouts. Instead, he jokingly offered them to a friend, who actually took a bite. From the report I got, I’m pretty sure when W found the bag in his lunchbox, it was good for a mid-day giggle.

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