Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Lunchable Experiment

Now that the kids are on summer break from school, I get to take them grocery shopping. It's so fun. They whine, they complain, they have to go to the bathroom at the most inconvenient times.

They also beg.

I can't stand begging.

One of the things the kids always beg for is that marvel of marketing called the "Lunchable." Whoever figured out how to charge $3.59 for this low quality, culinary mess is probably laughing it up on his huge yacht while he sails around his own private island and drinking Dom out of a golden chalice while sitting in a hot tub full of diamonds.

The worst thing about the Lunchable is that my kids never eat the whole thing. Two out of three kids can't stand the cheese and leave it in block form in the little tray. The other one doesn't like the meat.

I figured if the kids wanted cheese and crackers for lunch, I could make my own version of the Lunchable for much less and ease my mom-conscience at the same time. I'd pick healthy cheese, real meat and whole wheat crackers.

Not surprisingly, the kids objected.

What was it about the Lunchable that made it better than anything I could make at home?

Was it the unhealthy crackers they would miss? I offered to buy Ritz.

"It's the pudding snack," Isaac suggested. I added a 4 pack of pudding to the cart.

I'd have better cheese, better meat, I told the kids. But they still were not convinced.

Finally the truth came out. It's the box, evidently. The box gives you an exciting chance to win something. They wanted the crap-shoot of the box.

"I'd be happy to tell you "Sorry, you're not a winner," when I give you the cheese and crackers," I suggested.

That was not the answer they were looking for.

Still, they got a homemade lunchable for lunch today.

One child still opted out of the cheese and one didn't like pudding. The other said, "This tastes just like the Lunchable from the store."

The most important thing, however: I got through another lunch today. Only 74 more to go!


Melissa said...

Ugh! I have come to hate Lunchables already in the few days I have been off for summer break now. My daughter begs for them also and never finishes them and swears that my homemade variety just isn't the same also.... She didn't say anything about winning the prize. For her, it was the cookies in the box.

Angela and Kevin Taylor said...

I remember begging my Mom to buy me those too. My "cool friends" ate lunchables at school, but not me. I've never bought them for my kids. I don't think either one would touch anything in that box expect for the pudding! They are fairly finicky about how things look. The meat for instance, I don't think you could bribe Colby with 50 new Wii games to even touch it!

Emily Laing said...

I buy the cheap ones when they are on sale. My kids will eat the pizza and nachos's the candy bar...but for $1 I can splurge once in a while. I always end up eating the cheese!

Samurai Mom said...

There are no words, the laughing....

Erika said...

My kids always beg for lunchables too. The boys are attracted to the boxes that say something about XBOX on them. I got one not too long ago for my youngest and after he opened the box and got his food out he said, "Where's my XBOX game?" He thought it would come with a free game inside. HA! Fat chance!