I’m starting to realize that we have one of two problems.

Either my kids watch too much television or they are just too impressionable.

Since I know how much television they watch, I choose the latter… they’re too impressionable.

It is kind of fun and interesting to be at a store and have my 6 year old daughter tell me about a product and how well it works – We bought a new OxiClean product that she recommended. Fortunately, I already had preconceived notions about how well it worked so I didn’t mind buying it when she insisted we go find it at the store.

Yes, we hear all about the latest toys… Squinkies and Zhu Zhu Pets.  Or how good Sunny D is even though we’ve never bought it for the kids.  They hear it on the commercials and are able to quote it word for word.

I get it… that’s the point of directing commercials at kids and I understand why some channels broadcast commercial-free children’s shows.

Sometimes, I figure there is no harm in buying something if it makes them happy and has a useful purpose for us. I think it is great to give kids the opportunity to let their voice be heard.  That’s exactly how Lunchables entered the lunchbox rotation at our house. After relentless requests by the kids and my consistent “Let’s watch for it to go on sale” response, Lunchables finally went on sale for a dollar each and they spotted the signs at the store. “Mom! Lunchables are on sale!” We purchased a handful of the small Lunchable packs to include as an alternative for school lunch. I didn’t feel they were a complete meal so I made sure to include a drink and sometimes a little something extra depending on whether the kids had gym that day or not.

Then the other day, Miss M and Miss K got into a heated debate.

“They’re like Subways with mayonnaise and stuff in them.”
“No, they’re pizzas.”
“They have Jello!”
“And a drink.”

What started as a debate quickly evolved into the revelation that they could join forces and bug mom.

Miss K advises: “Mom, they’re like Subways with Jello.”
Then Miss M chimes in with: “And they already have a drink inside so you don’t have to put one in.”

I started shaking my head and said “I know, girls. We need to buy some at the store and see what we think.”

Like I didn’t already know that my kids were 100% on board with that idea.

Miss M happened to be at the store with me recently and we checked out the variety. There are few types of Lunchables with varying price ranges. There’s the basic type that includes a kit of crackers and luncheon meat, a kit for pizza or a kit for a sub along with a small dessert such as cookies of some type. Then there’s the next step up that includes a little more including a Capri Sun. Finally, there’s the latest Lunchable kit which was designed with a little healthier base – it includes fixings similar to the other kits but include bread made with whole grain, a Jello, fruit or applesauce and a bottle of water with a single-serve Kool-Aid packet for turning the water into instant Kool-Aid.

My husband and I think it is okay to provide diversity to the kids as well as some treats along the way but we also factor in the cost of a typical school lunch. The entry level Lunchables are ideal for packing in our kids lunches but the latest round are probably something more suited for when we’re traveling or have an all-day outing planned. Our main reason for feeling this way is the cost of the larger kits are around $3.00 while the entry level go on sale for $1.00 each. Considering the size of my girls (my 2nd grader finally broke 40 lbs on the scale), I don’t know that they’ll be able to devour an entire Lunchables meal at this age, anyhow.

My girls, on the other hand, are extremely excited about the latest Lunchables creations and couldn’t wait to get their hands on them!

Whether Lunchables fit into the lunch schedule for your family is something only you can decide… for us, these will be a nice alternative to put into the rotation on occasion.

If you would like more information on Lunchables, visit their website. And if your school is looking to earn a little extra cash, they can collect Lunchables through one of Terracycle’s recycling/fundraising programs.

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