Free Lunch

Every day I pack a nutritious lunch for my five-year-old daughter and every day she’s brought home her lunch untouched.  At first I thought, “Well, it’s her first time in school and she’s just nervous.”  By the third day I became concerned.  “Why aren’t you eating, sweetie?  Are you feeling ok?”  “Uh huh,” she said happily.  “Are you hungry?”  “No.  I had an orange.”

Hmm…I did not pack her an orange.

Was she sharing lunch with a friend at school?  At parent-teacher night I asked her teacher why she wasn’t eating lunch.  “Well, she buys lunch every day.”  Oh, o.k…..wait, what?!

It seems at the ripe old age of five my daughter had already racked up a $14 bill with the cafeteria buying hot lunch and ice cream.

The next day I met her at school for lunch and she showed me where she was getting her food.  “Honey, we don’t have the money for this.”  “But, Mommy, it’s free.  They just give it to kids.”  “Rylee, there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

Same thing goes for getting in shape.  You can’t just wish yourself into size 6 jeans; you have to eat right and exercise.  Fad diets aren’t the answer either (I know – I’ve tried most of them.)  Nope, you have to eat vegetables when you’d rather have chocolate and drink water when you really crave a glass of wine.  It’s like the saying goes, “You can have anything you want (either bikini body or chocolate/wine,) but you can’t have everything you want (bikini body and chocolate/wine.)”

I wish there was a free lunch for being in shape because 1) I like lunch and 2) I want to stay in shape forever.  Alas…

Heading into Monday morning I’m reminding myself to keep focused on my fitness goals.  And Rylee has some new goals too.  I made her a chore chart so she can earn money to buy lunch once per week or she can spend it on a trip to the Dollar Store.  (She earns 10 cents per chore, or $3.50 per week.)  If you want to make a chart for free (yes, this really is free!) check out

Remember:  if you want it, earn it.  Good luck with your fitness goals this week!

Lisa (c) 2012 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

6 responses to “Free Lunch

  1. dtlk is a great site! I pay my kids for chores too, but it’s a nickel per job. I do it because there is more compliance and less whining when I pay them. I can pay my kids $.05 not to whine.

  2. I also give my kids a weekly allowance which is unrelated to chores. They get $1 per grade level, and the 4 year old gets 4 nickles plus four pennies. BUT they have to put 10% in a “share” cup and 10% in a “save” cup.

  3. The baby puts 2 cents in his save and share cups. The allowance money that they keep, keeps me from buying them junk at the store. If they bring their money they can buy their own junk.

  4. I love this quote! “You can have anything you want (either bikini body or chocolate/wine,) but you can’t have everything you want (bikini body and chocolate/wine.)” So incredibly true.

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