Lunch time battles

Javier's hypertalking is actually much better than it used to be because we recently switched his medication from 36 mg Concerta to 30 mg Vyvance.

Of course, with his calmer little self comes a whole new hurtle: lunch. He is a great eater at breakfast and dinner, but we're really battling over lunch. At the beginning of this school year, Javi asked if he could bring his lunch to school each day. I consented and began packing him a lunch. Then about midway through the year, after dealing with him sometimes eating all of it, sometimes eating none of it, he asked if he could buy his lunch. I consented to that, too. Really, I was prepared to do whatever it took to get him to eat. Especially since he was losing weight according to his doctor.

Well, I keep hearing from my mom and from him that he wasn't eating his lunch. For instance, last week he told me all he had for lunch was a juice. I asked him why he didn't eat and he said the food wasn't good. So I took control back over lunch and told him I would be making his lunch again and that if he didn't eat it every day, we'd consider him on red even if he was green at school (that's their behavioral system - red is poorly behaved, green is well behaved, yellow is in the middle).

Now he says he doesn't have time to eat his lunch. I pack this kid the most basic lunch that he'll eat. Every day he gets a juice box, a peanut butter sandwich, and some type of cheese crackers. That's it! Yesterday he ate the whole lunch but said that he didn't get enough time so he had to eat it on the way to the trash after lunch period was over.

What am I supposed to do? There are less than 2 weeks of school left. I'm so tapped on lunch time. The good news is his doctor said he gained 2 lbs since his last visit, so we're doing something right. But why is lunch time such a struggle? We're only on day 3 of him bringing his lunch again, and the fear of getting on red at home is definitely keeping him on track, but I'm almost at the point of throwing my hands up with all the excuses and negotiations.

I've tried everying, including making him neat lunches like peanut butter balls, tortilla wraps, and salads -- but the one we've whittled down to is the only one I know for sure he'll eat. Even a ham & cheese sandwich is subject to going uneaten. Last time I sent one he told me he didn't like ham. But then for dinner asked if he could eat his sandwich. WTF.

Anyone have lunch advice?


  • Katie Jones

    From my teaching experience, medicines like those - while so helpful in other aspects - just make kids absolutely not hungry for 4-6 hours after they've taken them, even if they're slow-release. I had a fourth grade girl one time who told me that eating lunch literally made her feel like she was going to throw up if she put one bite in her mouth. Some of my fourth graders in the past who were on Vyvanse said it gave them a bad taste in their mouths that added to the not-hungry-feeling, on top of the appetite suppression of the stimulant. I have to take the antibiotic Bioxin if I'm sick because I'm allergic to almost everything else, and I can't eat hardly anything for those 10 days due to the metallic taste in my mouth, so I can understand how they feel.

    TRUST ME - You're not the only parent dealing with this. I've sent home hundreds of notes about how much lunch kids are eating/not eating for worried parents, and that includes both kids who were and weren't on any medications.

    Beyond that, my first graders talk, talk, talk and have a such a great time during lunch that they completely forget to eat. So, I think it is totally normal... I've seen many a sandwich shoved into the mouth as we walk toward the trash can.

    I would just make sure he gets a really nutritious breakfast and dinner when he is hungry. He truly might not be able to help it that he's not hungry at lunch.

  • Kelly Miller

    I know, I know. I battle myself about it all the time. I think the summer will help me get a better idea of his eating habits now that he's on a new medication.

    But he's definitely a talker. When he first started telling us about not having enough time, we joked to him about him needing his lunch period to talk to his friends.

    Now that I've had lunch with him several times, I do know that he's not the only one throwing food away. Hardly any of those 2nd grade boys are eating their lunches!

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