Getting several elementary school kids ready in the morning is always a challenge, but I must say, I am getting better and better at it each year. Aside from backpacks, homework folders and permission slips, I have three — sometimes four — lunch boxes to pack every morning. I remember lunch boxes used to be little metal boxes with your favorite cartoon character on the outside and a PB&J and giant yellow Thermos® on the inside. These days, they look more like mini ice chests with enough padding and insulation to keep ice cream frozen for a week. Anyway, I bought some of these nondescript lunch boxes for my two girls, and they ended up being very similar in appearance, both plaid and pinkish purple.

Well, the other day, I prepped two lunches and stuffed them into two backpacks, which also happen to be pinkish purple. I suppose I was bound to make this mistake at some point, and it finally happened: In the rush of getting everyone off to school, I slipped the plaid pinkish purple lunch boxes in the wrong pinkish purple backpacks. Anna had Kaitlyn’s lunch, and Kaitlyn had Anna’s. For most families, I imagine this wouldn’t be a big deal; you know, they might have to just deal with eating from the wrong lunch box for a day, right? In our case though, it caused some confusion at the elementary school, because Kaitlyn always has the carbohydrate information for her meal listed in a little book inside her lunch box. Oops.

That morning, Kaitlyn went to get her lunch box out of her backpack. Immediately she recognized that it wasn’t the right one, but she walked over to the nurse’s office with it anyway (which is what she does every day at lunch time). The nurse also figured that something wasn’t quite right. She didn’t recognize the lunch box, and then when she opened it, the little book wasn’t there. They were about to call me to ask me what had happened, but they guessed that we had probably just mixed up the two. The office manager had to track down Anna, who was with her class in the computer lab, to ask her to bring her lunch box over to make the switch. It all worked out in the end, but there were about six people at school who had to deal with my mix-up. I’ve learned my lesson though. Next year, I’m buying distinctly different looking lunch boxes and backpacks! Maybe they still have the metal ones…

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

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Jen: Making School Lunch Easy for Everyone
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A Week of Perfectly Packed Lunch Boxes

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