The Lunch Fairy

Fairies are a big deal at our house. My six-year-old has discovered a seemingly endless series of books about fairies. My very patient husband reenacts the stories with Grace on a regular basis (even though he always has to be the goblin), and she and her younger sister dress up as fairies and perform elaborate musical routines with much spinning and waving of wands. Grace talks about her fairy books on the way to school (and on the way home), and every morning she walks into our bedroom carrying all of them (24 books at last count). Fairies seem to have taken over our lives.

In fact, the fairies even followed us on vacation recently. Over February break, we spent a weekend with friends who are very conscientious about what they feed their daughter. I have always envied this family and their ability to prepare appealing school lunches in which all of the food groups are covered. My friend once summed up their philosophy by stating, “Food is love.” I certainly agree, although I can’t quite seem to get organized enough to show my love as deliciously as they do.

It so happens that our friends’ daughter also loves fairies (although she’s not quite as obsessed with them as our own child). Her mother made lunch for all three girls, and I was astonished to discover that she had made a fairy right there on each child’s plate. The fairy’s wings were pieces of a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich. She had a cucumber face, purple cauliflower hair, a body made of baby carrots, and legs made of almonds.

That’s a fantastic way to put the fairy obsession to good use, and to get two kindergartners and a three-year-old to eat purple cauliflower! I was totally impressed by her creativity, and with the fact that she even had even purchased purple cauliflower, but I was even more impressed by the genuine enthusiasm with which our girls tore into their food. The next morning, I made oatmeal with a dried-cranberry smiley face on top. It wasn’t a purple-haired fairy, but the girls devoured it all the same!

Jen McNally moved to Maine from Colorado four years ago, in search of a simpler, more natural lifestyle. Since then, she has planted her first-ever vegetable garden, raised a flock of six hens, and continues to learn about healthy living. She is a stay-at-home mother of two active girls, ages five and three. In her former life, she studied in Germany for two years, traveled to 6 continents and 31 countries, and was the marketing manager for an adventure travel company. Jen contributes regularly to the Guiding Stars blog.