Amanda's Kids' Lunch

For Lunch, You Have to Meet in the Middle

By • April 18, 2013 • 30 Comments

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Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration. 

My son doesn't like blue cheese but he loves cucumbers so I met him in the middle with mild, creamy blue and cukes. I don't believe in entirely avoiding foods that kids don't like. Their tastes change all the time; something they detest this week is next week's darling. Plus learning to compromise is valuable. So for today's tough love lunch: Cambozola cheese, cucumbers, and garlic mayo (Hellmann's + smashed garlic + squeeze of lemon) on thinly sliced brioche. On the side, salted caramels and medjool dates.

What's in your brown bag today? 

Read More: 
Get another peek inside the twins' lunches.
For lunch tomorrow, make your own mayo.
Have some leftover dates? Stuff them. 

Jump to Comments (30)

Tags: a's kids' lunch, lunch, cucumber, sandwich, dates, cambazola, everyday cooking

Comments (30)

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over 1 year ago breadwhisperer

Love the lunch, love the philosophy! I have 3 boys who at various points transitioned from mac and cheese to raw fish and sriracha. It continues to surprise and delight me. A friend from Ireland used to say, "hunger is the best sauce!"

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Like that. Thanks.

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over 1 year ago Shalini

This is exactly how I feel about exposing kids to foods. Especially Cambazola! If only my son didn't have so many food issues at school...he never eats his lunch there, at all! Love this lunch, want it myself.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

The lunchroom can be a tough place -- hope things improve for your son!

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over 1 year ago StephL

There isn't any one way that is right. There taste buds do change and you do have to offer foods multiple times sometimes. I don't do it though when I'm not there. When I pack my son's lunch, I only put in things I know he will eat. Hats off to you if you make it work.

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over 1 year ago StephL

Sorry for the spelling. Too tired to be posting

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over 1 year ago anita

Smart, StephL. You give your son new foods when you have a backup plan, not when it's the only thing available to him.

Junechamp

over 1 year ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm with you, Amanda, on not avoiding foods kids purport to dislike. I know I came to like many foods because my mom persisted.
Now for that yummy lunch! I think I'll make one for myself next week. :)

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over 1 year ago anita

I understand having your kids try food they don't like. But I don't understand packing them a lunch with food that they've said they don't like. If he doesn't like it, and doesn't eat it, your kid goes hungry. Is your ego that important you'd do that to your child?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Not sure if you read the other comments but my son did eat the sandwich. Also, I see this matter differently. It's my job as a parent to introduce him to foods and to give him a range of experiences. If my kids continue to dislike something, I stop serving it. I actually feel that parents who cater to their child's every passing like/dislike are being needlessly afraid of not being constantly loved.

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over 1 year ago kasia S.

Kudos to you Amanda, I don't have children but I would do the same creative thing if I had to feed them at lunch time, otherwise they all end up eating fries and chicken nuggets... treating the child w/ respect is actually teaching them about the global array of foods and flavors, you never know what they will end up loving!

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over 1 year ago anita

I understand and applaud your exposing your son to different foods. I think "children's menus" are a sad thing. But... what happens on the day that your son doesn't like and can't eat the lunch you make for him for school? Are you ok with him going hungry that day?

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over 1 year ago anita

Just to be clear, my mom made foods that I loathed, and everyone was served the same meal at dinner. She wasn't concerned about being "loved", but wanted to expand our palates, too. But she did it at a time and place where I had other options, and didn't starve because I couldn't eat that food. I actually learned how to make scrambled eggs because of this. And - it turns out that I'm actually allergic to the foods I had trouble with as a kid. My dislike was my body's way of protecting me. I still think it's best to serve these foods when the child has other options and won't go hungry.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for your note back, anita. To answer your question: if he's really hungry, he'll eat it. And if he chooses not to eat it, then he can have the rest of the lunch I packed and wait the 2 hours before his afternoon snack. We follow the same rule at home.

I pretty much never worry about my kids being hungry. Our kids are surrounded by food all the time -- in fact, I feel like I'm often having to protect against our snacking culture. People are constantly trying to feed kids snacks. I want them to eat meals and to be hungry for them. I guess I'm old-school!

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over 1 year ago Reynaul

Very tasty looking lunch! This just might be mine tomorrow!

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over 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

there you go again, putting my Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches to shame. ;)

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over 1 year ago saragrad

Did Walker finish the sandwich?

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over 1 year ago ATG117

Wondering this as well? I still feel conflicted about making kids eat things they don't like, and I don't mean that in a judgmental way whatsoever. I just don't think food should ever feel like a burden or a reward for that matter. I'd love a feature that addressed both sides of this coin. I'm sure there's passion on both ends

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Great question -- need to check with our babysitter!

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over 1 year ago Peter

While Peter no longer works for Food52 he still thinks up ways to make the website better.

Oh please, the babysitter won't know. Walker is smart enough to destroy the evidence.

If you really want an answer ask Eleanor -- she never takes her eye off of Walker. ;-)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Walker says he ate it and that it was "ok." Tough critic.

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over 1 year ago Christina H

I agree with the concept of continuing to serve foods my children "dislike," or at least with which they have expressed dislike in the past. Their tastes are constantly changing and shifting, even day to day. It's hard to keep track sometimes. I serve food that is good and healthy, that I enjoy, and that expands their palettes, and yes, I also serve the unhealthy stuff every once in a while too.

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over 1 year ago Ecuacan

I've read that it can take up to 20 times of trying something before a kid will learn to like something. That makes sense to me. We've all acquired tastes for foods that we didn't like. I'm kind of in the middle. I have one kid who is a super taster. If a change up a recipe, she will tell me exactly what I did differently (you put flax oil in the smoothie, didn't you?), while it goes completely undetected by everyone else. I do occasionally send lunches that I know she won't love and I do ask(make) her try something new with eventual success. On the other hand I don't put raisins in the baking - can't handle the rejection!

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over 1 year ago Cinnamonbark

Oh my god. Spoiling. I wish my lunches were half so yummy!! I'm going to have to replicate this one!! Interesting...I've never heard of Cambozola. Is it a more mild and creamy blue cheese? It kinda looks it, and i imagine that's probably more popular with kids. A *gorgeous* lunch, at any rate!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, it's very mellow compared to most blues -- like Camembert meets gorgonzola.

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over 1 year ago lecampbell

I describe Cambozola as a cross between a brie and bleu cheese. Heated up and served with grilled bread...it becomes the crack of all cheese. But you know, in a good way.

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over 1 year ago Amanda Mitchell

Wow, that is a beautiful lunch!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

thanks!

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over 1 year ago angelahenderson0716

I want that lunch!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Easy to make!