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Hooray for the Hodgepodge

September 11, 2014

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.

I had big plans for the first weeks of school. My kids like salads and there was going to be chicken salad with vegetables from the market, and a few last peaches. Alas, work and school prep got in the way, so this post is as much confessional as anything else -- when my schedule gets off track, this is what my kids' lunches look like: a hodgepodge.

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We'd had fish tacos and corn salad earlier in the week, so I packed up some of the corn and golden tomato salad and topped it with sliced avocado leftover from the tacos. I always keep Triscuits in the pantry and we had half a chocolate bar on the counter. I figured they could either eat the crackers with the salad (mini avocado toasts!) or have a salted chocolate sandwich for dessert -- hey kids, it's a DIY lunch! It's all about presentation, right?

What's in your lunch today? See some of the twins' past lunches

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sasha (Global Table Adventure)
    Sasha (Global Table Adventure)
  • Karena Dixon
    Karena Dixon
  • sandra
  • Matthew Coughlin
    Matthew Coughlin
  • Jo
Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


Sasha (. September 12, 2014
Love the idea of using the triscuits for the salad OR the chocolate! I'm certain I'd do the latter :)
Karena D. September 12, 2014
A staple in my kids' lunches is orzo or quinoa with a lemon vinaigrette, spinach & feta. They don't like sandwiches. I need to check out your other posts on this subject. I'm running out of ideas.
Amanda H. September 12, 2014
You'll see I go through phases (warning: brown rice phase, poached tuna phase) and generally loathe making sandwiches -- so I'm all for quinoa. Haven't done anything with orzo, but might now!
sandra September 12, 2014
I just found this series - what a great idea. I love how because you have twins you have two of everything... makes for a nice composition. I will definitely check out your past posts for inspiration.
Amanda H. September 12, 2014
Thanks -- hope you find it helpful. We're all in this together!
Matthew C. September 12, 2014
So that avocado was from the day before and it still looked like that? Must have some magic avo's over your way.
Amanda H. September 12, 2014
Yes, it was just halved the day before and had lime on it before it was wrapped, so it stayed pretty nice.
Jo September 11, 2014
That looks like a delicious lunch! I like that there's something healthy as well as a treat. And I'm going to try the golden tomato and corn combo, once our Aussie summer kicks in. My kid's lunchbox today (and everyday!) is leftovers that we heat up in morning, and pack into a wide-mouth Thermos. I like it because it means not having to think up/prepare a separate lunch menu everyday. I cook enough dinner for all of us to have leftovers for lunch.
Amanda H. September 12, 2014
That's a smart approach.
Rebecca A. September 11, 2014
Any tips on how to keep avocado from getting too dis colored?
Jo September 11, 2014
Tossing the avocado with some lime or lemon juice helps.