Brown Bag Lunch

Even Chefs Stress About Packing Their Kids Lunch

September  4, 2015

When Chef Vivian Howard doesn't know what to pack her 4-year-old twins for lunch, she gives them the food she herself enjoys eating.

My twins' first ever day of big-kid school was this week. Aware that people expect the children of a chef to bring creative, balanced, beautiful arrangements of perfectly curated nutrition, I stressed over what to send for lunch. 

Shop the Story

I didn’t want to let anybody down, but Theo and Flo are only 4 and, for the first few weeks at least, my goal is for them to feel comfortable at school and confident at lunch. 

So the not so chef-y spread you’re looking at is seedless watermelon, avocado with lime and salt, Chapel Hill Creamery Calvander Cheese, and chocolate-covered almonds. I don’t believe in fixing dinner for my husband and me and fixing something else for my kids, so I give them foods I, too, like to eat. And everything here is something I enjoy and feel good about feeding them.

You can catch Chef Vivian Howard and her Southern-style farm-to-table recipes on A Chef’s Life, airing weekends on PBS starting September 3 (check local listings).

Photo by Vivian Howard

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • jameswilliam
  • 702551
  • Stephanie G
    Stephanie G
  • RoastedBeet


jameswilliam October 31, 2020
I am excited to hear there's a third season in transit. You got this Cali fellow to dive into the magnificence of collard greens pot alcohol and bubbled peanuts. [url=]pardon my french jacket[/url]
702551 September 4, 2015
Viv, I think your PBS show is one of the best food education pieces that has come out in the past twenty years, including all cookbooks published within this timeframe.

I am thrilled to hear there's a third season on the way. You got this Cali guy to delve into the beauty of collard greens pot liquor and boiled peanuts.

I've mentioned your buttermilk biscuit segment a couple times here as one of the finest "non-recipes" I have ever seen.

Anyhow, looking forward to Season 3.
Stephanie G. September 4, 2015
Where did you get those almonds???
RoastedBeet September 4, 2015
Does the lime keep the avocado from browning?