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Even Chefs Stress About Packing Their Kids Lunch

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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. 

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

Tags: kids' lunch, brown-bag lunch, brown bag lunch, packed lunch, vivian howard