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12 Childhood Lunches to Bring Back into Heavy Rotation

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In elementary school, lunch was never about what was in your box, it was about the trades. One pizza bagel could usually score you pre-packaged cheese and crackers, and squeezable yogurt was good for one chocolate chip cookie if you were lucky. And then there was always the lucky King of the Playground who was sent to school with the all-reigning, cake-flavored Pop-Tart.

Just try to top a homemade Dunkaroo.
Just try to top a homemade Dunkaroo. Photo by Molly Yeh

While Dunkaroos don't carry quite the same weight they once did, there's still an undeniable joy that comes from biting into a perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But now the store-bought, cloyingly sweet jelly and sodium-packed bologna has been replaced by the finer things in life, like homemade preserves. And words like charcuterie have found their way into our vocabulary. Here are 12 childhood lunches, updated:

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If you liked PB&Js, try an upgrade:

Roasted Tomato Jam

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Spicy Thai PB&J

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Tahini Toast

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Toasted Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich on Rosemary Chocolate Bread

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Brown Butter Apple Tart

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Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese, Quark, Prosciutto, and Gremolata

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Corn, Spring Onion, and Ricotta Tart

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Yogurt and Berry Tart with a Pecan Crust

Yogurt and Berry Tart with a Pecan Crust by fiveandspice

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Tags: kid lunch, lunchables, pack lunch