Lunch box ideas – Part two

The topic du jour is school lunches… part one was all about links to inspiring lunch box ideas, but this time here is one of our own, inspired by one of my favourite kids books Yoko by Rosemary Wells.


As I mentioned on Loobylu some months ago, Yoko is an infinitely readable story. Every day, Yoko is lucky enough to take a bamboo cooler full of her favourite sushi for school lunch along with a snack of something as delicious as red bean ice-cream; much to her “squeeze cheese on rye” munching class mate’s horror. Her kind teacher decides to hold an “International Food Day” where each student is required to bring along a dish from a different country, and each child must try a taste of everything. Unfortunately the sushi goes pretty much untouched, but Yoko finally makes a new friend from a hungry little critter whose hunger overcomes his reservations about trying something new.

A fun way to spice up a tired lunchbox routine might be to have your own International food day perhaps once a week or once a month. Choose a different country and explore the cuisine in lunchbox style. Martha Stewart has a bunch of international recipes on her site at the moment – not designed specifically for lunchboxes or kids but if you include an icepack for keeping some food cold or a thermos for keeping other foods warm then with a little imagination they could be easily adapted.

I like the sound of Crisp Spring Rolls from Vietnam, Shrimp Potstickers from China and the Spanish Onion and Potato Torte. Obviously these need to be prepared in advance, maybe for dinner the night before but a Greek Salad or some Guacamole served with toasted pita bread could be a quick solution.

7 Responses to “Lunch box ideas – Part two”

  1. Kelly

    Here in Canada, the Rosemary Wells story of Yoko is an episode of “Timothy Goes To School” and is my 4 year old’s favorite because of the “try it and you might like it” message. She *Loves* sushi — much to the amazement and horror of her daycare mates & teachers, as most have never tried it. She says “really, it’s good, you should try it!” to her little pals. We’re not of asian decent and it comes as a surprise to some that my rural girl has international tastes (how sad!) A big treat for Taylor and I is to go to the tiny tea house in town and have green tea and spicy crab &r veggie sushi. Good work on the site Claire, I check it daily! 🙂

  2. Rachel

    I was so surprised when I clicked on the food items such as the Greek Salad, Guacamole and Onion and Potato Torte that they were all recipes from Martha Stewart. I love Martha and personally own a few of her cookbooks and subscribe to 4 of her magazines. I feel you chose a great place to get your recipes because Martha only uses the best foods and that is exactly what I want my children to eat. Organic, wholesome foods. Kudos to Kiddley!!!

  3. Iona

    Thanks for this little series. I’m trying to make lunches more interesting for my 7 yo boy with an insatiable appetite (he also likes sushi!) and, along the way, make sure that I eat more healthy and interesting things at work. I’ve now got the Lunch Matters lunchbox and my son and I are very excited about the possibilities.

  4. Waya

    I read about this yesterday so I decided to pack my 6 y/o son “rice wrapped in Nori” for lunch. All my 3 kids devour that stuff at home, and can’t have enough of it. And my son is a picky eater and when I told him that I’d pack that for him, he replied “yeah!”

    When he got home, there was a note from the teacher and it said “There was an incident with Tyler during lunch. A boy saw what Tyler was eating and called him ‘Chinese boy’. And Tyler punched him in the mouth.” And it went on to say that it was inappropriate etc…And I asked Tyler what happened, he said that “Nick said he was eating poop” and that’s why he punched him. Now you have to know Tyler, he is the most sensitive boy and would never lift his fingers to hit or punch anyone and this reaction surprised us tremendously. But the point is that the boy called his lunch “poop” and not because he was called “Chinese boy” (our kids are half Korean, half Vietnamese). So I’m glad in that way. But also sad that kids will be kids and my son will have to grow up faster than any other kids his age from this point on.

    But that doesn’t mean that I won’t pack that for Tyler again. Sorry for the long comment.

  5. kath

    my kids are into ‘clean’ foods, they hate foods that need to be heated (in fact this is discouraged at our school) and are not into foods that require a spoon or other utensils. So what on earth is the solution? – inventive sandwhiches – using lots of different sorts of breads and fillings – there really are infinite possibilities. And the whole lunch thing becomes more difficult with so many schools now being ‘nut free’ – this excludes muesli bars, lots of different sorts of biscuits, peanut butter of course and fruit and nut mixes. What alternatives can you suggest? I am running out of ideas the kids are getting sick of dried fruit combos and can’t bear homemade muisli bars (although I love them!)

  6. Kiddley » Blog Archive » Theme dinners

    […] In the Kiddley archives you can find a post on having International Food themes for school lunchboxes. We linked to an index of International recipes on Martha Stewart which might be useful when choosing food to match a theme. […]

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