When it comes to packing our five year old’s school lunch, as much as we’d like to be rolling up Vietnamese summer rolls (an honest goal) and other holdable, global goodies, most of the time it’s a rushed affair, sometimes bordering on an afterthought. But we do our darndest. Sure we lean on that protein and carb mainstay the PBJ (whole grain bread, natch. organic everything else. not bad, right?). We’ll throw in some trans-fat-free (the standard these days, I hope) crackers of some sort. Always some fruit (apples, pears, tangerines, and grapes these days). Maybe some crudite, which usually goes uneaten.
But following a recent adult/kid sunday cocktail play date party, we had some luxe leftovers: some mixed olives from a great cheese shop, as well as some world class cheeses (hey, in the rare event that we throw a party, we’re not about to go off half cocked. we were serving top shelf booze, so why not have some standards with the cheese?). So the next day we decided to kit out my daughter’s school lunch with a bonus snack: a good cheese. While my omnivore daughter would’ve preferred a three-cheese cheese platter of triple cream cow Brillat Savarin, some artisanal Cali goat cheese, and a good chunk of manchego, we knew that the creamier cheeses could’ve made for a messy lunch time, so we singled out the hard manchego to take along: no melting, no mess, but just one super-satisfying salty-sheepy chunk of Spanish goodness. She was thrilled. Since then, we’ve thrown in some chunks of parmesan. Maybe next time a few cornichon. No better way of making the most of party leftovers than giving them to an appreciative gastrokid.
So, gastromoms and dads, we know there must be other creative ideas for good, healthy, portable, not-too-quickly spoilable snacks for the lunchbox. Please share. And (this is a bit of a tall order) if you’ve got something with the all healthyness, portability, and appeal of the PBJ, we’d love to know.