Back to School Week, Part 1: Let’s Do Lunch!
September 3, 2013 | 11:40 am
By Joanna Cabot
It’s back-to-school week here in Canada!
Public schools typically open the Tuesday after Labor Day; I teach in a private school, so we don’t start classes until Thursday, but we’re back for meetings and prep bright and early on Tuesday morning. To celebrate this annual rite of Autumn, I’ll be highlighting some useful school-thened e-book resources.
For this inaugural post, we’ll be “doing lunch” by looking at some lunchbox-themed e-books.
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1. Cooking with Trader Joe’s Easy Lunchboxes by Kelly Lester
I use the “Easy Lunchbox” containers regularly, and love their beautiful, photo-heavy cookbook so much that I have copies both in print (autographed!) and in paper.
The Kindle version is nicely formatted with a proper table of contents and is blissfully typo-free. The book has a nice selection of entries as well, with some convenience foods (it is from the Trader Joe’s line, after all!) and some more whole food based stuff too, but nothing too difficult to make or assemble.
There are special sections for vegetarian, gluten-free and other special diets, and each recipe includes side dish suggestions and nutritional information.
2. Yum! Healthy Bento Box Lunches for Kids by Sherrie le Masurier
This inexpensive and photo-packed mini-ebook doesn’t offer any earth-shaking stuff, and in places can come across as a bit of an advertorial for a specific lunch container brand. But it has some good ideas for pickier kids because most of the recipes just require assembling, not cooking per se.
The lunch container brand they advertise is a segmented container featuring spots for every food group, and it might offer some help for those with picky kids who may need some prompting to get in their veggies and fruits.
3. Vegan Lunchbox by Jennifer McCann
This author was the blog darling of 2007, and she has written an excellent cookbook, and not just for vegans either.
This is a book that I have used, which is saying something given how weak I am as a cook.
One problem: The e-book is formatted wonkily in a few places. It’s still readable, but there are extra spaces and other formatting glitches. I love my paper copy, and I would recommend it over the e-book.
4. The Healthy Lunchbox by Katie Kimball
This book focuses on non-sandwich lunches, and this is a welcome niche to explore.
The recipes were a bit of a mixed bag for me, but I know a lot of kids who don’t eat sandwiches, and there is a need for more writing in this area.
Also, the author includes links to several printables and other “extras” you can sign up for on her blog. This extra content is a most welcome bonus!
5. Healthy School Lunches by Nava Atlas
Another vegetarian-themed offering, and from a cookbook author I especially like!
A few reviewers complained about typos and recipe errors, so be warned, but Nava Atlas is generally quite a reliable recipe writer even for this non-cook, and the book is so inexpensive that I bought it without hesitation.
Will you be packing school lunches this year? If so, hope this post gives you some good ideas!