Subscriber feedback > A packed lunch is like a jigsaw puzzle…

Several months ago I wrote a weekly cooking letter about how making a packed lunch was like a jigsaw puzzle made up of 5 parts: drink + meal + veggie/fruit + sweet + salty.

My musings about making lunches and how to get yourself organized sparked a couple of great letters from One Roast Chicken subscribers.

Jennifer (Maple Ridge, BC) writes:

“I make lunch for Brendan every Monday and Wednesday night for preschool, so I love your 5-step jigsaw puzzle idea. I have to avoid nuts, so PB&J is unfortunately out, so I often struggle to find something that he will eat, and not the same thing each time. Cheese sticks are a common part of the puzzle for us… I like your suggestion to buy small milk containers rather than the juice boxes, although I usually give him a juice box (preferably with 25% less sugar) PLUS a sippy cup with milk in it. I’d love to see André take a sippy cup to work!

I usually make up a container of low-fat veggie dip (sometimes it goes well with chips, too J ) and I put some in a small plastic container along with the left-over cut-up veggies I served with dinner.

Philly makes light cream cheese dips like “Light Garden Vegetable” which is good as a sandwich spread instead of mayo (and surprisingly less fattening). That also takes care of the cheese part of a meat sandwich (one less step to worry about). Or sometimes I buy pre-sliced cheese at the deli counter when I’m buying lunch meats. I buy the big bags of sugar snap peas ($9.99 for a family pack, but I think it’s worth it), which is a very easy and healthy crunchy snack, with or without dip.

Now I’m going to go and see what to make for Brendan’s lunch tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration!”

Irm (Victoria, BC) writes:

“I like your contemplations on lunch. I hesitate to mention, but think you might find it interesting to hear about making lunch for four different people each morning. One refuses to eat mayonnaise, will eat almost any kind of fruit or vegetable, but is picky about cookies (they’d better not be the least bit stale!); another loves loads of mayo but won’t eat liversausage, any kind of whole grain bread, or fruit that has gone the least bit brown or mushy; another likes mayo, but not with liversausage, is the only one who will eat fig newtons, and likes apples but not oranges; then there’s the one who likes sandwiches as long as they contain at least two condiments and three other toppings, but doesn’t fuss about much else. I won’t mention myself, although I do pack my own lunch, too.”

OK, what do you think?

Do you have any lunch tips you’d like to share with us? Any particular challenges? Need help? As always, I’d love to hear your feedback. Just post a comment or drop me a line 🙂 You can always reach me at

Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef

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