What goes with matzo? Quiche and fried chicken, of course!

Easy lunch ideas for kids: mini ham and cheese quiches; chocolate and almond covered matzo; cucumber; lemon curd and yogurt pastry cup; fried chicken and barbecue sauce

If I had to sum up the greatest lesson I’ve learned in the roughly five years I’ve been packing Parker’s lunches…

It would have to be to not overthink it.

As adults, we tend to get a little too caught up in what goes well together. What should be served hot or cold. What is or isn’t a lunch item. Kids don’t care about any of this.

They want lunch to be fun and yummy. That’s it.

If you can also make it healthy (or healthy-ish) and easy on your morning routine, you have a winner.

Beyond that, it really doesn’t matter what goes in the box.

That’s why I have no trouble packing cold sloppy Joe sandwiches. Or steamed pork buns with a side of lemon goat milk yogurt. Or chicken and whole-grain waffle sandwiches. Or kangaroo jerky and and raspberries.

Because it’s stuff he’ll eat and I can (mostly) feel good about. And that’s what it all comes down to.

Today’s lunch is a great example. It was all about using whatever I happened to have on hand. I’m pretty sure none of these foods really go all that well together. And I’m pretty sure that thought won’t cross Parker’s mind for even a second.

And it took me all of about 5 minutes to pack.

So we start with some leftover mini quiches — phyllo cups filled with egg, cheese and ham. Great hot, but just as good cold. I also had a few spare phyllo cups, which I filled with a blend of lemon curd (sold next to the jams) and Greek yogurt, then topped with berries. He devoured some of those as an after school snack yesterday, but I saved one for today’s lunch.

We were photographing Passover recipes for the AP yesterday, so I snatched a hunk of the chocolate-almond matzo bread for a sweet treat. And then felt the need to balance that with a few hunks of salted cucumber.

Finally, some leftovers from a trip to our favorite ice cream stand. It just opened for the season, so we made our first visit the other night. Parker got the fried chicken and was so eager to have the leftovers in his lunch, he actually left me a trail of sticky notes last night directing me to the refrigerator so I wouldn’t forget to pack it this morning.

Don’t forget, you have until midnight tonight to leave a comment to win one of five books from Matthew Mead. And then stay tuned for this Thursday’s lunch gear giveaway!

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11 Responses to “What goes with matzo? Quiche and fried chicken, of course!”

  1. Daniela says:

    Hilarious!!! can you please remind me if you get the Phyllo cups at the grocery store??what brand are they?

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Yup. I get them in the freezer section of the grocer, usually near the puff pastry and frozen fruit. I think the brand I get is Athens, or something like that. And they’re cheap, too. I think a couple dollars per pack.

  2. SinoSoul says:

    “it really doesn’t matter what goes in the box.” it really doesn’t matter what goes in the box.” “it really doesn’t matter what goes in the box.”

    duly noted. Hopefully I can remember that always.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Ha! And to prove my point, Parker practically licked his lunch containers clean today!

  3. Christy says:

    That sounds like lunch my boys would ask for. Delish!

  4. Heather Hall says:

    I recently discovered this blog. I cannot wait for the book. Oh behalf of lunch challenged parents everywhere, I thank you for becoming a food writer.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks so much! Glad to be of help. Here’s hoping the book is even more helpful than the blog. The beauty of the book is that I wasn’t hostage to Parker’s tastes as much as I am with the blog! So there should be tons of fresh ideas I haven’t done here.

  5. JD says:

    I don’t have a child to pack for and I still find your blog infinitely entertaining. I try pack lunch for myself as much as possible for work and often get caught up in “what goes together”… I really should follow your lead and pack whatever I have on hand, because it will still taste good. Thanks for all your efforts :)

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks so much! A “whatever is handy” approach to lunch is the key to maintaining my sanity!

  6. JD says:

    *to pack… typos galore.