Parker is 9. He is prone to acting 19. He can be a great eater. He can be a horrible eater. He digs whole grains; picks sushi over pizza; counts a four-hour, 10-course meal among the highlights of his life; and will try nearly anything… once.

Don’t get impressed quite yet. He still doesn’t hesitate to go on PB&J benders; won’t touch most veggies, especially any that dare to be green; could measure his butter and bacon consumption by the pound; and thinks there is nothing wrong with claiming fullness to secure an earlier dessert.

Parker Hirsch

41 Responses to “Him”

  1. Marta Lavandier says:

    J.M. Love your blog. I have shared it with many of my friends who like me had run out of ideas, tired of food not eaten or given up on healthy lunches for our kids. Keep it up!

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Many thanks! Always good to hear I’m not alone in the struggle to put together a lunch both the kid and I can stomach.

  2. […] Blues” in which he documents with text and photos the creative school lunches he packs for his impossibly adorable six-year-old son, […]

  3. Erica says:

    I love this blog. We’re in a picky phase in our household right now. I post my daughter’s lunches online as well- she’s almost 3 – I also post what comes back – which is enlightening. The lunches I pack aren’t nearly as creative as yours. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks so much. And I enjoyed your posts on Facebook. I like the idea of posting what comes back. I considered that, but decided I couldn’t possibly be that organized. I usually empty the lunchbox and put it in the dishwasher while making dinner. Too crazy to also get out the camera!

  4. SinoSoul says:

    this entire project will be my nightmare in 5 years…

  5. Sushi over pizza? What exactly are you teaching this kid? :)

  6. Nicole says:

    I love what you are doing. What a special father son relationship. The comment above about nightmare is pretty upsetting. I love to feed my son. Interestingly enough, a lot of people are pretty negative about parenting these days. Great job here.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Many thanks. I agree. Feeding my son is a wonderful challenge. Kids need to know what real food is, where it comes from and what it takes to get it to the table. Might as well have fun with it.

      • gloria says:

        I agree! Our kids have always eaten what we as parents have eaten, starting in the womb! In fact, my oldest daughter lost her first tooth eating a jalepeno popper (bacon-wrapped, cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno)!

        • J.M Hirsch says:

          Ha! Love that. Parker goes hot and cold on the poppers. Sometimes he loves them. Sometimes not. But I’m with you — I will not cook two meals. He eats what I make, or he doesn’t eat.

  7. Gopal says:

    Hi there. I have a 19 month old who loves to follow me around the kitchen when I am cooking. He wants me to pick him up and show him when I am working on the stove. I hope that I will be able to cook these awesome lunches for him when he starts going to school. Thank you for the blog. Your son is truly blessed to have a wonderful father.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      That’s an awesome start. And never shy away from getting him involved, even at this age. I gave my son his first knife (a real one) when he was about 2. He’s great in the kitchen, loves to help and gets excited about food.

      • Gopal says:

        Thank you for your reply.

        I already see signs of him taking to cooking. He pretends to cook with his plastic bowls and spoons. He even comes to me and my wife and asks us to ‘taste’ his food. It brings us a lot of joy to see that. I am very much into cooking and would love to see my son feel the same way about food.

        I am going to do as you suggested and slowly start introducing my son to various tasks around the kitchen.

        I guess that his girlfriends will be lucky. :)

        Thanks again

        • J.M Hirsch says:

          That is awesome. And that’s how Parker started. The hardest part for me was embracing the mess. I’m a neat freak in my kitchen and mess rives me nuts. But cooking with kids is by definition messy. Once I embraced that, it was easier for both of us!

          Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  8. April Steele says:

    I have a 7 year old named Parker as well (he’ll be 8 in May). He will also try anything and has a much more appreciative palate than his older siblings (I am also mom to Summer, 9 and Hunter, 11). Love your lunches, but am interested in learning more about packaging these meals…to keep warm things warm and cold things safe to eat. I could use some instruction/tips/suggestion in is area.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      How crazy! My Parker turns 8 in September. So glad you enjoy the site. In terms of packing, I’m totally paranoid about food poisoning, so I do take precautions (especially with some of the crazy stuff I pack). The LunchBots containers I use don’t keep things warm or cold. Anything that needs to stay warm, I pack in a heated thermos. I made sure to buy varieties that are rated to keep things hot for at least five hours (most are labeled, so it’s easy to pick a good one). Heating the thermos is easy. I just boil some water, pour that into the thermos, then put on the cover. This heats up the inside of the thermos while I prepare the food to put in it. Once I’m ready, I pour out the water, then fill it with the hot food. Items that need to stay cool get packed in the Lunchbots. I put everything in an insulated lunch box and add an ice pack right before I send my son out the door. That does a good job of keeping those items nice and cold. You also can check out this post for a rundown on all the gear I use. http://www.lunchboxblues.com/?p=1411

  9. FSH says:

    Good Evening,

    I found out about your site while reading Everday FOOD (March2012) issue. Great job! I have a 4 year old and a almost a year old and trust me my Bento box looks nothing like your. I will continue checking your site because I think that you have some great ideas. Thanks for doing what you’re doing, you’re a great dad.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks! I think I may print out your note and make my son read it out loud every morning, especially on the ones when he’s feeling grumpy!

  10. Hilary says:

    I just discovered your blog as well while reading “Everyday Food.” Wow ! What wonderful lunches your son gets to eat. I have two boys, 5 and 7. They are so picky,we have barely ventured out of the PB&J or ham sandwhich realm. But after reading your blog I will have to get more creative. You are an inspiration! Thank you.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks! I hear you on the picky eater. My son still thinks anything green is evil. Drives me nuts. Luckily he eats just about anything else, and doesn’t seem to mind how things are seasoned, sauced or otherwise cooked. So as long as the core ingredients are things he likes — such as meat or grains — I can do whatever I want with them. You might try that as a starting point — pick their favorite protein, then go a little crazy with it! Good luck and let me know how it works.

  11. Tospron says:

    I realized that you are a great dad . How could you create the different menu everyday ? It is amazing !

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Ha! Many thanks! I just try to work with what I have. Which usually means whatever leftovers I dig up in the refrigerator.

  12. Heidi G says:

    Found your this site in the “Everyday Food” magazine!
    I looked up your link right off.
    Wish you’d have your recipies on seperate tab. I’d make every single one!
    Our daughter is only one – but I’m sure she’d EAT it all!
    Thank you for SHARING!
    Parker looks like a fun kid! :)

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks for checking out the site! Most of the stuff I make doesn’t need recipes — more ideas than actual recipes. But I’m always happy to share if something isn’t clear.

  13. carolina says:

    So in love with your blog, u are an amazing daddy and Parker is a Cutie pie :)

  14. C says:

    I’m 18 and a vegetarian but I still love reading your blog for inspiration for my own lunch.

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks so much! I was vegan for many years and my mom still is. And I still try to make vegetables the center of my plate. Enjoy the

  15. C says:

    Were you going to say enjoy the blog?

  16. pam says:

    i love the ideas you have for your sons lunches, i may borrow some for my own lunches. i am curious, what do you pack for yourself?

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks so much! Glad you enjoy the site. As for myself… I work from home, so I don’t need to pack lunches for myself. And more often than not, I take my lunch in the form of coffee. I know… Bad habit. When I do eat lunch, I tend toward salads — a big heap of greens, some tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and some sort of protein, usually chicken. I don’t use a typical dressing. Instead, I sprinkle the salad with seasoned rice vinegar, salt and pepper.

  17. C says:

    In the summer when you were doing that vegetable boot camp thing, it was cool to see that your son was reading Harry Potter, because I was reading them too! Has he read the Edge Chronicles?

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Thanks for reading along. He loved the Harry Potter books. He’s now reading the Bliss series. He hasn’t read Edge Chronicles, but I just added the first book to his list. Will let you know if he likes it. I read the summary on Amazon and it sounds good. He also really liked the Gideon Trilogy.

  18. Kristin Miller says:

    Loved your blog! It inspired me to be more creative in the kitchen. I have a step-son who is 7 who prefers Sushi over a Burger or Pizza. You have some awesome ideas. He rather have a cold chicken leg or leftover steak in his lunch than a PB&J sandwich. I cant wait to share them with him and see what we can make. Thank you

    • J.M Hirsch says:

      Now that’s my type of kid! Be sure to show him Parker’s bison steak carpaccio lunches. That’s a big hit with my little guy. Thanks so much for reading!

  19. Karen says:

    Love the great stories about Parker and all the comments from other parents. I am a 53-year-old with no children and can’t tell you how inspiring this book is to me! I try to eat healthy as well as save $ by packing my own lunch. I have been in a salad rut for so long and want to thank you for the fabulous ideas to change up lunch for “kids” of all ages! Looking forward to your next book!

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