Packing my kid’s lunch—why is this so much more difficult now than when I was a kid? I used to get the same old baloney and American cheese sandwich with chips and a piece of fruit, and I looked forward to eating it everyday because I was starving by the time lunch came around. Granted, I wouldn’t touch a piece of baloney with a 10-foot pole today, but these days, kids seem to have a much more refined and ever-changing palate, and packing the right lunch is like hitting a moving target. Add in food sensitivities and not wanting to be judged for what you feed your kid, and it can be downright stressful to pack a lunch.
I commiserate with those of you with picky eaters like mine who will actually not eat their lunch (aren’t they hungry?), and I admit that being the owner of a healthy-restaurant concept puts added pressure on my own lunch-making. I do deeply care and feel that nutrition is a gift we can give our children that will be with them for the rest of their lives, literally physically part of them and the way their bodies function. Also, cultivating a healthy relationship with food as one of the main pleasures in life is just as important.
If you’d like to give your kids something fun and new a try, here are instructions for how to make a Deli Turkey KyeRito (named after my kid, Kye) at home with your kids. You can put any ingredients you’d like into this!
Deli Turkey KyeRito
(use organic ingredients when possible)
2 whole romaine lettuce leaves
2 slices free-range turkey
½ cup brown or white Rice
mayo, mustard, or ranch dressing (your child’s favorite condiment)
sliced tomato, snap peas, broccoli, sprouts, arugula (your child’s favorite vegetable)
a 9 x 9 sheet of butcher paper or any kind of food-safe paper or cellophane (if use wax or parchment, will have to secure with a tie as tape won’t work)
1. Place 9 x 9 sheet of butcher paper down shiny-side up
2. Place 2 whole romaine leaves down, leaving 1½ inches of paper uncovered at bottom end
3. Spread ½ cup of rice evenly across romaine leaves.
4. Place vegetables lengthwise on rice.
5. Place turkey lengthwise on vegetables.
6. Spread condiment lengthwise on turkey.
7. Fold turkey over condiment, then grab end of romaine closest to you and roll to meet opposite end.
8. Then take the paper end closest to you and roll to wrap romaine roll inside.
9. Tape to secure and fold up bottom up and tape
10. Place in lunch box.