You can't top this lunch tale!

One of our favorite lunch inspirations is food editor for the Associated Press and devoted dad, J. M. Hirsh. His blog Lunch Box Blues makes cooking up interesting school lunches seem alarmingly easy for selections that also look so totally delicious. In fact, on more than one occasion I have personally had lunch box envy of his 8 year old son.

Just as inspiring (though perhaps for different reasons) have been our own fans’ lunch tales at, where you can enter a tale for a coupon and a chance to win $2,500.

We thought we’d invite J.M. to join in the fun, so we asked him to share a tale with us and here’s what he had to say.

Of Uneaten Lunches and Eye Rolls
J.M. Hirsh

My son hates the uneaten lunch eye roll. Ditto for the raised eyebrow. And the “You’re eating it when we get home” is about all it takes to put him over the top.

But my 8-going-on-18-year-old has no idea how easy he has it.

My angst over the occasional unfinished vegetable in his lunch is a pleasantry compared to the fury such a sin unfurled when Sister “Tomato Face” Theresa was on cafeteria duty at my school.

Lunches were eaten. Lunch boxes were inspected to ensure it. It was that simple.

Every day Mom packed me the same cheddar cheese and mustard on whole wheat. Every day she dutifully trimmed off the crusts that made me gag.

Until the day she forgot.

Of course I didn’t eat the crusts. Of course I left those ribs of mustardy wet bread in my clangy metal “Empire Strikes Back” lunch box.

And of course Sister Theresa found them.

“We do NOT waste food, Mr. Hirsch!” she growled, her cheeks and nose taking on their namesake blush.

I sobbed and wailed and begged. Until inspiration hit.

“I’ll make my mother eat them!” I blurted.

Somehow, the blush receded. Somehow it worked. I’d thrown my mother to the nuns, but I didn’t have to eat that soggy, gaggy crust.

Thirty years later, my son bursts each day from his classroom. And he knows all too much that but-I-didn’t-have-time-to-eat-my-carrots will get him an eye roll.

And raised eyebrows.

And that it will not be me eating the carrots – or the crusts – when we get home.

Can you top that lunch tale?
Enter your own tale about your or your kids’ lunch time experiences for a YoKids coupon and a chance to win $2,500 at And stay up to date with J.M.’s latest school lunch adventures at Lunch Box Blues.

YoKids Lunch Tales is in cooperation with Kiwi Magazine and National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day. To learn more about how you can help your school serve up healthier school lunch visit: