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Love Your Lunchbox

(you can use any kind of lunchbox, containers, or bento box for this activity)

Getting Started...

Materials (+ permission) needed:


  • 1 - container: lunch box, container(s), or bento box

  • cooking tools, as needed

  • menu + shopping list (see below)

  • music (optional but highly recommended!)

  • permission (and maybe help) from a grown-up 

Ingredient suggestions: 

You can use a wide variety of whole plant-based ingredients... here are some ideas to get you started:

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  • greens for salad 

  • carrots + celery 

  • cucumber salad

  • steamed broccoli

  • steamed green beans

  • roasted cauliflower

  • roasted sweet potatoes

  • roasted squash

  • peas

  • sweet corn

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  • sprouted grain bread

  • whole wheat or whole rye crackers

  • whole wheat pasta

  • bean-based pasta

  • whole wheat tortilla

  • brown rice

  • bulgur wheat

  • whole wheat pizza crust

  • whole wheat pita

  • hummus

  • nut butter*

  • nuts*

  • garbanzo beans

  • black beans

  • navy beans

  • pinto beans

  • lentils

  • edamame

  • tofu

  • pea, oat, hemp, or soy milk

  • avocados

  • cherry tomatoes

  • berries, any kind

  • apples

  • pears

  • bananas (organic)

  • pineapples, fresh

  • oranges

  • grapes 

  • dates

  • dried plums

  • raisins

Let's Do It...

First, make sure you have reviewed the Cooking is Gooey + Gross! page for safety and set up... 


  • SAFETY: wash your hands with warm, soapy water for about 20 seconds (sing happy birthday).

  • CONTAINER: depending on your lunchbox, container(s), or bento box, decide what you want to make. 

  • MENU: plan and write down a simple menu. EXAMPLES - tomato + cucumber salad / hummus wrap with roasted cauliflower and fresh greens / fruit salad with berries, apples, dates, and lemon juice / carrot + celery sticks / whole wheat pasta salad with navy beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions / apple wedges with any nut butter*. Oodles of possibilities!

  • SHOPPING LIST: write down a list of ingredients you will need for your simple menu.

  • GROCERIES: you can either give your shopping list to a caregiver, or even better... you can join them on their next trip to the market for food shopping. OR, you can use any whole plant foods and beverages you already have in your kitchen.


  • Have fun in the kitchen while you cook up a nutritious and delicious lunch! 

  • New to cooking? Get help from a grown-up or older family member, and make this a team effort.

  • Place your food items in your lunchbox, container(s), or bento box. Chefs like to make food look fabulous, too!

  • Take a photo, and if you want, please send a picture to: Cookhouse Hero would love to see your creation!

  • Clean/Wash up your cooking tools, work space, and put EVERYTHING away where it belongs! 

PS: Cookhouse Heroes often listen to music while cooking... so, turn on your fav songs and fill up your kitchen with totally cool tunes.


Above the FRUITS category, there's an image of a fruit. Can you name it?

(hint: it's originally from China and Taiwan, and farmers in California and New Zealand are the main growers.) 

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