How John Donohue of Stay at Stove Dad Packs a Lunch

September 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

How John Donohue of Stay at Stove Dad Packs a Lunch-photo I have two girls, ages five and seven, and making lunch for them on school day mornings is always a pulse-raising race against time. I’ve been lucky so far because they don’t mind eating almost the same thing ever day. This makes my life easier, but it also pains me-I love to cook a wide variety of food for them for their other meals, but doing so for school lunches is not something I’ve mastered yet.

The staples have been a sunflower-butter sandwich and a red-pepper humus sandwich (each girl has her preference). I make them with whole-wheat slices from Bread Alone-they make one of the few loaves without added sugar. I keep it in the freezer, and on mornings when I need to make sandwiches, I start with the frozen bread. It defrosts magically, and tastes as fresh (or almost) as the day I bought it. I usually cut the crusts off, and I always include peeled and sliced carrots for some extra nutrition. I’ll add a few baked Goldfish or other crackers for fun, and sometimes I toss in a bit of dark chocolate as a surprise (or a little note; once I got a hand-written reply with a frowny face from my eldest telling me I’d given her the wrong crackers). Last year, my sister-in-law gave them Laptop Lunch bento boxes, and that has made the packing easier. I no longer waste plastic bags, and I feel good about that. The lack of variety, though, is something I’d like to work on!


  • Sandwiches (humus or sunflower butter)
  • Peeled carrots
  • Goldfish or other fun crackers
  • A piece of dark chocolate (every so often)



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