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What chefs’ kids are eating

'The more [kids] are involved more chances they will enjoy eeverything sent' says chef Matthias Merges whose two daughters snack

"The more [kids] are involved, the more chances they will enjoy and eat everything sent," says chef Matthias Merges, whose two daughters snack on nori and freeze-dried fruit.

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Updated: May 9, 2012 9:43AM

Every other chef, it seems, can recall with much fondness the potato chip-stuffed sandwich of his or her youth. But that’s not what they’re packing in their own kid’s lunchbox.

Homaro Cantu, moto and iNG

Grapes, crackers, carrots, untoasted bagels, any carbonated fruit and yogurt smoothies (for daughters ages 6 and 4).

Sandra Holl, Floriole Cafe and Bakery

My daughter (age 4) is somewhat of a picky eater. We try to pack some tried and true healthy options like fresh goat cheese and whole-grain crackers, or maybe some salami or a hard-boiled egg. Left to her own devices, she would happily eat a ham and butter sandwich on baguette every day.

Matthias Merges, formerly of Charlie Trotter’s

I try to follow a few rules (for daughters ages 9 and 7). Do not send processed foods; keep foods low in sugar and salt; balance food groups (grains, vegetables, protein), and yes, they love grains such as wheatberries and quinoa; make them part of the cooking process. The more they are involved, the more chances they will enjoy and eat everything sent. My kids’ favorite snacks range from sheets of nori to freeze-dried berries and fruits.

Steve McDonagh, Hearty

Nate loves Swiss cheese, but only because of the holes ... So I’ll give him a simple sandwich of Swiss on thin bread with a little mayo. He loves salt and crunch more than sweet, so I strive to satisfy that craving with the least offensive salty snacks — no trans fats, baked not fried — so I’ll pack in Goldfish or pretzels. And since he loves crunch, I always pack sliced red peppers or cukes. Somewhere in that mix, he’ll be fed a lunch even if he ignores one of the choices.

Phillip Foss, Meatyballs Mobile and El Ideas

Talia (age 4) does not eat much more than a chocolate spread sandwich on pita. If it’s not chocolate, white, pizza or mac ‘n’ cheese, she wants nothing to do with it.

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