Variety is truly the spice of life and when it comes to lunches, thinking “out of the box, or lunchbox” might be just what you need to create a healthful, colorful, and delicious creation that will make your kid the envy of his lunchroom friends.   

True fact: Growing up, my parents owned and operated a restaurant that our family of 6 lived on top of. It was actually called, The Spice of Life thus my lead-in. Our daily school lunches would consist of the most creative and most definitely bizarre combinations of food: its value was only calculated by how many Little Debbie brand cupcakes we could trade for. Unfortunately, the previous night’s dining room special—an apricot honey-glazed roasted quail. (imagine a gangly tiny chicken covered in orange slime)—was a very hard trade among the fluffernutter and wonderbread crowd. 

We can do better now and I’m healing from my early lunchbox trauma, thanks to our beautiful Maui growers and food artisans. Here are some fun ideas to mix things up, incorporate some of our local vegetables, and bring some pizzaz to your kids’ lunchbox: 


  • Avocado
  • Tortillas
  • Sesame seeds
  • Rice (brown or white)
  • Hummus
  • Black beans
  • Lime
  • Sumac
  • Salt
  • Garlic Salt


Popular in Middle Eastern cooking, sumac is a red spice that consists of ground-up dried berries. They not only provide gorgeous contrast from the beautiful green hues of the avocado but have a nice lemony zing paired with a sprinkle of salt. A gorgeous half of a ripe avocado sprinkled with some sumac and sesame seeds looks as great as they taste.  

  1. Add a scoop of brown or white rice. 
  2. Enclose a nice scoop of some hummus or Maui Raw cultured Mac nut dip. I personally love the chipotle flavor or the spinach/artichoke when available. 
  3. Black beans seasoned with a squeeze of lime, salt, and some cumin and garlic salt.
  4. Enclose some toasted tiny tortillas and your child can make up some colorful and tasty little tacos for their lunchtime break.