What do celebrity chefs feed their kids?

09/21/2007 at 02:55 PM ET

We all know what we feed our children on a regular basis, but have you ever wondered what famous chefs are feeding their children? If so, read on.

Rachel Thebault — daughter Marin, 2 1/2:

My daughter loves foods in different shapes. Sometimes I’ll use cookiecutters to cut out her  sandwiches or vegetables. Of course, I alsoalways include fruit in my daughter’s lunch. But if you are worriedabout your child getting homesick during the day while he or she is atschool, I think it’s nice to include a cookie or a piece of cake thatyou baked together over the weekend—and maybe a small note telling themthat you love them. Or you could pipe the words “Love, Mom” in frostingonto the cookie itself.

Emeril Lagasse — son E.J., 4, and daughter Meril, 2 1/2: My son E.J. starts school this fall, so we haven’t begun making lunchboxes, but we will soon! My kids are great eaters. For lunch or asnack, E.J. helps me prepare fun foods, such as shrimp spring rolls.They’re great for kids, because they are portable and you can fill themwith lots of fresh veggies. My kids also love anything with pasta, likea sesame noodle salad. For a special treat, sometimes we will make amango lassi [an Indian yogurt drink] for them.

Tyler Florence —
son Miles, 10, son Hayden, 4 months on Sunday: 

I try to keep my son Miles’ menus straightforward — but with a twist.He’s big into wraps stuffed with grilled vegetables and goat cheese. Achicken Caesar salad also makes for an unbelievably good sandwich on asourdough roll.

One of his other favorites: fresh heirloom tomatoessliced thick, with buffalo mozzarella and a touch of fresh pesto. If hehappens to trade what I made for him when he gets to school, it’s agreat way to break the ice with the girls.

To read about more chefs and what they feed their children or for recipes, visit Parade Magazine.

Thanks to CBB reader Mary Beth.

What do you pack for your kids for lunch?


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Showing 17 comments

kellymom on

That all sounds wonderful, but those of us with 9-5 jobs and school schedules and no help sometimes have to stick w/PB&J 🙂

Xan on

How absolutely nuts! I was actually pondering that question today. I assumed that while chefs’ kids would be more exposed to finer foods, they might just love good ol’ kid classics.

Reality bites on

Who is Rachel Thebalt and what makes her a celebrity?

Angela’s note: Rachel was a stay-at-home mom who created Tribeca Treats in New York City that has become known for its baked goods.

m on

i thought emeril had twins….??

Sarah’s note: His wife was pregnant with twins but they lost one in-utero, sadly.

Poetstar on

Ummm yeah, peanut butter and jelly is old school I guess. Wow, I don’t even eat like that! Wraps are good!

m on

i hadnt heard that he lost one of his twins-
only two of my babes are here earthside with me.
i understand the pain & i feel so sad for them.
thank you for letting me know what happened,sarah.

sinclair on

“stay-at-home mom”–argh, that term makes me cringe. A mom is a mom is a mom, period. (Nothing against you Sarah…just hate all of these labels, like “working mom” vs. SAHM. What parent doesn’t work?? WTE of park ave. moms who don’t have to lift a finger w/kids!!)

anyway, nice to hear what the chefs prepare for their little ones.

Sarah’s note: I’m confused. I think you mean Angela?

brannon on

My son is a baby “gourmet” too! He’s never had PB&J or hot dogs or any other “kid menu” things. We always order him 1/2 portions at restaurants of “adult” foods. Lunch today was a shrimp and lobster quesadilla (he’s 1 1/2!) On the other hand, I am picky – very – so he definitely gets his fine tastes from somewhere else. He’s not old enough for packed lunches yet, but I imagine I’m going to have a hard time when he is! Tip to one of these celebrity chef parents … write a book for those of us with kids who like finer foods! There are already books for kids who won’t eat vegetables, how about a book for parents of kids who eat everything but can’t cook 🙂 I could use the help making mini-meals 🙂

preesi on

In Japanese school districts that dont have school prepared lunches, Japanese moms are sent home a paper telling them that making elaborate Bentos each morning is required to ensure their children feel LOVED by them.
Imagine being a Mom of three and having to wake up each morning and make these:

BTW to continue my Japanese school lunch culture lesson for you, heres one Japanese Mothers essay (with pictures) on the Japanese School Lunch system:

Crystal on

My fiancé’s father just got back from Japan (he’s a high school teacher and he went to Japan to learn about their school systems and such – the Japanese gov’t paid for it – you may of heard of it) anyways… lol.. He told me about how the mothers send their kids to school w/ elaborate lunches and there is always a competition about which mom does the best. I had no idea they were that elaborate though!!!! I don’t think I am artistic or talented enough to do that!

preesi on

Some Japanese Moms “cheat” and use the new premade frozen Bento fillers and precut Nori shapes.
But most make them themselves.
If you wanna try making a Bento for your child, try eBay for hard boiled egg molds (send your kid to school with hard boiled eggs that look like cars or bunnies) and other fun Bento accessories like a hamburger shaped Bento box.
Somewhere online they sell Pokemon precut Nori shapes!

Jen on

Sinclair, I think Angela mentioned that Rachel used to be a stay-at-home mom to drive the point that she made a business out of something she normally did for a hobby and out of love and she knew she was good at it.

At least that’s what I thought. I don’t take offence to either mom title…lol. 🙂

Crystal on


Thanks so much for the info! I don’t have a child yet – I am still in college and am not quite ready yet 😉 although I really want one! But I will definitely get the molds – I’ve already found them on eBay :). Thanks again!

PSB on

When I die, I want to come back as one of Emeril or Tyler’s kids. What a great life!

Jean on

I base my home lunches (two kids of my own, three I watch, all under 4 years old) on the Japanese bento style with a http://www.veganlunchbox.com bent. They all love them and I’m always surprised at what they will eat.

preesi on

Jean and Crystal?

All you need to make a proper Japanese Style Bento is a Bento Kit (the bento box with matching chopsticks, desk cloth and bag)

Next in one half of one layer box unmold cooked short grain rice and decorate with nori or raw veggie cut outs! (Craft hole punches work perfectly for nori) Or stencils layed on the rice and dusted with spices make patterns…

NEXT, buy happy little candy “muffin papers” and put a few edamame, cooked veggies, simmered kabocha (japanese pumpkin) etc.

Buy mini hot dogs or sausages and cut them into octopus. Make boneless Kare age (Japanese fried chicken) or Japanese rolled omelet slices.

ALWAYS serve Japanese lunch with MILK (WHOLE milk) as thats what is served in all Japanese schools…

Here are a few fab bentos

Leftovers work great in Bentos.

I got my Wegmans Sushi fix today! Im a Japanese food fanatic. I can go on and on for hours!

BTW Jean? grilled and fried tofu are best in Bentos as regular is too wet and makes the rice unsticky…

Oh and get to know the wonderful world of ONIGIRI (google it)

sinclair on

**yep, sorry sarah. i meant angela.

Jen, points noted. 🙂