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How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food    by Chris Butterworth & Lucia Gaggiotti order for
How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?
by Chris Butterworth
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2011 (2011)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This picture book for children five years of age and older explains that food just doesn't magically appear at the local food store to be purchased for healthy lunches.

After posing the question 'So where did it (food) come from before it was in the store?', the author shows that the process is complex and involves a lot of people. Looking at the book's double page spreads the reader sees wheat harvested, milled into flour and transformed into bread for sandwiches.

Next you'll see how cheese is made, where tomatoes and apple juice comes from, and how carrots are planted, plucked from the ground, and washed before they end up in the lunchbox.

The story of chocolate cookies is more complex because it involves the production of chocolate from cocoa beans in a faraway land. Then the cleaning and roasting of the beans occurs before they're processed into chocolate. Finally, the chocolate goes to a factory where the cookies are made.

The final stop is a clementine grove where the juicy fruit is grown and then picked so that it can be boxed and shipped off to the grocery stores and fruit stands.

Finally, the author stresses the importance of a following a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein and carbohydrates.

Seeing what goes into the food we consume should make a child more appreciative of how complex the process is. After reading the book I'd suggest taking the youngster to a bakery, dairy or produce farm so he or she can get even a better sense of where food comes from. Many food processors and companies also offer tours, so why not combine a stop for a tour with the family vacation or a trip somewhere?

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