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How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food
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How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  260 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Fresh retro artwork lures little readers on a tasty trip to farms, dairies, and more. Yum!

The best part of a young child’s day is often opening a lunchbox and diving in. But how did all that delicious food get there? Who made the bread for the sandwich? What about the cheese inside? Who plucked the fruit? And where did the chocolate in that cookie get its start? From plant
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Candlewick (first published 2011)
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Erin Reilly-Sanders
I'm a big fan of not neglecting food and nutrition issues with kids (and, well, everybody) and so I was excited to see a book that tried to unpack some of what's in a lunchbox. The art is pretty unique and engaging with bright colors and bold shapes on mostly white backgrounds. I like that the foods are slightly stylized with textures and no outlines, as things can look pretty tasty without looking necessarily unrealistic. The kids portrayed are generally multicultural but the default for farmer ...more
Sep 12, 2011 Laura rated it liked it
I'm torn about this book! I really like the idea of helping children and students understand where their food comes from. The colors and explanations are vibrant and fun! How Did That Get in My Lunchbox, however, makes it seem so nice and honest. This book, for example, describes how REAL cheese is made and how REAL carrots are grown. So much cheese, especially the kinds served at school, is processed. And baby carrots are not quite the same as real carrots, are they now. If you are making a big ...more
Lauran Ferguson
Sep 17, 2013 Lauran Ferguson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ch-02-nsta
I think this is a great book to read to a child. It would definitely make them more excited to eat healthier, and it will help them to understand how people make the food that we eat. This book explains the processes of making all sorts of foods such as bread, cheese, chocolate chips, and so much more. The pictures are very colorful and help to bring life to the book.
Jun 21, 2013 Rebekah rated it liked it
This book didn't go where I expected. I thought this would be standard "where does food come from" material aimed at children that would have, say, a baker in a toque kneading bread for sandwiches, whereas this book shows wheat ground into flour and baked in large industrial ovens. It's not a bad start for an honest discussion about food sources and nutrition. Nicely illustrated.
Good concept, although the book ends up being not terribly exciting. This is a good beginner book on food/nutrition and could probably be a discussion starter. My five year didn't really learn anything new here, but if this is your first book on the subject you might.
This books tells how the different things in your lunch box are grown or made by people working.
Dec 03, 2015 ❀angela rated it really liked it
great illustrations and very informative for children.
Joanne Zienty
Feb 07, 2017 Joanne Zienty rated it really liked it
Excellent read aloud for all city and suburban kiddos who think that food comes from the supermarket!
Alexandra Seals
Jun 18, 2016 Alexandra Seals rated it really liked it
Shelves: seals-nonfiction
Text Features: Headings, Illustrations with labels and captions, map, nutritional food diagram, index
Text Structure: Each page tells a sequence of events that led from a food item growing to being processed to being placed in your lunchbox.

Paired fiction text: Sylvia's Spinach
Pryor, K. (2012). Sylvia's spinach. Readers to Eaters.

Students can get a more in-depth look at a subject when the topic has been introduced with a fiction book and then supported with a nonfiction “twin text” (Camp, 2010)
Lauren Bobysud
Sep 30, 2016 Lauren Bobysud rated it liked it
Shelves: read-alouds
This was not a very engaging book on its own for my students. However, when I paraphrased what was on the page and allowed for some in-class commentary, it did turn out to be a very fun read.
Kylee Vaske
Feb 05, 2016 Kylee Vaske rated it it was amazing
Nonfiction/ Twin Text Entry #4:

The nonfiction book How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food written by Chris Butterworth, copyrighted in 2013, is an informational nonfiction book that identifies and explains how certain foods in make it in a lunch box, including details about how the ingredients are farmed and how the food product is made. The foods in this book include bread, cheese, apple-juice, tomatoes, chocolate chips, carrots, and clementine.

The fiction book that I chose to pai
Inhabiting Books
"One of the best parts of the day is when you lift the lid of your lunchbox to see what's inside."
(First sentence.)

I'm willing to bet that your young children, if they're not living on a farm, exhibit a certain disconnect regarding where their food actually comes from. This book will change that. The text and pictures of this eminently readable book do a superb job of providing essential knowledge in a fun way by breaking down the food production chain of certain lunchbox items (bread, cheese, t
Mary Ann
How do we get most of the food we eat? That's right, we make a trip to our nearest store. If we're lucky, we have a home or community garden where we can grow some of our own food. But we are far removed from most food production. Butterworth shows readers how each item in their lunchbox makes it from the farm to the table. For some items like an apple or clementine, it's a simple journey growing on a tree, being picked and washed, then traveling to the store. But other items are much more compl ...more
Grades K-3

This cheerful book has plenty of eye-appeal with bright retro illustrations and simple text that describes the process by which various types of food make it into a lunchbox. Children will follow the wheat from the field to the mill to the bakery to the store, where their families buy the loaves of bread that make their sandwiches. A similar path is shown for cheese, tomatoes, apple juice, carrots, clementines... even the chocolate chips that go into the chocolate chip cookie. Althoug
Pat Salvatini
Sep 05, 2016 Pat Salvatini rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction-3-5
Love the idea, but I'm not in love with the execution. This would be a difficult book for a read-aloud, requiring a lot of extra discussion to help with understanding. While I like the illustrations, because there are so many ideas on one page to illustrate, they are crammed onto the pages making it difficult to appreciate the art AND to allow the art to help tell the story. I was disappointed because the book had so much potential.
Mar 10, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Great for a beginning look at where food comes from, besides the grocery store. The writing is clear and basic but uses proper terminology. The healthy facts at the end are simple, and easy to understand.Nice illustrations adn end papers. Good for 3-7 year olds, great for a preschool, or kindergarten lesson.

My only quibble is it does not talk about meat at all. I can see that it would be hard to include this in the bright colored up beat context of this book but Americans eat meat often and if
Jim Erekson
Sep 10, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Lucia Gaggiotti's illustrations and design are the real story here. Butterworth's straightforward, concise source-to-table descriptions were a great jumping off point for Gaggiotti's infographic-like illustrations of the multiple steps. Her work is reminiscent of the graphic Mary Blair style from the 1950s. Her sense of color is captivating. The spot illustrations of several dozen different foods on the endsheets was so fun to look at. I am glad Candlewick insists on seemingly small design detai ...more
Oct 02, 2012 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
Ask a kid where his apple juice came from, and I guarantee he's gonna tell you it came from the store. This much they know. But where did it come from before it got to the store?

This book explores the origins of a few foods in an average school lunch--bread, cheese, tomato, apple juice, carrots, chocolate chip, and clementine. Explanations are given in a step-by-step, chronological fashion, from the plant (botany) to the plant (industry) and each major step in between, described in simple terms
Julie Esanu
Jan 25, 2012 Julie Esanu rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, food
Chris Butterworth challenges students to think about where the food that they eat for lunch comes from before their parents bought it at the store in this engaging book. With Lucia Gaggiotti's vibrant and eye-catching illustrations, Butterworth explains the origins of common and kid-friendly food, such as bread, carrots, and clementines (with an emphasis on fresh and healthy foods). This book is fun way to "hook" to think about healthy eating and as a reminder that food does not magically appear ...more
Marguarite Markley
May 09, 2012 Marguarite Markley rated it really liked it
This story starts with a full lunch box and each page shows how each of the items in the lunchbox was made. At the end, there is a mini lesson in nutrition. I would give this kids who like the "From Start to Finish" series. Also I would recommend for young children who always want to know "why" or "how" something was done/made. Great illustrations keep the kids attention and a good amount of information to give them a basic knowledge of how the apple juice started in an orchard and ended up in t ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing
How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food takes the reader though each step of the food production process. The book has beautify detailed and colored cartoon-like pictures to show each step of the food process. This enables students to very clearly see how food is produced/grown and gets to their hands. Among many things, How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? can be paired with other books about agriculture, food, where things come from, and jobs. This book can be used in agriculture, food ...more
Apr 05, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Chris Butterworth's 'How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?' is a non-fiction book describing how different crop foods are processed into the foods that we see in our lunchboxes.

"The farmer plants and sows the wheat, and the factory grinds it into flour to bake bread and packs it into a truck. The truck driver delivers it to the grocery store where it can be purchased."

This book could be used in a unit lesson on health and nutrition, and also give students a better appreciation for all the people that
Apr 27, 2016 Steph rated it liked it
This book is bright and appealing; it's an awesome resource to teach sequencing. I love the rounded edges to the book, too, and enjoy that this simple feature makes it stand out on a shelf. The "moral" of the story, knowing where our food comes from, is an awesome destination to have for a children's book, but unfortunately as an adult reader I found my eyes not knowing where to go on each page. I might choose one or two "How did ___ get in my lunchbox?" examples to share with the kids, but read ...more
Apr 23, 2016 Tricia rated it did not like it
I'm sad to say I did not enjoy this Monarch Contender. It's a book about how the food in your lunchbox gets there. Sure, your mom probably bought the ingredients for your sandwich at the grocery store, but how did it get there?

This book is filled with child geared info graphs and a lot of information. I found myself becoming very overwhelmed, and skipping around the page. I can't imagine trying to read this to or even with a child. The information inside is sometimes interesting, and sometimes
Mar 06, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
The story of how many of the ingredients in an everyday lunch box get there in the first place. It's something that a lot kids probably don't think about very often, but reading this would certainly spark some interest. The details are the kind that aren't extremely obscure and a lot of readers might say that they knew some of what they read already, but on the whole this is a nice piece of nonfiction for the average lunch-eating child.
Jen Traub
Jun 24, 2016 Jen Traub rated it it was ok
I really liked the premise- where does our food actually come from? But I thought the information he presented wasn't entirely true. He paints a picture of food made my individual hands, when our food industry is nothing like that. It's all factories and preservatives that innocent picture of the baker in the baker's hat is incredibly outdated and at this point, mostly false.
There are, of course, exceptions... But the exception is not the majority.
Brenna Call
Apr 07, 2011 Brenna Call rated it really liked it
Have you ever stopped to think about where your food really comes from? This cool non-fiction book for kids answers just that question in regards to foods like cheese, bread, carrots and even the chocolate chips that go into our chocolate chip cookies. This book give kids and adults alike an insightful and fun way to look at the steps involved in producing some of our most common everyday foods.
Sandy Brehl
Feb 10, 2012 Sandy Brehl rated it liked it
Shelves: pb-non-fiction
This seemed a bit simplistic to me, although a worthy effort to answer the question on an initial or surface level. The illustrations are vibrant but also cartoonish. The pages with labeled, sequenced production processes were the strongest, and could launch further study/investigation of the process of making and distributing food for mass markets.
Georgette Quinn
Jun 03, 2016 Georgette Quinn rated it it was amazing
I can clearly see why this book is a contender for the Monarch Award. I find it sad that many children have no idea where their food comes from. This book does a wonderful job of explaining where food comes from and how it gets to the store and to your lunchbox. This book also does a great job explaining the importance of good nutrition.
Apr 15, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, kids-nonfiction
Really fun and interesting. I think it would make a great read aloud. Perhaps start with introduction and have kids choose a couple items from the lunch box to read out loud- otherwise it would be very long with all those details. Both of my small readers picked it up on their own and read cover to cover. Cute art too!
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CHRIS BUTTERWORTH is the author of more than seventy nonfiction books for children on such diverse subjects as influenza, Antarctic exploration, and Ancient Egypt. "A sea horse looks as magical as a mermaid," she says, "but sea horses really exist. We need to know as much as we can about them, so we can protect them."
More about Chris Butterworth...

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