How to turn a snack box into a still life
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How to turn a snack box into a still life

Patrick Vogt
29.9.2023
Translation: Eva Francis

The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. When it comes to our kid’s snack box, my wife takes this saying literally. Our daughter carries culinary works of art to kindergarten day after day.

What’s happened to my wife? In over ten years together, I’ve come to know her many abilities and strengths. And trust me, patience, a penchant for knick-knacks and micro-handicrafts haven’t been the prominent ones, to say the least. Until recently. Our daughter starting kindergarten seems to have turned everything topsy-turvy.

As I said: who’s this woman I'm living with and what has she done with my wife?

This is what our daughter’s snack box looks like day after day.
This is what our daughter’s snack box looks like day after day.
Source: Sofia Vogt

An elaborate scheme

It started so innocently. A few months ago, my wife bought a snack box. Soon after, she asked me to order a second one. Makes sense. After all, our daughter needs one for kindergarten and having a spare one won’t hurt.

Yumbox Snack S Lulu Purple Rainbow Lunch Box
Lunch boxes

Yumbox Snack S Lulu Purple Rainbow Lunch Box

3 Sprouts Bento Box
Lunch boxes
Quantity discount
8.25 per piece for 3 units

3 Sprouts Bento Box

Stor Rainbow
Lunch boxes
Quantity discount
7.80 per piece for 3 units

Stor Rainbow

Yumbox Snack S Lulu Purple Rainbow Lunch Box

Yumbox Snack S Lulu Purple Rainbow Lunch Box

3 Sprouts Bento Box
Quantity discount
8.25 per piece for 3 units

3 Sprouts Bento Box

Stor Rainbow
Quantity discount
7.80 per piece for 3 units

Stor Rainbow

Then, suddenly and silently, more things landed on my shopping list. Various cookie cutters, child-friendly skewers,fruit forks and more storage boxes. I was confused and asked what we needed all this for. My wife’s response? «For the snack box, of course.» Oh, well, alright...what?

Now that our daughter’s started kindergarten, I understand what my wife meant. Preparing the little one’s snack box is a regular evening task now. Not an annoying additional one, if you ask my wife. Au contraire, she’s turned it into an art form.

No, it’s not a tuna sandwich.
No, it’s not a tuna sandwich.
Source: Sofia Vogt

Snacking on a still life

As soon as our daughter’s in bed, my wife heads to the kitchen aka her atelier. With verve, she artfully carves carrots and cucumbers, cuts dolphins out of sandwiches and skewers grapes and blueberries onto tiny sticks. After all, our little one’s mid-morning snack should be as healthy and balanced as possible.

With a snack box like this one, it can only be a great day.
With a snack box like this one, it can only be a great day.
Source: Sofia Vogt

But that’s not all. Sometimes, my wife even rattles the pots and pans after 8 p.m. and conjures up pancakes or an omelette. Not for me, of course, but for our daughter’s snack box. Having said that, I can’t complain. I don’t go empty-handed. After all, someone has to eat the leftovers of fruits and sandwiches after they’ve been cut into pretty shapes. Better than nothing.

Fresh omelette bites? Coming right up!
Fresh omelette bites? Coming right up!
Source: Sofia Vogt

Once she’s prepared all the food, she lovingly arranges it in the snack box. Nothing’s left to chance, everything has to be right. Last but not least, my wife always places a positive message in the snack box – small laminated affirmation cards with animal pictures and sentences such as «I am never alone» or «I am brave and strong». Our daughter can’t read yet, so mummy or daddy open the snack box with her every morning to read out the card.

Better her than me

You may think my wife’s going over the top with her snack box efforts. At first, I thought so, too. I’ve since come to admire her for how much love and care she puts into a snack. And you should see how excited our daughter is every morning before kindergarten when she’s allowed to peek into her snack box to see what her mum’s prepared for her. Therefore, my wife can’t be faulted.

The fact that my wife is responsible for the snack box is a relief for everyone involved. For me in any case. If I ever have to step into the breach – and that day will come for sure – I fear the worst. I’m pretty sure we’d have the kindergarten teacher and the child and adult protection authorities (KESB) breathing down our necks in no time.

No children were harmed in the making of this snack box.
No children were harmed in the making of this snack box.
Source: Patrick Vogt

Jokes aside, my wife has provided me with enough visual material that I’m confident even I could prepare a halfway decent snack box for our daughter if I had to. And who knows, maybe she’s inspired you too?

The reality check

My wife’s neither the first nor the only one who’s discovered her passion, patience and creativity for preparing the perfect snack box. She finds inspiration and ideas on Instagram and Pinterest. And so do other parents, as a look into the snack box of one of our daughter’s kindergarten friends shows.

Did she really make this little bear herself?!
Did she really make this little bear herself?!
Source: Seraina Sennhauser

Fellow editor Lorenz Keller’s daughter has a school snack box that I’m jealous of. Sausage, cheese, crackers and grapes – right up my street.

This is what my perfect snack box looks like.
This is what my perfect snack box looks like.
Source: Lorenz Keller

Someone anonymously sent us a picture of a snack box that’s drier than my humour. Or am I wronging the sender and there are plenty of sweet grapes or other juicy fruits hiding under the hard, dry biscuit and rice cake desert?

It’ll take a big gulp of Pingu syrup to wash this down.
It’ll take a big gulp of Pingu syrup to wash this down.
Source: Creator known to the editors

«What am I supposed to do if all she ever wants is corn pops!!!» fellow editor Katja Fischer wrote to me with a bit of guilt when she sent me a picture of her daughter’s snack box. And she’s absolutely right.

If you want corn pops, you shall have corn pops.
If you want corn pops, you shall have corn pops.
Source: Katja Fischer

A truckload of love

Despite all the efforts to offer artistic masterpieces and a balanced diet, parents should never forget what the purpose of a snack box is. Namely, to offer children something to eat between breakfast and lunch that they like and that’s as healthy as possible. If it’s mainly corn pops at times, there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as it’s not sweets such as chocolate or gummy bears.

I don’t know how long my wife will keep up the pace with her culinary masterpieces for our daughter. But I do know that regardless of the effort, she puts a lot of love into each snack box– just like the other parents featured in this article. And that’s the most important thing. Besides the goodies in the box.

Header image: Sofia Vogt

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I'm a full-blooded dad and husband, part-time nerd and chicken farmer, cat tamer and animal lover. I would like to know everything and yet I know nothing. I know even less, but I learn something new every day. What I am good at is dealing with words, spoken and written. And I get to prove that here. 


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