Looking for a great book to make your packed lunches more exciting? Check out what I thought of Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J.M. Hirsch.

When it comes to packing lunches, no one wants a boring brown sack. I mean, sure, a PBJ, chips and an apple are good sometimes — like when you need comfort food after a really fun weekend. But it’s also uninspired and a little boring.

That’s why I was so excited to check out Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J.M. Hirsch. This book, released in September 2013, is a love-letter to delicious, enlightened lunch box packing. Part cookbook, part pictorial on assembling unforgettable lunches, it’s filled with double-duty recipes that can be enjoyed for dinner with leftovers packing happily into lunch boxes the next day.

And it’s not just for kids.

With recipes like Hoisin-Raspberry Pork Tenderloin (which is ready in about 30 minutes, and is good for dinner and lunch leftovers!) and Rosemary-Port Braised Beef Short Ribs (good for one dinner and two different lunch options!), this book challenges readers to dream big when it comes to food.

If you are looking for a lunch box cookbook for your kids, this is great too — as long as your kids are adventurous eaters who appreciate good food (mine do, but I know that’s not true of every family). Written by Associated Press food editor, J. M. Hirsch, who packs delicious lunches like this for his own son, this book is written with the unapologetic belief that kids don’t need the default “kid food” — they can and will eat really delicious food that appeals to all palates, when given the opportunity.

In other words, if your child is a picky eater who would rather have that PBJ, this book might not work for you.

However, if you or your kids crave truly drool-worthy lunches, this is a great investment.

Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J.M. Hirsch, Rachael Ray Books. $18.00

This review was originally published on The Lunch Box Ladies in 2013.

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