Ava’s South American Lunch

Around the world lunch: South America

This week Ava’s Around the World Lunch is inspired by the food of South America. I wanted something healthy and my daughter loves fun finger foods – so I put together an easy and nutritious Bolivian Avocado Salad, a sweet and salty Martin Fierro from Uruguay (made with quince paste and queso fresco cheese – both scored at the local Hispanic market), and homemade Apple Empanadas.

The apple empanadas were a direct inspiration from this week’s Around the World with Apples challenge, where I’ve invited you to try something new with apples! And I’ve been making some variation of the avocado salad for her lunches as far back as I can remember… so good.

A Few Tips and Tricks:

  • For little ones try cutting the avocado into cubes and serving the salad loose. Real talk: After taking this picture that’s exactly what I did for Ava – she’s in kindergarten after all!
  • In a hurry? Make the empanadas quick by using pre-made pie crust with our filling recipe! 
  • If you can’t find quince paste you can try guava paste. And if you can’t find either of those where you live I’m sure someone could also make an extra strong jello situation work… but then we’d be veering off into the land of “creative interpretation.”  

Ava's Around the World LunchesWhy show you Ava’s lunch?

The idea came about a few weeks ago when I shared a photo of Ava’s French lunch on Instagram; those of you who follow me there and on Facebook immediately requested more details! Now – I’m not going to say that Ava eats a global lunch every day of the week (even I have my limits) but about once a week we make an Around the World Lunch happen.



  1. Yes, I would love to see your creative ways to pack lunches. We could use them to take to work, too!

  2. Sasha this is very nice. Healthy and super fun for the kids. i was just about to say you need to cut the Avocado but you beat me to the punch. :-). You should do a section on preschool lunches. It is atrocious how badly parents prepare their kids lunches. i should know since i also own a couple of preschools and getting parents to prepare a healthy lunch for their kids was near impossible. So i started offering my own hot lunch program. But we need more inspiration. But one thing though, is this enough for Ava? How about some protein too?

    • Sasha Martin says

      Thank goodness you were able to help influence their diets with a hot lunch program. I often gave Ava what we ate at the preschool level – a lot of tabbouleh in particular. Or fingerfoods… Eggs. Chickpeas. Cheese. Cherry tomatoes halved. Things like that.

      Believe it or not, this was plenty for her (she left a bit behind, actually). The protein was in the cheese- though I know it wasn’t much. She really doesn’t eat much meat anymore so the protein is a bit of a struggle at lunchtime. Often she gets a few eggs for breakfast and then tofu or beans for dinner. Lunch just depends. She still eats some fish, so that’s a protein I can rely on.

      • Good to know Sasha. I am deathly afraid of running out of B12 like i did one time when i became semi vegetarian. It was horrible. Now i get my red meat once a week. 🙂 I noticed in my schools the kids who did not eat meat were generally very quiet and not physically active. Don’t know what that means, but for adult vegetarians I have seen a huge host of health issues from lack of protein. So I try to get my children to eat a huge variety of food and never repeat patterns, even with good food.

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