The Boxcar Children Cooking and Fun | Sonlight Moments

We loved reading about Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny in The Boxcar Children as they find a real home where they can stay together as a family.  We finished our first read aloud with Sonlight Core A during our 3rd week of school

This book brings back fond memories of reading it to the boys when they were little. . . a year before we began formal homeschooling.

Nathan age 6, Dylan age 4, Jordan age 8 (taking the pic)
June 2004
So, it was such a delight that it is scheduled in Core A.

While reading, we had blueberries and cream and homemade brown bread, we learned about nutrition and the new food pyramidmade a healthy lunch, and tried a few recipes from The Boxcar Children Cookbook.

1. Go shopping for a healthy lunch.

"The cake is good, Jessie," the little boy said. He was about five years old. 
"Yes, Benny" said the girl." But bread is better for you. Isn't it, Henry?" 
"Oh, yes," said Henry. "We must have some bread. . ."  

We read labels to find crackers with 100% whole grains. 

We picked out some organic veggies. 

And also a fruit they have never tried before. 

2. Make a Healthy Lunch

On their own, the kids picked at least one item from each food group and one fruit that they had never had before.  They chose: carrots and broccoli, fresh apricots (they've had dried, but I don't recall that they have had fresh because they are so expensive), cottage cheese, tuna and whole grain crackers. 

On the back porch - picnic style. 

3. Make "Boxcar Brown Bread"

Crusty {No-Knead} Bread (so easy and so good!)
"When Henry came, he had some heavy bundles. He had four bottles of milk in a bag, a loaf of brown bread, and also some fine yellow cheese." - The Boxcar Children

3. Make "Benny's Blueberries and Cream"

"What do you think I saw over in the woods? I saw some blueberries!" 
"Oh, oh!" cried Benny. "I know what blueberries are. Can we have blueberries and milk, Jessie?" - The Boxcar Children 

4. Thin Vegetables in a Garden 

Henry thins out carrots, turnips and little onions while working in Mrs. Moore's garden. She then lets him keep them.  Henry buys a little meat with the money he has earned and they make a stew over a campfire. 

{Or find little onions that need thinning during a trip to a local greenhouse and nursery.}
"You are a good worker," said Mrs. Moore. "I can see that." She smiled at Henry. "You may thin out all these vegetables."  - The Boxcar Children

5. Make "Beef Stew with Little Vegetables"
"The girls were delighted with the meat and the little vegetables. With Henry's knife they cut the meat into little pieces." - The Boxcar Children
{Recalling the vegetables from the story}

We had our stew with brown bread and milk and brown cookies after.

6. Make "Dr. Moore's Favorite Brown Cookies"

{Your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe will do!}
"Henry laughed at Benny and pulled the bag out of his pocket. In it were ten delicious brown cookies." - The Boxcar Children

7. Make "Mary's Cherry Dumplings"

The children help pick cherries in Dr. Moore's orchard and Mary, his cook, makes cherry dumplings with them. 

Making homemade cherry pie filling.

(The cookbook called for canned, but I couldn't find any without red #40)
We used Homemade Crescent Roll dough and pinched them up. . . sorta. 

{Our first time making cherry dumplings}

8. Act Out Scenes from the Book

During the last week of reading, Malachi decided he might like to be a runner like Henry and has been practicing daily for our own "field day race."   He has set several personal records racing down the street and back, while I sit on the porch and time him. 

We painted a large refrigerator box (on two sides) and put it in the back yard so the kids can play "Boxcar Children." They have been playing it all week in the yard, but, now they can make their "pine needle beds" and have a place to put the "treasures" they have been collecting! 

It's been a hot summer, so we found a way to cool off, Boxcar Children style! The children in the book make a pool in the brook using logs and stones to dam the water. The kids and their dad found this swimming hole on a bike ride one day and it turned out to be a fun way to cool off. 

My adventurous girl. 

My cautious boys, Malachi, who is always making sure everyone is safe. 

Bo, who wanted to explore the area, but finally settled on throwing stones into the river. 

Good times and happy Sonlight moments. ♥


  1. Thank you for sharing this! As a homeschool alum who fondly remembers reading Boxcar children, your post made me smile. :-)

    1. would love your exact recipe for the vegetable stew. looks so good!

    2. The recipe is from The Boxcar Children cookbook! I'm not sure where my cookbook is, but the premise is that you use the vegetables from the story and chop them into small pieces. It looks like I used hamburger and beef broth and stewed tomatoes that I put in the Vitamix. I'd check to see if your library has the cookbook. :)