Well, we are well into summer. Are you running out of ideas for you kiddos for lunch? Here are a few fun & simple ideas to get your kids excited for lunch.
1) Octopus Dogs and Seashells
Boil shell pasta and serve with sauce of choice (my kiddos like all noodles just plain with a little shredded cheese over. Boring, I know) To make the octopus, slice hot dog up center about half way up. Then cut each of those "strips" in half, then in half again to create 8 legs. Boil gently or microwave and serve over bed of seashells. Oh, we added a little mouth and eyes too, simply carved into the dog with a paring knife.
2) The "Starving Artist's Lunch"
Give each kid a white canvas (paper plate) and a variety of snack foods. Ie crackers, cut up meat, cut up cheese, baby carrots, grapes, raisins, etc. and have them create a face, design, etc. Great tool for teaching colors, patterns, etc. Who said you shouldn't "play with your food"?
3) Fun Shaped Sandwiches
Cookie cutters aren't just for cookies. My kids gobble down sandwiches like nobody's business IF they are cut into a fun shape. Our favorites are PB & J and summer sausage and cheese. For a "hot meal", make grilled cheese. Cut everyone's in a different shape and practice naming shapes. Or play a guessing game like "who's sandwich has 3 straight sides?".
4) Kid's Sushi
I saw this recipe in a parenting magazine. My girls really liked them. Take a slice of bread. Spread peanut butter and/or jelly and/or honey on it. Far to one side, place a row of sliced bananas. On top of each banana slice, place a strawberry slice. Roll it up tight starting with the fruit side, rolling it into a cylinder. Slice into little "sushi rolls".
5) Anything on a stick
Wasn't there something in the movie "There's Something About Mary" about there not being enough foods on sticks? Well, we like to do fruit kabobs. If you are worried about skewers being too sharp, try little straws/coffee stirrers. For a complete meal, serve fruit kabobs along with skewers made with cubed cheese, cubed meat, pickle chunks, olives, and pepperoni.
My girls love quesadillas. AND it is a great way to use up leftovers in the refrigerator. We have a quesadilla maker, but a frying pan works just as well. Place tortilla in pan/maker, top with meat, rice, cheese, etc. Place another tortilla on top. Heat and flip OR close maker. Cut into triangles. A pizza cutter works great. We make a dipping sauce with half ranch/half salsa.
7) I LOVE eggs.
Do you have one of those heart shaped pancake thingys? Well, we made an egg in one the other morning. Be sure to spray the mold with cooking spray. Spray frying pan really well and heat pan. Lay down mold and crack egg into center. Cook till set. Remove mold and flip. We served it with a piece of heart shaped bread too (cut with cookie cutter) to soak up the yolk with. You can buy those molds, two in a pack for a reasonable price. We saw a two pack at Cost Plus World Market for only $3. Or, use the molds for any type of pancake too. Check out my recipe for chocolate chip banana pancakes. YUMMY!
So, hope that your kiddos like these as much as mine do.