Posted on March 14, 2012
Filed Under Cooks in Training, Easy meals, Tidbits
I’m not sure who has more fun with this… me or the kids. The thing about kids is that they’re so forgiving. For example, if your lion lunch looks more like a sun with whiskers, they’ll love it anyway. And they’ll even call it a lion, and they’ll grrrr while they’re eating it. Those of you reading this will probably fall into one of 3 categories:
1. Think “That’s a waste of time.”
2. Think “That would take too long, but I’d like a few easy ideas to do someday… maybe one day when I have nothing else to do *hahaha, laughing at your own joke of nothing to do*, or for a birthday party for one of the kids or something.”
3. Think ”I need to make lunch anyway, so instead of cutting a sandwich in half corner-to-corner and throwing it and chips on a plate, I might as well take a couple extra minutes and cut a roofline at the top of the sandwich and place some Doritos here and there to make it a house-on-fire lunch. Not saying I do it all the time… just hit n miss for fun. Because psssssst *whisper* Sometimes I fix lunch in 30 seconds flat and my kids’ lunches look like this:”
If you are person #1, I don’t care, I won’t try to change your mind… I’ll just feel privileged that you’re still putting up with me on here. 🙂
If you are person #2, do it, find that ’someday’, seriously, I can’t tell you how much the kids will love it.
If you are person #3, ahhh, let’s just remember that strengths and weaknesses lie side by side… because I’m pretty sure that spending time playing with food instead of folding laundry would be considered a weakness.
You may notice that this is almost all grilled cheese sandwiches. Nothing fancy. No special recipes or anything.
I’m just going to put up 10 or so pictures here of ones I’ve remembered to take pictures of. Most of them were quickly snapped with my cell phone… without necessarily planning to post them, just more for my own interest. I thought of redoing them all and getting decent pictures, but you know what? I don’t specialize in the photography line like a few of my talented friends do. (My talented friends’ first piece of advice would probably be “use a camera, never a cell phone!”)
I think the pictures are pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll try to explain sorta what I did under each picture. I just used whatever I had on hand… nothing was planned ahead, so sometimes I had to improvise, like using melted chocolate on a ham and cheese sandwich… it wasn’t very much though, I just needed something dark for eyebrows. I think you’ll notice the improvising as you look at the pictures.
1. Let’s Go Fishing
Apple boat, fish-shaped grilled cheese sandwich, carrot fisherman, gummy worm, pretzel fishing pole, brown crayon fishing line, blue crayon water, edible marker face (well, just the ink is edible, not the whole marker ), chocolate chip eye.
2. House on Fire
Sandwich cut into a house shape, windows doors and roof line out of crust, chimney cut from scraps, marshmallow smoke, Doritos fire.
3. Pig with Mudhole and Feeding Trough
Grilled cheese pig with ears from scraps and snout from one side of another sandwich, carrot eyes and nostrils, Pringles trough with snack mix pig food, chocolate pudding mud.
Trail bologna caterpillar with shredded cheese mouth and antennas, cheese eyes, cheese leaves, cookie & pretzel sun. I let them eat crackers with it, but I should’ve incorporated the crackers into the caterpillar to make it more interesting and varigated!
Snacking on cheese and pretzels on evening, Tiffany (5) suddenly came over to me and said “Look Mom! I made a butterfly with my cheese and pretzels!”
Grilled cheese boats, licorice masts, strawberry sails (it was this lunch that I realized ”hey! It would be very easy to make hearts out of strawberry halves!”), Marshmallow clouds, cracker fish (swimming in invisible water, ha).
7. Semi and Car
Bake ham n cheese sandwiches with hot dog bun instead of hamburger buns. Get them out of the oven and add unmelted cheese details: wheels, smoke stacks, driver with face drawn on. For the cabs, I added one layer from another sandwich. The kids drove these around a bit before eating them. The wheels are held on by toothpicks. A toothpick is the perfect length to span the width of a hot dog bun and have a bit left over on each side to press the cheese onto. The faces stayed on because I put them against the hot melted cheese and they stuck.
Yeah, you can laugh at these lunches, I don’t care. Grilled cheese head, shredded cheese and cheese chunk face, Doritos mane.
9. Spiral and a Scissors
Cut-your-own-piece pizza. The girls cut small pieces so they could use the scissors more often.
10. Dog and Bone
Grilled cheese dog, Pringles ear, piped chocolate pudding eye, nose, bone, and words.
Grilled cheese puzzle pieces… very simple, but Tiffany had fun playing with it anyway.
12. Are You Ready for some Football?
Grilled cheese footballs with shredded cheese laces, carrot goal posts (not fastened, just arranged there, and they roll while transporting the plate, then you have to fix them again 🙂 ), cookie jersey (you can’t see it very well, but I used red edible ink to draw a 5 on it (because the tot eating it was 5) and drew lines at the end of the sleeves).
13. Angry Birds
Head is round bread, round cheese, and crescent ham with ‘tufts’, cheese eyes and nose (I didn’t have yellow cheese, so I colored white cheese with an edible ink marker), melted chocolate eyebrows and ‘pupils’.
Ok, this ended up being 13… an unlucky number! I’m not superstitious, but maybe I should add another one that I just thought of that I made this week to go with a lunch, but didn’t take a picture:
14. A carrot man. Think stick man with 5 baby carrots: 1 carrot was the torso, 2 were legs, 2 were arms. The head was a round piece of cheese with a smile drawn on with an edible ink marker. Then, I put a raspberry upside down on his head for a cap. One carrot man was sitting and one was standing (or laying, rather). Everything was held together with little pieces of toothpicks. Could even dress them up with fruit roll-ups or cheese/ham slices or something… didn’t think of that till right now.
Have fun! We are! 🙂
11 Responses to “Angry Birds, Fishing, Footballs, Pigs with Mud… and other lunches for kids”
Kay, what I think is the neatest thing about this is that you’re taking time for your girls and loving it, too. It only gets better from here, I promise.
Thanks for all the ideas!! My children would love the Angry Birds, since that is one of their favorite things right now. I will have to try that.
Arla, I love your last sentence! Thanks for that encouragement!
Monica, yeah, I think the Angry Birds one was about the biggest hit of them all here, too. And here’s a hint that I forgot to put into the post: a kitchen scissors is your friend for cutting the ham.
Kay! You are the tops!! My girls are leaning over my shoulder saying, “WOW Mom, you should really try that. She can do all that? She’s good!” I really really should try this sometime.
I betcha when your girls have kids, they’ll say, “Here’s your lunch! Grandma used to do this for me when I was little.” My kids will give their kids a plate and says, “Eat!”
that is SO cute! I’m thinking birthday party or boring summer day for me. Def. a fun idea for Cali to unleash her creativity in the kitchen.
This type of thing is something that I so admire about you. I probably fall into category #2, but then I hardly ever get around to this kind of thing. I know my kids would love it though. And some of them are so simple. Thanks a lot for sharing these with the rest of us!
awesome ideas. Will have to remember to try some. So often I’m in a hurry and just want them to eat their food instead of actually playing with it. Thanks
Shannon, LOL about our kids as moms someday! :p You oughta do the house on fire… that was probably the biggest bang for time taken. There’s nothing to pipe and no shredded cheese to arrange and no faces to draw.
Cretora and Aug, yep simple. Simple enough for even the older kids to do themselves!
Renita, I don’t usually sit down with my kids to eat lunch, so I don’t care what they do. I usually eat something different than they do, so I make mine while they’re eating theirs.
Once again, you blow me away with your creativity! I should probably admit that I am #1, but I know the kids would love it if I’d do it. I used to cut dog shapes for their ham & cheese sandwich & they loved it! So maybe tomorrow when I get lunch together, I’ll think of you & do something special.
I forgot to say that I really love #7. Also, I will keep all of these in mind for parties! …since I’m still holding out on looking at Pinterest for ideas.
if I thought my picky eaters (granddaughters) would eat it I would do any of those things lol Although, this weekend we all made cupcakes and the pickiest of them all ate a whole cupcake – the one that eats anything only ate the frosting lol
Love the ideas.