Some days it seems as though I am making snacks and meals every 5 minutes….and that’s because I am! With 2 growing boys, a snack-all-day mom and a “yes please!” dad a lot of our day is spent in and around the kitchen when we are at home. Being holidays, and seen as we have been out and about some days, I have been trying out some more interesting lunch box snack ideas with my boys. “Mom, what are these going to be?” has been a standard mantra, followed very swiftly by “can we eat them now?”!!! So some of our creations have made it into lunch boxes and others have made it straight into our mouths!
Our favourite Groovy lunch box snack is the Naartjie snail! This cute little guy doesn’t last long in our house, but I think will be a great surprise to find peeking out of the boy’s lunch boxes when they go back to school next week. The bonus is that even little ones who can’t (or who don’t like to) peel the naartjie for themselves should be able to pull the last little bit of peel off their snail.
Banana love letters or love drawings have been part of our lunch box surprises for a while already. For older kiddies, you can write them a little love note using a toothpick to gently mark the banana’s skin. For littlies draw them a funny picture or write their name on their banana. After a short time the markings on the skin of the banana will turn brown, making these easy to see:)
Sushi or cookie cutter sandwiches also add a fun twist to the usual lunch box sandwich. Use cookie cutters to cut out star, heart or dinosaur sandwiches (allowing your little one to munch on the crusts and leftover sandwich pieces at breakfast time or later in the day will ensure the whole sandwich gets eaten). Making Sushi sandwiches provides a lovely opportunity for little ones to be a part of the process. Show your little helper how to use a rolling pin (or tin of beans!) to flatten a slice of bread. Next spread cottage cheese, peanut butter or any other soft spread over the flat slice. Then cut it into strips and allow them to roll the strips up into “sushi” rolls! If you can find a pair of trainer/kiddies chopsticks for your little chef to use the Sushi rolls can be eaten in style!!!
Perhaps the easiest lunch box addition would the the Peg butterfly. Simply fill each half of a small, clear plastic food bag with different snacks and pinch a peg in the middle to create the butterflies body. Wooden pegs can be easily decorated with felt tip pens if you have a few extra minutes, while blueberries and gooseberries make lovely colourful wings. Whenever possible get your little one to help you make their snacks (or even help you prepare other meals). Including children in food preparation is a great way to get them to try new foods and of course expose them to a wonderfully rich sensory experience. If creative lunch boxes seem out of the question in an already jam-packed week, why not make Friday the fun lunch box day or try out some ideas for weekend snacks.
Happy snacking Groovy kids!