I wanted to share a few ideas for lunches to start the new year. Let's skip the mains for a while (gotta ease into it, you know) and have some fun with fruit. If you have a few bigger cookie cutters or a knife you are adept with and some toothpicks or 6" / 15 cm skewers, you can make regular fruit offerings more appealing. As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first!
Cut the apple across between the blossom end (on the bottom) and the stem end a.k.a. pedicel. (Yeah, I had to look that up, lifelong learner, you know!) When you cut the apple this way, stars will be revealed in the middle of the slices. Secure the slices with a clean elastic band and the slices won't brown. There's a story to go with this called "The Little House with No Doors and No Windows and A Star Inside." Read it here if you don't know it; it's pretty cute and a kindergarten apple unit tradition at our school!
You can Google this term for ideas - one year, I had to make about 10 banana giraffes for my grade four students because they loved them so much! You could also create an octopus quite easily, eating the other half of the banana yourself before packing it up.
A new thing I learned from a student's family last year was that if you use something dull and pointy, you can "write" a message or draw a picture on the banana in the morning, and the secret message will revealed by lunchtime. I wish I'd known that idea when my kids were younger. I guess I could still do it now as long as it wasn't too gushy or cutesy for 12- and 15-year-olds!
Fruit in a Cone
After discovering this idea on Pinterest, I arranged a station for making them at Miriam's birthday party breakfast. If you choose to do this, do check the size of the cones; I was disappointed at how small the sugar cones actually were when I got them out of the box and how little fruit would fit in them. :-( A small-diced fruit salad might work well for small cones but I'm sure the regular ice cream cones would be fine if the fruit wasn't too juicy.
Fruit on a Stick
Play with colours and patterns - grapes, blueberries, raspberries, smaller strawberries, cut shapes, etc. You could even add a different fruit on the top for a wand-like look. Tell your child you need the skewer back. (This is a trick I learned from my friend and co-worker, Kathie, when there were fruit kebabs and sandwich-on-a-stick served for hot lunch - no lunchtime spearings in her classroom!)
No skewers? Wash and freeze grapes in a reusable container. If you have small children, you may want to slice the grapes in half for safety's sake.
Slice an orange in, well, slices, discarding/composting the ends. Cut the slices in halves. Set them cut-side down in a resealable container.
Last Valentine's Day, I made these for my family. How easy is this?! Poke different types of chocolate chips into the berries for a nice surprise in the middle.
I hope these ideas will spark your imagination for keeping your children's and/or your own lunches fresh and fun! Thanks for making a pit-stop at the island.
P.S. I promise to go easy on the puns in my blog...but no promises about alliteration!