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Category Archives: cute lunches

International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2014

Pirate Pucco

Ahoy me hearties!

Yo ho ho and shiver me timbers, today be t’ best day o’ t’ year. Arr, aye, today be ‘International Talk Like a Pirate’ Day!

T’ celebrate I made Captain Nicholas a swashbuckling lunch with an extra surprise for snack time. Aye, dressin’ up like a pirate be one o’ his favourite things t’ do, so he was happy with his booty. Later he told he especially loved the jolly roger flag.

pirate lunch

pirate apple - aarrr!

The pirate schooner and sail are cut from a ham, cheese and spinach sandwich with a cheese mast on a sea of lettuce. I drew a jolly roger and the portholes with edible ink pens, and added a side of cherry tomatoes.

I precut the apple to make it easier for Nicholas to eat and put the pieces back together held with a rubber band to stop the pieces going brown. I then drew on the pirate face with an edible ink.

Batten down t’ hatches and happy Pirate Day to ye!

Eats-Amazing-Fun-Food-Friday

I’m linking our pirate lunch up to Eats Amazing’s Fun Food Friday, a weekly round-up of fun and creative food.

 

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Dinotastic holidays

The second week of the summer holidays is over and I’m exhausted! I don’t remember how I coped when Nicholas was at home full-time!

To prepare for the holidays I made a list of activities. Both Carole (Carole Finds Her Wings) and Pinterest gave me lots of ideas for activities to do both at home and going out. I thought I’d have a theme each week (which is probably the teacher in me coming out) and dinosaurs came to mind immediately. In fact we’ve continued out dinosaur activities for two weeks now and I still have plenty other dino-related ones left on my list.

To start with, a couple of dinosaur meals.

Dinosaur mummies sitting on their tomato ‘eggs’:

dino mummies

Stegosaurus toast, which got a great reaction from Nicholas!:

stegosaurus toast

I bought a dinosaur activity book with lots of lovely stickers, and we made salt dough which we used to make foot imprints of Nicholas’ various dinosaurs. He also liked covering his dinosaurs in salt dough which meant they then all needed a bath!

We made dinosaur feet (perfect for stomping) although Nicholas prefers wearing them as claws!

dino feet

And I decided very late one night to try making a bath bomb with a surprise inside as Nicholas is a new fan of bath bombs. Not the easiest thing to do late at night, especially when I didn’t have any small dinosaurs to use, but it was lots of fun the next day.

What on earth could be inside?!

What on earth could be inside?!

Dinosaur bath bombWhen I did buy some small dinosaurs, I put some in an empty ice cream container, covered them in water and froze them. The next day we excavated them. I’m not sure what Nicholas was more excited about – discovering dinosaurs in the ice or getting to use the heavy meat tenderiser to bash them out!

dino ice excavation

Do you have any suggestions for other dino-related activities to keep us busy over the holidays?

 

The Kingsmill Great White Challenge

I do love a challenge, especially one that involves food, so when Kingsmill invited us to take part in their Great White Challenge I jumped at the chance.

For three days we had to replace our normal loaf of bread with Kingsmill Great White and use it as creatively and healthily as we could.  Our creations also had to have the ‘wow’ factor, kind of like The X Factor but with sandwiches instead of singers!

I don’t usually buy white bread, especially not for Nicholas, although I do secretly love a slice of white toasted and slathered in butter. Thankfully Kingsmill Great White contains as much fibre as wholemeal bread with 7.0g fibre per 100g (interestingly Kingsmill Tasty Wholemeal contains 6.2g fibre per 100g).

breadNicholas, unlike his Italian papà, loves toast and sandwiches, and happily eats them every day. However, he’s recently gone from happily eating his crusts to refusing to eat them.

But back to the challenge. As soon as I heard the bread’s name there was only one possibility for me – we were going on an undersea adventure in search of great white sharks!

Mask and snorkel? Check!

Mask and snorkel? Check!

Shark pjs? Check!

Shark pjs? Check!

We actually had a false start to the challenge as it was postponed a week at the last moment, but I didn’t want our efforts to go to waste. We had turtle toast with peanut butter and a teeny bit of nutella for breakfast to celebrate World Turtle Day. Then Nicholas very excitedly told me when I picked him up from pre-school that he’d eaten TWO sharks at lunch (and there were only crumbs left as evidence). Two great whites already spotted!

Kingsmill Great WhiteOn to the official challenge. On Friday we had ‘under the sea’ sugar-free French toast for breakfast, jellyfish and fish sandwiches for lunch and some shark fin carrot soup for dinner. I made the jellyfish tentacles from the leftover crusts and (shock, horror) they were the very first things Nicholas ate! Number of great whites spotted – 1

Kingsmill Great WhiteOn Saturday morning a fishy in a hole gave us lots of energy, then later our Playmobil friend went a little crazy when she spotted not one but two great whites lurking in our salad sandwiches. Number of great whites spotted – 2

Kingsmill Great WhiteWe started our final day of the challenge with crab toast (again with peanut butter and a little bit of nutella) inspired by one of Nicholas’ books (and the crab legs, made from crusts, were the first to be eaten!). I then used some of the bread chopped up to make healthy mini savoury bread puddings for lunch and I made Nicholas’ into another turtle (this is also a great way to use up any crusts or end pieces nobody eats). And finally, in the evening, we had summer pudding (another fab way to use up older bread). Unfortunately my octopus turned out more like a spider, but he still was very much appreciated! Number of great whites spotted – 0

Kingsmill Great White

Total number of great whites spotted – 5!

We had lots of fun making and eating our creations, and I loved see Nicholas enthusiastically eating his crusts 😉

You can see lots of other wonderfully original and healthy creations by other bloggers by searching #KingsmillGreatWhite on Twitter or Instagram. Kingsmill also have a fantastic free Lunch Book with recipes all created by kids (Hayley’s Funky Turtle is definitely my favourite).

Some of the other bloggers who did the challenge and their fabulous creations:
Boo Roo and Tigger Too
Mummy Mishaps
Mummy Mum Mum
Mummy’s Space

Disclosure: we were compensated by Kingsmill for participating in their challenge. My opinions are honest and my own.

Making Food Fun… Easily

Making Food FunToday I’m very honoured to be guest blogging over at Snotty Noses, the wonderful blog of Dr Orlena Kerek, a mum of four and a paediatrition.

I’ve written a post with, hopefully, useful and easy ideas for making food fun for your little ones, encouraging them to eat more.

Read my post here.

Carrot and cumin dip

Nicholas, who doesn’t like carrots, has really enjoyed the ‘orange dip’ we’ve been eating for most of this week, as have both hubby and I. We’ve dipped in various vegetables and also had it spread on flat bread.

vegetable

It’s quick and super easy to make, and would be perfect party food as you can easily make a lot of it. This is definitely a recipe I’m going to be making lots more of in the future, and not just because it’s a stress-free way of getting Nicholas to eat carrots.

The original recipe is from Taste.com.au and makes 8 servings using 1 kilo of carrots. I quartered the recipe (if you can say that!) and it produced 2 very generous adult servings.

The amount of cumin in the original recipe and mine is conservative, giving just a mild flavour which is perfect for little ones. If you’re making this for adults, I’d add more.

CARROT AND CUMIN DIP

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5-30 mins (depending on how your cook the carrots)
Makes 2 very generous adult servings
Can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge

250g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
15ml (3 tsp) olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Salt and pepper

Cook the carrots your preferred way (I steamed them in the microwave).

Put the carrot, oil, cumin and garlic in a mini food processor, and process until smooth (this can take a little while and you need to keep scarping down the sides of the bowl).

Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Eats-Amazing-Fun-Food-FridayI’m linking up to Eat’s Amazing Fun Food Friday, a weekly round-up of fun and creative food. Check out the other fun creations on Grace’s blog.

Easter inspiration 2014

It’s almost time for the Easter Bunny to visit and this year I haven’t made any Easter-themed lunches and snacks.

We were lucky to be able to spend two weeks in the sun in Marsa Alam, Egypt and I really enjoyed having time off from meal preparation. Also having come back home just a week ago I’ve been making the most of my time with Nicholas before he starts preschool full-time after Easter (this has involved lots of playing and dancing together with not that much thought for food!).

Oh, and there’s been lots of questions about how big the Easter Bunny is, a bit of disbelief when I admit I’ve never seen him and then a slight concern about how he gets in the house – questions I wasn’t prepared for. What do your little ones ask about Easter?

Anyway, if you’re looking for some last minute inspiration, here are some of my favourites with a couple of my efforts from last year thrown in.

Happy Easter!

EasterJill, over at Meet the Dubiens, has created the cutest plate of chicks in their nest. Check out her wonderful website for other adorable Easter food.

Bento, Monsters Easter Chick BurgerMing, who blogs at Bento, Monsters, has come up with a wonderful Easter twist on a simple cheese burger.

EasterLittle Miss Bento has turned Japanese curry buns into a nest of cute chicks.

Lunarbell Lunch Easter BasketSarah, who is Lunarbell Lunch on Instagram, has made the most adorable Easter basket.

And some of my efforts from last year:

Easter chicks

Easter chicks

The Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny

Easter egg snacking plate

Easter egg snacking plate

You can find some more inspiration from my Easter round-up post last year.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter.

 

Cute lunches: Spider crackers

Cute lunches: Spider crackers

I came across these super cute spider snacks on Pinterest and knew they’d be great for Nicholas’ Spider-Man birthday party. They went down very well, even with the adults! Nicholas now asks for them regularly and they’re an easy snack to prepare.

Ritz spider crackers

Sorry for the very blurry photo, but…

For each spider you’ll need two round crackers (I used Ritz crackers). Using an edible ink pen, draw eyes and a mouth on the top of one cracker (you can also use raisins or sultanas for eyes stuck in place with soft cheese or even mayonnaise). Spread some soft cheese on the other cracker and press in the spider’s legs (I used Twiglets broken in half, but you could also use pretzel sticks or thin bread sticks). Spread a little bit of soft cheese on the top crack and position it on top.

Spider crackers

someone couldn’t wait to eat his spiders!

Can you think of any other animals you could make out of crackers?