Activities

Creative Halloween lunch ideas

The Lunch Lady wants your kids to play with their food. Here are some easy ideas to consider for next Halloween season's lunch box.

Photo: The Lunch Lady

I know, I know. You won’t really make the “ear wax on Q-tips” (mini marshmallows on a lollipop stick with melted caramel) even if I assure you that it’s easy.

It’s so easy that I did it. Yes, I’m “that” mom, and I’m a Lunch Lady too.  Look at it this way — at lunch your kid is going to play with their food. They just do. Halloween and other holidays are your turn to have some fun — so I give you permission and encouragement to play with their food!

But rather than packing candy for Halloween treats next year, how about thinking a little healthier?  Here are some ideas to jazz up that lunch box next Halloween, with the same effect — a happy kid:

  • Use the tip of your paring knife to carve a radish to look like a red-spotted mushroom; or to carve a jack o’ lantern face into the red, revealing the white. It only takes a minute!
  • Carve a face in a slice of a mini-sized orange sweet pepper (or a slice of cheese…)
  • Pumpkin or squash seeds, and even sunflower seeds are perfect for fangs, or eyes to turn anything blobby-shaped into a ghost or skull.
  • Baby carrots, with a few swipes at the end and across them middle look like fingers. There’s a lot you can do with just a few cuts, and it doesn’t have to be perfect — it just needs to be a surprise.
  • Write “BOO!” or “RIP” on something if you’re worried about your artistic skills. You’ll still get a reaction.
  • If you have a gingerbread person cookie cutter, all you need to do is amputate the legs to make a ghostly sandwich.
  • The power of suggestion intimates that purple cabbage is brraaaaaiiiinsssss and your child is the zombie.
  • Green beans are witches’ fingers, of course.
  • Eyeballs are as simple as a soft white cheese with pimento olives — or blueberries.

Though you might not wrap thin strips of cheese around mini-meatballs with dots of catsup for eyes to make mummies (I have done this), or carve rotting-looking teeth out of apple slices (or, go for the WOW butter and marshmallow option) — having a little fun with healthy food at lunch is a great way to reach out and touch your child at lunchtime.

This time of year, it’s a silly/spooky/creepy kind of touch. But for the rest of the year, you know that broccoli makes excellent trees for little elf houses, right? And your lunch lady prefers to see that, rather than snake tongues made out of sugary fruit roll strips.

Read more confessions of a lunch lady here.

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