• Snake – slice a banana into ½ slices. Reassemble in a snaky curve, using peanut butter or honey as “glue” if desired. Add currant eyes.
• Bear Paw – Take one uncooked biscuit, cut in half. Use one half for the paw, divide the other into toes and press on. Add 5 almonds for claws. Bake and serve with honey.
Back to School
• Read The Day the Teacher Went Bananas and eat bananas
• School bus cookies - Spread graham crackers with yellow icing. Add mini-Oreos as wheels and square pretzels for the windows.
• Nests – mix shredded wheat and honey, form with your fingers. Add yogurt-covered raisins as eggs.
• Starting with a pastel colored cupcake cup, put a pinch of shredded cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage. This is the "nest". Slice carrots at an angle to get some ovals or use grapes as "eggs". (thanks to Mary Ann Kohl)
Chinese New Year
• Eat mandarin oranges and explain how they symbolize the unity of the family.
• Simple stir fry – bamboo shoots, baby corn, tofu, baby bok choy and snow peas with a dash of sesame oil and soy. Eat with chop sticks.
• Lucia Dagen candlesticks – Insert a half banana into a pineapple ring. “Light” it with a maraschino cherry.
• Latkes for Hanukkah
• Reindeer Sandwiches - Cut bread on the diagonal to get a triangle. Spread peanut butter over the bread; place stick pretzels like antlers on the long side of the triangle; place the raisins for the eyes. Add a maraschino cherry nose at the point.
• Eat figgy pudding while singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” or just pick out the inside of Fig Newtons and pretend
Cinco de mayo
• Invite a parent to help children make tortillas
• Color of the day: red=strawberries, blue=blueberries, purple=grapes, green=lettuce, orange=carrots, yellow=lemonade
• Add food coloring to condensed milk. Draw on bread.
• Add food coloring to Cool Whip to make primary colors. Use banana spear paintbrushes to create the secondary colors.
• Enlarge copies of the new Lincoln penny with the log cabin on the back, glue them to cardboard, cover it with waxed paper and let them make log cabins with pretzels and chocolate frosting. Or try building three dimensional ones using pretzel rods. (thanks to Maggie aka Joyous Noise)
• Washington’s cherry tarts – vanilla pudding in mini graham cracker crusts. Each child recites one fact about Washington to earn a spoonful of cherry pie filling on top.
• Valentine parfait – Layer graham cracker crumbs, strawberry yogurt, sliced berries, vanilla yogurt, then sprinkles on top.
• Monster munch – have children follow a recipe that includes gory ideas such as cat’s eyes (m&m’s), bat’s eyes (cheerios), rat’s brains (raisins), goblin’s bones (stick pretzels), and ghost hair (coconut)
Insects and Spiders
• Lady Bugs – English muffins, strawberry jam and raisins.
• Spider - Spread peanut butter over a Ritz cracker. Place 4 pretzel sticks on each side of the cracker. Use 8 circle-shaped sprinkles for eyes. Arrange shredded string cheese on the plate to resemble a web.
• Butterflies – spread cream cheese in celery. Insert 2 pretzels as wings
• Caterpillar – roll a banana in honey, then shredded coconut. Add red hots for eyes.
• Apple smiles – cut an apple into 6 wedges. Use 2 per child as top and bottom lips. Spread strawberry cream cheese as gums and add mini-marshmallow teeth.
• Baby food – try a taste and be glad you’ve grown!
• Make a face – use bagel or rice cake bases, spread with peanut butter or cream cheese, add features using raisins, nuts, coconut, cereal, chow mein noodles, etc.
• Five senses
o Touch – fingerpaint with pudding
o Hear – Rice Krispies
o Taste – lick the salt off of a pretzel, sour pickles, bitter tonic water, sweet Skittle
o Smell – serve oranges or other pungent snack but have students guess with their eyes closed first
• Navajo Fry Bread - Sift together 1 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt. Blend in about 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Stir with a fork until you have dough that can be worked with. Roll out 1/4" thick and cut into 2"squares. You may poke a hole in the middle if you wish. Fry in hot oil (1/2") until puffed---then turn and brown on the other side. Drain on a paper towel. Serve hot and dip in honey, jam, fruit, gravy or butter.
• Octopi - Cut hotdogs in half. Make 4 short slits about an inch from the end of the hot dog. When you boil them, they will fan out like legs.
• Flower designs – spread cottage cheese over a tortilla. Place a slice of kiwi in the center. Arrange slices of strawberry or other fruit around as petals. (thanks to Mary Ann Kohl)
• Broccoli trees
• After reading "You Can Eat the Plants", eat
o stem = celery
o root = carrot
o flower = broccoli
• Leprechaun trick #1 – Tell children they will have hot dogs for snack, with a Hershey’s kiss as a treat. When you go to get the snack, they will somehow have turned into cocktail sausages and chocolate chips.
• Leprechaun trick #2 – Tell children they will make vanilla pudding. Have pre-measured portions of pistachio pudding in their cups. When they add milk, it will magically turn green.
• Irish potatoes – take a poll and serve the class’ favorite kind of potato
• Lucky Charms
• Passover – Read The Matzah Man and eat matzah with honey
• Bunnies – Use a pear half with banana spear ears and raisin nose
• Cottontail Salad – form 1oz. cream cheese into a carrot shape. Roll in grated carrots, insert a parsley sprig in top
• Peter Rabbit Sandwiches – peanut butter between slices of carrot
• Egg salad
• Earth Day – Chop up blue jello and spread on a paper plate as the ocean. Spread graham cracker crumbs for the continents. Add a few Hershey’s kisses for mountains.
Thanksgiving/Life Long Ago
• Feast suggestions
o Corn meal muffins
o Cranberry relish
o Pumpkin pie
• Friendship soup – each child brings an ingredient
• Make butter – use heavy cream in glass jars with lots of room to shake. Adding a clean marble may speed the process.
• Traffic signals – graham crackers with red, yellow, and green Skittles
• Cars – use a 4” celery stalk as the car. Affix carrot slice wheels and steering wheel with toothpicks.
• Parfaits with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream
• Flag toast – spread toast with cream cheese, make a blue field with blueberry jam and stripes with strawberry jam
• Snowflakes – fold and cut a tortilla, heat, sprinkle with powdered sugar
A: Animal crackers, angel food cake, apple juice, applesauce, avocados
A: Apple and Apricot Kabobs – Each child cuts an apricot in fourths and an apple slice into thirds, then makes an ABAB pattern on a skewer to make the kabob.
A: Ants in Your Pants - Cut bread into pant shapes. Spread with peanut butter. Put raisin ants on top. Or Ants in Sand – crush graham crackers. Or Ants on a log – on celery filled with peanut butter.
B: Biscuits, bread and butter, bananas, broccoli, BBQ beans, bologna
B: Blue Bubbles – add blue food coloring to milk and blow through a straw
B: Butterflies – Cut bread into fourths on the diagonal. Arrange two pieces on a plate on either side of a carrot strip body. Paint wings with food coloring.
C: cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, cole slaw, cookies, crackers, corn on the cob
C: Crunchy C’s – cut celery into c shapes to dip in Caesar dressing
CH: Cheese, chips, cherries, chicken, chocolate
CI: cinnamon, citrus
D: dips for veggies, dill pickles, Doritos, donut holes
D: Dinosaur dig in dirt – Buy dinosaur-shaped fruit snacks. Bury them in crushed graham cracker dirt and practice your archaeology.
E: Egg salad, eggplant, elephant peanuts, enchiladas
E: Excellent eggs – spread vanilla yogurt on a plate as the egg white, add an apricot half as a yolk
F: Fish sticks, fresh fruit, Froot Loops
F: Frozen fingers – Press aluminum foil around each finger to make indentations deep enough to freeze grape juice in.
F: French Toast F’s – Cut a slice of French toast into thirds. Children create the letter F on their plates.
G: Garlic bread, goldfish crackers, green grapes, green beans, granola, graham crackers, guacamole
H: Hot dogs, honeydew, ham, bear paws to eat with honey
H: Hairy H – roll sugar cookie dough into snakes, make into an H shape. Press coconut in and bake.
I: Iced tea, ice cream, icing
I: In – Each child has a half pita. Pass around several ingredients (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, etc). After each addition, they write, “It is in.”
I: Squid ink – serve grape juice with sea creature crackers
J: Jell-o, juice
J: Jelly J’s - write the letter J on bread with jelly
K: Kiwi, kebabs, kugel, Kool-Aid, Kix, Special K
K: serve animal crackers and search for koalas and kangaroos
K: Kites – For every four children, spread 4 slices of bread with 4 different colored jams. Cut the bread into fourths on the diagonal. Children take one of each color and assemble into kite shapes.
L: Leftovers, lentils, lima beans, ladyfingers, leaves (spinach, lettuce)
L: Licking l’s – freeze lemonade into rods (There are ice trays designed to freeze ice in a shape that will fit into a canned beverage, or you can form aluminum foil). As you lick, you might also notice liquid lemonade.
L: Lasagna L’s: Boil lasagna noodles. Cut into strip. Children make capital Ls. You can add spaghetti sauce afterward if desired.
M: Muffins, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, meatballs, melon
M: Mighty M’s – roll sugar cookie dough into snakes. Make capital Ms and dot with M&Ms, bake.
N: Noodles, nachos, nectarines, nectar, nuts, nine crackers
N: Number salad – Make a recipe calling for 1,2,3,4,and 5 items (create your own recipe based on what’s available)
N: Nifty necklaces – string cheerios and mini pretzels
N: Nests – see Birds under themes
O: Pineapple ring O’s, olives, oranges, octopus (yes, real), oatmeal, omelets
O: Octopi –see Ocean under themes
P: Peaches, pears, pineapple, potatoes, pancakes, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, pudding
P: Pepperoni pizza – spread pizza sauce on an English muffin, add a pepperoni slice and toast in a toaster oven
Q: Quaker oats, something quick, something quiet, quail’s eggs
Q: Quackers - Put two Pringles in your mouth as a duck’s bill
R: Rice pudding with raisins, rolls, ramen, Rice Krispies
R: Rate the rice – have a taste test with short grain, sushi, Basmati and brown rice
R: Rainbow salad
S: Spaghetti, summer squash, strawberries, sandwiches, soup
S: Salad bar – have ingredients on a table and students load up their plates
T: toast triangles, tortilla Ts, tea party, tapioca, turnips, tomatoes, turkey, tangerines, tacos, tuna
U: pineapple upside cake, u’s cut from celery
U: Upside down cake – go outside and hang upside down and unwrap Tastykakes
U: Bugs under a trunk or rug – raisins under a celery stalk or under a tortilla
U: Suns – slices of hard boiled egg on crackers
V: Vegetables, vegetable soup, V-8 juice, vanilla pudding or wafers
V: Volcanoes – upside down ice cream cones with strawberry syrup dripping down
W: Waffles, wafers, Waldorf salad with walnuts, watermelon
W: Worms in Dirt- gummi worms in crushed chocolate cookies
W: Wishing Wands - Dip bread sticks in honey, roll in sprinkles.
X: lox and bagels, JuMex or box juice, hot X buns
X: Excellent X’s – roll sugar cookie dough into X shapes and bake
X: Six Mix
Y: Yogurt, yams, yellow pudding
Y: Yum/yuck – have a variety of foods and students rate them
Z: Zucchini, zebra-striped cookies, zeros (Cheerios), zoo animal crackers
Z: Zebra pudding – chocolate/vanilla parfait
• Bread, Bread, Bread – Bake bread in a bag: pbskids.org/zoom/activities/cafe/breadinabag.html
• Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree – Use a pretzel rod for the trunk of tree, 3 slices of a green apple for the leaves, and 3 Coco Puffs for the coconuts.
• Chicken Soup with Rice
• Chocolate Chip Ghost – Monday through Thursday, serve a specific color snack and watch as the children “turn” that color. On Friday (or Halloween), serve chocolate chip ice cream, and of course, the antidote – milk.
• Curious George – bananas
• Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham
• Enormous Turnip – turnips
• Five Chinese Brothers Ocean- Make blue jello with mandarin orange fish.
• Franklin’s Fly Pie – Place a vanilla wafer in a cupcake liner. Add vanilla pudding and top with raisins.
• Gingerbread Baby – make graham cracker houses to lure the baby back
• Gingerbread Man – gingerbread men
• Goldilocks and the Three Bears – oatmeal
• Humpty Dumpty – Press clay through a garlic press. Use the pieces to decorate a hard-boiled egg to look like Humpty. Build a wall and have him fall. Make egg salad with his remains.
• If You Give a Moose a Muffin – muffins
• If You Give a Pig a Pancake – pancakes
• Sam and the Tigers – paint stripes on toaster pancakes. Paste food coloring is available in black.
• Three Little Pigs – Use a slice of bologna as the face. Cut another slice into sixths and use two for ears. Add a slice of summer sausage as the snout, with green olive slices for the nostrils and black olive slices fro the eyes.
• Use stick pretzels to form letters
100’s Day: Give each child a 100’s grid. They count out 10 each of 10 items (raisins, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, popcorn, pretzels, cereal or whatever else is available).
Domino addition – spread cream cheese on a double graham cracker. Divide it in half with a strip of shoelace licorice. Add chocolate chips to each side to resemble a domino. Recite your equation before eating.
Solids: Cut cheese for cubes, Bugles for cones, cheese puffs for spheres
Shape House Snack: Use bread for the square house. Cut a slice of American cheese on the diagonal for the triangular roof. Cucumber slices make circle windows. Cut a slice of olive loaf into sixths for rectangular doors.
Shape Sculpture: Use cheese cubes and pretzel sticks
Clocks: Using small tortillas as a base, add m&m's for 12, 3, 6, and 9 and raisins for the other numbers. Glue them on with a dab of peanut butter or honey. Two stick pretzels make the hands.
Sorting/Patterning: Use a variety of cereals, nuts and raisins, or use Chex Mix or similar mixed snack. Use Froot Loops to sort or pattern by color.
Coins: “buy” zucchini slice nickels with carrot slice pennies
Jello – Make with the class to practice the vocabulary hot/cold and liquid/solid.
Gas to Drink - Mix apple or grape juice but use seltzer water instead of plain water. Observe the bubbles.