Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An Eggstra Special Lunch

About a year ago, I saw this idea on Pinterest for an "Easter egg lunch hunt." I didn't set it up as an actual egg hunt, but I did serve the kids their lunch in leftover Easter eggs today. This was a HUGE hit! Both Mia and Logan were really surprised and excited to see what was inside each egg, even though there wasn't a single jelly bean or piece of chocolate anywhere in sight. Each child got an egg crate with plastic eggs containing:
  1. baby carrots
  2. cucumber slices
  3. cherry tomatoes
  4. green grapes
  5. blueberries
  6. strawberries
  7. blackberries
  8. Cheez-It crackers
  9. peanuts
  10. Craisins
  11. string cheese (cut into quarters and each kid got 2 sections)
  12. cooked cubed chicken
{Whoa! Chicken! Yay!}
My kids had different strategies for dealing with their "eggstra special lunch." Mia ate hers somewhat methodically, opening one egg at a time, for the most part. Logan opened all of his eggs, dumped the contents onto the table, and then ate a mishmash of foods together. In the end, it was all the same. Everybody was happy, including this mama. I had found a clever way to get them both to eat a nice variety of foods. The portions were small enough to keep them interested, which meant that they actually ate almost everything I served them, and I am sure most moms will agree that can be a huge challenge.

{Lunch is served.}
Normally, my kids are pretty good eaters, but it was still rewarding to hear their exclamations of joy over all the different healthy choices that they were given. It's not often I hear such joyous cheers for "Blackberries!" and "Cherry tomatoes!" In particular, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the chicken was received. In a typical situation, they would be indignant if I tried to serve them plain, cold chicken, but finding it inside of eggs was exciting enough to elicit reactions like "Whoa! Chicken. Yay!" I was just trying to figure out what kind of protein I could get in there, and once I saw the cut-up chicken in the refrigerator, I figured it was worth a shot. Clearly, serving lunch in Easter eggs was a winner of an idea. I'm not saying I would always resort to gimmicks to get them to eat well. However, switching things up was fun and unexpected for them. It may be a good idea to occasionally serve little portions of lots of different foods in muffin tins or ice cube trays, just to make food more fun.

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