Monday, April 4, 2011

Somebunny Can Make Her OWN Muffin Tin Meal!

Monday morning we didn't have preschool, since they follow the district's schedule, and apparently it's Spring break this week. So we tooled around the house. When I asked what we should do for lunch, she said she wanted a beautiful lunch. So I told her if she wanted one, SHE could make it.
I told her she'd need to pick food from the different food groups, and drew a chart to show her the different groups, and what kinds of foods go into each one. For Dairy, I drew milk, cheese and what the heck is that? Oatmeal? yogurt. For Fruits I drew an apple, raspberries, grapes and an orange. Veggies had a carrot, celery, peas and "That's a funny monster, Mommy!" corn. For Grains I drew a slice of bread, noodles, and a bowl of grapes? rice. Under Protein I drew a jar of pickles Peanut Butter (with a peanut on the front,) a sandwich with lunch meat, nuggets with a chicken, and a hot dog. "What's that Mommy?" Sigh. Apparently I need to work on my food drawing skeelz.
Somebunny's Muffin Tin Meal
Berry assortment, ham and Swiss sandwich, yogurt,
carrots, sugar bunny, cheese powder
I let her root through my muffin tin cupboard, and she pulled out the box with all my "regular shaped" muffin liners and bento cups (circle, square, triangle, heart, etc. The other box has butterfly, Silly Feet, animal faces, etc.)
She chose some mini paper cups I got ages ago from an after-Easter clearance (before she was even born, I think.) But I knew they wouldn't be big enough, so I had her choose some regular-sized ones too. She dug around and fondled all my paper cups, but decided on the round red ones from Cost Plus.
I got out a plate we made at preschool last year (she drew on a round sheet of paper and they sent it in and got back plates!) and put the liners on it, so she'd have a easy way to carry them to the table when we were done.

Fruit: We only had berries and apples, so she chose berries. She only wanted one of each kind (raspberry, strawberry, blackberry) and selected them from the cartons herself. She chose a mini fork with a bear on it from my picks collection and jabbed it into the strawberry.

Vegetable: She also wanted more "carrot Cheetos" from the April Fools lunch, but she hadn't eaten them because the cheese got too slimy from the carrots' moisture. So we compromised. She agreed to dipping them into cheese sauce powder. Veggies... Check!
I offered her carrot coins, sticks or whole, and she said she wanted them "really small." So I cut the carrot into fourths widthwise and then cut those into fourths lengthwise. Lots of stubby little carrot sticks. She put them all into the muffin liner herself.

Protein and Grains: Initially she asked for a PB sandwich, but wouldn't tell me if she wanted it with honey or jam or plain. Then she said cheese. I asked if she meant cheese instead of yogurt, or a cheese sandwich? Cheese sandwich. With ham? Yes. O-o-okay. I asked if she wanted a shaped sandwich. Yes again.
She chose a bunny cutter from my Easter set and pressed it down as hard as she could, but didn't even bust through the first slice of bread, so Mommy helped out a little here.
And she wanted a face out of sprinkles, of course, once I offered it to her. I put on the eyes and nose, but she chose the colors for each. She put on the bunny's "big happy smile" and I did whiskers. I used PB for glue.

Dairy: She chose yogurt "In a blue cup! With a straw!" because she really enjoyed the April Fools yogurt. But the blue cup was still dirty missing, so she settled for pink. She hadn't even let me finish drawing the food groups before settling on yogurt as her dairy item.
She chose an Easter sprinkle mix I got from a set at Target's Dollar Spot to go on her yogurt. I'm trying to steer her away from honey. As my mom puts it "She likes a little yogurt with her honey." Yeah. And I get tired of having to go back and touch the sticky bottle after she eats each layer of honey off.  So I figured sprinkles is a great way to go (as is unsweetened Kool-Aid powder!) since I can control how much she gets, and it's easier to reduce over time.

After taking a nibble of her sugar bunny (she found the packet I had bought on a whim for Easter-themed "beautiful lunches") she went for her yogurt "drink."
She ended up eating the strawberry, cheese powder, 2 carrot sticks, the yogurt, and most of her sandwich (all but most of the cheese.)

All in all a fun meal for everyone. Every time she'd get distracted and start to wander off, I reminded her that if she wanted a "beautiful lunch," she'd have to finish making it. Otherwise she'd be stuck with "whatever *I* feel like making." She chose all the foods and all the tools/dishes (other than the plate.) And she did everything she could during prep, from stacking the sandwich parts and arranging the food in the cups, to decorating with sprinkles. And surprisingly little NO clandestine snarfing of food during prep! No snarfing! Unprecedented!

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