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Too Cool for School Lunches!

Introduction

School lunches don’t have to be boring! With a little creativity, even common lunchtime items can make interesting and fun lunchtime options.

Supplies

Sandwich Sushi

  • bread
  • peanut butter
  • raisins
  • apple
  • plastic wrap

Sandwich Mouse

  • sesame seed buns
  • lunch meat and condiments
  • parsley
  • radish

Sandwich on a Stick

  • bamboo skewers
  • sandwich fixings of choice (meat, cheese, lettuce, pickle, grape tomato)
  • have the meat and cheese sliced ½" thick and cut into cubes
  • Ciabatta or other firm bread

Sandwich Art

  • white bread
  • food coloring
  • milk
  • children’s art paintbrushes (new!)

Rice Cereal Worms

  • puffed rice cereal
  • marshmallows
  • butter
  • fruit leather
  • plastic wrap
  • pipe cleaners and google eyes (optional)

Chocolate Slime

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

The Amazing Pre-Sliced Banana!

  • banana
  • sewing needle

Peter Rabbit Dip

  • mini carrots
  • parsley
  • hummus or other dip
  • small size terra cotta pot
  • toothpick
  • plastic wrap

Fruit Stackables

  • apples, oranges, pears (pick at least two of similar size)
  • plastic wrap

Make It Cool!

Select the items you would like to make and gather the ingredients.

Sandwich Ideas

Sandwich Sushi

  • Lay a piece of bread between two pieces of plastic wrap and flatten with a rolling pin.
  • Spread peanut butter on the bread, and then add raisins, and thinly sliced apple on one end. Let the apple slices hang out the ends like real sushi.
  • Roll up the bread tightly and then slice into 1-inch thick pieces.
  • You can dip the apple slices in lemon-lime soda or lemon juice to keep them from browning.

Sandwich Art

  • Mix food coloring with 2 teaspoons of milk per color.
  • Using the paint brushes, create a design on the bread.
  • Lightly toast, and then make into a sandwich.

Sandwich Mouse

  • Make a sandwich using your choice of lunch meat and condiments.
  • Ears: Use bologna or fairly thick turkey. To make them, cut a half-circle of the meat, curve it slightly on one end, and fit into bun. Make a slit in the bun with a knife first to make it stable.
  • Eyes: Take a think cucumber slice and add a thin wedge of black olive for the center.
  • Nose: Place an olive in the middle of the bun. You may wish to carve out a small bit of bun to make it stable.
  • Mouth: Use a small wedge of radish
  • Hair: Place a small sprig of parsley between the ears.

Sandwich on a Stick

  • Slide the ingredients onto the skewers, beginning and ending with bread.

Dessert Ideas

Chocolate Slime

  • Combine sweetened condensed milk, chocolate syrup and cornstarch in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until thick.
  • Allow to cool, and store in the refrigerator.

Rice CerealWorms

  • Prepare puffed rice treats according to recipe on box. For better-tasting treats, use twice the butter suggested.
  • With buttered hands, form treats into logs between 4 inches to 6 inches in length.
  • Wrap logs with a strap of fruit leather.
  • Wrap entire log in plastic wrap, and then twist a pipe cleaner around one end and curl to form antennae.
  • You may glue googly eyes on in front of the antlers.

Fruits and Veggies

The Amazing Pre-Sliced Banana!

  • Insert the needle into the banana along a seam.
  • Glide the needle across the banana, being careful not to poke the needle through the skin of the banana. Swipe it back and forth a couple of times tomake sure you’ve got a clear slice.
  • Repeat, moving down the banana 1 to 2 inches.
  • To make it even trickier to detect, insert the needle along different seams of the banana.
  • Watch the look on the person’s face when she opens the banana to find it already sliced!

Peter Rabbit Dip

  • Using a toothpick, hollow out a small space at the top of each carrot for a small sprig of parsley.
  • Line the terra cotta pot (remember to use a mini one!) with plastic wrap and fill with hummus or other dip.
  • Place carrots in dip. If you are sending this to school in a lunch bag, wrap the carrots separately in plastic wrap.

Fruit Stackables

  • Select two fruits of similar diameter. You may use green and red apples, an orange and an apple, or an apple and a pear. Green apple with red pear makes a nice combination for visual appeal.
  • Slice the fruit crosswise in similar thickness slices (about ½" thick) and stack, alternating slices. If you use apple or pear, sprinkle with ascorbic acid or lemon juice and water to prevent browning.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap if sending in a school lunch to hold in place.

Mensa for Kids Acticity Plans are designed to simultaneously entertain and challenge gifted youth in their time outside of the school setting; however, the activities may be easily shared and enjoyed by older people as well. Programs may be scaled up or down depending on number of attendees, desired level of complexity, etc. Sample materials are included with most plans. This activity plan was developed by Lisa Van Gemert, M.Ed.T., the Mensa Foundation’s former Gifted Children Specialist. If you have questions or comments about these programs, please email our Gifted Youth Programs Manager.