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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

Turkey Sandwich Taste-Test

This week, we tried two different kinds of turkey sandwiches and learned how to put together a lunch that fills our tummies and helps us feel good, act nicely and think smart all afternoon.

Dream Lunch

The kids' "dream lunch" ideas written on the paper tablecloth.  Some interesting choices!

The kids' "dream lunch" ideas written on the paper tablecloth.  Some interesting choices!

We started by brainstorming about our Dream Lunch.  If we could eat anything in the whole world for lunch, what would we choose?  This first activity was a judgment-free chance for each child to shout out their ideas and share a little of their personality with the class.  Some kids always have fun including purposely "incorrect" answers in an activity like this, and that's all part of the fun.  We had some interesting answers! 

Meet Lunch Kid - Guessing Game

Ms. Lynley showed the kids a picture of her good friend, Lunch Kid.  Lunch Kid sure does love lunch!  He loves to think about it, dream about and even lick his lips getting ready to eat it.  Why does Lunch Kid love lunch so much?  The kids had fun guessing what Lunch Kid loves about lunch, and got to help put the reasons on the felt board:

Lunch Kid, with the reasons he loves lunch.

Lunch Kid, with the reasons he loves lunch.

Hang Out with Friends - one of the greatest things about mealtime around the world is the chance it gives us to share time with the people we love.

Think Smart - Eating a good lunch helps your brain work better all afternoon.  In fact, some foods are even better at this than others!  We'll learn more about this in the coming weeks.

Fill Your Tummy - When we're hungry, this can feel like the most important reason to eat lunch!  And choosing the right foods for lunch can actually help you feel full longer.

Act Nicely - It's hard to act nicely with you're hungry!  And some foods can actually make it easier to act nicely, while others can make it harder.  Making smart choices at lunchtime can make it easier to sit still, listen, keep quiet, and do all the other things you have to do to keep from getting in trouble at school.

Taste Good - Of course!  Especially when you make your own lunch, be sure to make things that taste good to you!  Your food won't do any of the other great things for you unless it tastes good enough for you to eat it in the first place.

Now, any lunch that can do all that is a pretty great lunch!

MyPlate - Adventure Kitchen Edition

At Adventure Kitchen, milk or water are great drink choices.

At Adventure Kitchen, milk or water are great drink choices.

We love the MyPlate design!  It is so simple - it even looks like a plate!  Thinking about a meal in terms of the MyPlate concept is a great way to plan a healthy, well-rounded meal that will do all the good things for us that Lunch Kid dreams about for his lunch, and help grow us into healthy, fun grownups.

But at Adventure Kitchen, we have made one small - but important - change.  Instead of the word "Dairy" in the small drink-circle at the top right, we have substituted the words "Milk or Water." 


Many reasons.  Here are the most important:

  • Many people are lactose intolerant.  Everyone is welcome in the Adventure Kitchen!  MyPlate should be just as inclusive and diverse as we are.
  • It's redundant.  "Dairy" is additional source of protein, which is already covered elsewhere on MyPlate.  MyPlate doesn't mandate a particular source of fruits, or vegetables, or even grains, so why mandate cows (or other mammals) as a specific source of protein?
  • Where's the water?  Knowing that our bodies and brains are made mostly of water, and that good, clean natural water contains no preservatives or sweeteners, it's important to let families know that plain water is a fantastic drink choice.
  • Can lead to poor choices.  If kids don't like plain white milk, many grownups are under the mistaken impression that the next best choice is chocolate milk, or sweetened yogurt, so that their child has the "dairy" category covered.  But actually, water would be a much better choice for these kids than a sweetened drink that may also contain artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

But, isn't dairy good for kids?  Yes!  Dairy is a great source of calcium which is great for building bones, especially during childhood.  And, for kids who are reluctant to eat other sources of protein, it can help fill that gap in their meal. 

So, what do you mean by the term "milk"?

At Adventure Kitchen, we consider the word "milk" to include traditional white milk, lactose-free milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, or other varieties, as long as they have little or no added sugar.  However, be aware that some non-dairy "milk" has very little protein.  When drinking cows' milk, it's best to choose milk from cows that are free of antibiotics, RBST and other hormones. 

Fun with food!

Fun with food!

Construct - and De-Construct - a Sandwich!

The kids worked together to choose and use various ingredients to make one big sandwich together.  Then, we took it apart!

The kids enjoyed the messy fun of taking each layer of our sandwich apart and placing it on the corresponding section of MyPlate.  When we were finished, we could see that a well-made sandwich is a great meal in itself!

How - and when - To Make your own Lunch?

The final thing we did in class was to think through which day (or days) of the week we could each make our own lunches.  The kids thought about how they might need to shop for particular ingredients each week, or prep certain parts of their lunch ahead of time, since time is short on school mornings.  For example, if you want to have bacon in your sandwich, you'd better make sure the bacon was already cooked ahead of time! 

Grownups and kids, talk about it!  Come up with a plan.  Each week, plan to shop ahead of time, so you'll have everything you need.  (We don't use a lot of fancy ingredients, but you don't want to run out of bread before Make Your Own Lunch day!)  And while some parts of lunch can be made ahead of time, others will be best if made that morning (example from this week:  avocados).  Remember, lunch should be delicious!  So work together to figure out the best approach for your family.


Click for step-by-step instructions to make the sandwiches we had in class.

The Classic - Turkey and Provolone

Whole grain bread, all-natural turkey, provolone cheese and all the fixin's.  Classic goodness in every bite.

The Classic - Turkey and Provolone

The Classic - Turkey and Provolone

Turkey, Bacon & Avocado

Avocados are nutritious, delicious and gorgeous!  Add some bacon and other good stuff and you can't go wrong.

Turkey, Bacon & Avocado

Turkey, Bacon & Avocado

Next Week:  "Miracle" Tuna!