I don’t plan out my posts much more than a scrap paper or notebook page of brainstorms. This post was not planned at all. My son was under the weather and wouldn’t eat. I knew he needed to eat lunch and when I asked ” If you could have anything what would you eat?” his answer was “A Happy Meal” . I was not taking him to McDonald’s every time he is sick! . So instead we made one at home. Huge , huge success ! He was sick and not at all into doing anything but this would be a fun parent and child activity. I am sure this is a healthier option ( not by much… but it is organic) more importantly it’s a treat at home!
- Gather your ingredients and materials. You will need a paper bag, some markers, foil, containers, straw..whatever you need to package your food. Don’t forget a toy or prize as well! We played restaurant as well so I grabbed some money and a tray to complete the pretend play.
- Start by decorating the bag – I wish my son was feeling well enough to do it but instead he told me to make one with fish.
- Make your food! We made apple slices, chicken nuggets, ranch dip , and milk.
- Pack your meal up and don’t forget the prize, I popped some Olympic stickers in for him.
- Take their order and their money!
- Dig in!
- He cleaned his plate and loved the stickers.
Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson is a great book. I grabbed it only because of the title but found a gem. My son and I both loved it and had a blast reading it. The story is about a restaurant and the people , or rather animals that come into the restaurant in ever enlarging groups. The text is rhyming and well written. My son loved counting each group that came in figuring out after a few that each group was one animal larger. It was a great opportunity to practice one to one correspondence as he counted one each page. There was also a great message about there always being room for one more when all the chairs were taken and a mouse came knocking wondering if he could eat too!
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jan Yolen is a book all about eating in the popular and well loved series of dinosaur books . My son loves these books, he likes that the dinosaurs always misbehave in such over the top ways before the reality of how they really behave, well mannered , listening to their parents and eating all thier food. What I like about this is that kids relate to the dinosaurs and I have never had one question why the parents are human. I like that children are encouraged to sit still and say please and thank you. What I don’t like is that the dinosaurs are encouraged to clean their plate, never drop anything and try everything put before them. I know some parents will love these rules but for our house it doesn’t work, we don’t encourage plate cleaning or force bites. The book still served a purpose, as my son said loudly ” I’m a boy I don’t have to eat everything, right?” and we had a good talk about eating.