Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easy Muffin Tin Garden Lunch







Luke and I have been learning about how things grow, and despite some weather set backs (because Mother Nature needs a margarita!), we've been getting him involved with garden work. 

As you may also know, I'm obsessed with muffin tin meals - even though I don't always use a muffin tin for them. So when I saw this idea on Pinterest for a fun garden hide-and-seek kind of lunch, I MIGHT have peed a little

(I didn't.) 

(Seriously, I'm potty trained.)
You need:

  • A Muffin Tin (surprise!)
  • Green Tissue Paper
  • Tape
  • Index Card (optional)
  • Skewer (optional)
  • Marker (optional)
The first thing I did was make a little sign. I don't know why. I'm crafty, and a little bit weird.


Thirty seconds later, viola. Just fold the index card in half, write what you'd like on the front, break your skewer in half (because, they are whoa long - throw the sharp pointy end out), and then tape the half-a-skewer inside the index card.

Next up, fill your muffin tin with lunch!


I wanted to use mostly fruits so that we could talk about how they grow as he ate each one (and also because he eats about 2 veggies in this world and won't touch them if I put them in his lunch). But, I wanted him to have some carbs & protein or dairy, also. So we have.... blueberries, bananas, teddy grahams, pineapples, strawberries, a cut up string cheese, and a few mini marshmallows for a treat.

When you've got all of the cups filled up, make sure the flat surface of your muffin tin is free of moisture (because it'll instantly soak through), and then wrap it with your green tissue paper and tape it down. It needs to be taped in place so it doesn't shift around when your little one starts digging!




If you made a garden sign, poke it through the paper into one of the cups. I poked it into the marshmallow one so I could use a marshmallow as a stand for it. It worked well.

Now, instruct your toddler/preschooler to go harvesting and break through the tissue paper to find his treats! I had Luke tell me what each thing was as he unearthed it, and whether it was something that grew or not. It was great - it actually prompted a conversation about how bananas grow, because apparently until that moment - he wasn't sure. He asked if we could grow them in our garden this year. Ha!

Looking for treats!
Ignore the dire need for a haircut...ugh.

 A few tips:
  • Only use 1 sheet of tissue paper. I used two, thinking it would be too flimsy & easy to see through if I just used one, but it was quite difficult to break through the two layers together. He had more success with a fork after a while.
  • Tape your tissue paper down on one side BEFORE you start to fill it. It's really hard to do once it's filled up and you're trying to keep the wet fruit from ruining your paper before your kiddo even gets to it. So if one side's already done before you fill it....well.... one side's already done!
  • You can get super bright, colorful tissue paper at the Dollar Tree for $1/25 sheets! They have bright colors, pastels, whites, and even a glitter one.

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