December 1, 2009 by Shannon
Puzzles are THE thing at our house right now. Kellan would do them over….and over….and over again — for HOURS – if I let him. I’m sure they are wonderful for building a sense of accomplishment and his ability to solve problems, but I have found that they also solve one of my problems — getting him to eat his lunch in a timely fashion.
Enter the Puzzle Sandwich.
I was a little puzzled (couldn’t help but work that pun in there) when I could not locate my small star cookie cutters. I still don’t know where they are. (Maybe I left them at my mom’s house after making Golden Polenta Stars for Kellan and his cousins?) So I used a larger star cookie cutter and I actually think it turned out better. The stars were quite easy to press out.
Here’s what I think is great about a Puzzle Sandwich: it makes lunchtime interesting! Rather than a boring old PB&J cut into squares, kids are allowed to actually play with their food a little. Kellan was delighted when I put a “puzzle” down in front of him. He immediately fit each star back into the sandwich and got to work scarfing the whole thing down. Except for the crusts. I don’t know where he’s suddenly picked up the idea that crusts are no good. Sigh. Anyway, here’s the quick and easy Puzzle Sandwich tutorial:
- Child’s favorite sandwich (preferably one without thick sandwich fillings)
- Small cookie cutter or fondant cutter (I like fondant cutters, which come in all kinds of sizes)
- Press shapes out of the sandwich, one by one.
- Place the remaining sandwich “frame” on a plate. Surround with the cut-out shapes.
- Tell the child to complete the puzzle, then eat!
This is a simple concept really, but it had Kellan completely engaged in his lunch. He even ate about 20% of the crust and a few carrots! And that’s a win in my book.