I have decided I want to be a more fun mom. One of the things I want to do is start having "themed" lunches once a week for the kids. On Saturday, we were fortunate to be able to attend a screening of "A Dolphin's Tale" (review to follow, but I will tell you now it is a MUST SEE). I had already decided that my first themed lunch was going to be Under the Sea, and when the kids asked to learn more about dolphins after seeing the movie, I knew it was the perfect week to start. So to go with our dolphin unit this week, I give you the Under the Sea lunch. It is not the healthiest lunch I have ever given the kids, but it was not the worst either.
The octopus hot dog and the pasta are ideas I have seen on other blogs numerous times (I apologize that I never bookmarked any of them, so I cannot give any one person credit). For the Octopus Hot Dog, I cut the bottom 2/3 of a hot dog in half lengthwise and then turned it a quarter turn and cut in half lengthwise again. Then I took my knife and cut each of the four "legs" in half lengthwise, giving me a total of 8 legs. I did mess up on one though and ended up with a 7-legged octopus and an extra tentacle floating around. Then my 3 year old son, saw the cut hot dogs on the cutting board when I left the kitchen for a moment and bit off about 3.5 tentacles. I still cooked it up and made it, but his octopus did not stand straight up on the plate. Anyway, I then placed the hot dogs into a pot of boiling water and cooked until heated. This causes the tentacles to curl out and look really cute. The octopus hot dogs I had seen online did not have faces, but I wanted one so I took 3 slices off a large black olive to make faces for 4 hot dogs. I cut 2 slices in half for the smiles and then cut the 3rd one into "eyes". I stuck the facial features on by gently dipping them in ketchup with a toothpick and sticking them to the hot dog.
I was not sure if I should add the dye for the pasta to the water or afterward, so I tried adding it to the water. This would likely work if the pasta were freshly made, but it does not work with dried pasta. My pasta came out looking slightly off in color, but no where near the shade I was hoping for. I added the food coloring with the butter and then stirred in the green peas and carrot stars. I had steamed the vegetables above the pasta as it boiled. I used frozen peas. The carrot stars were made by thinly slicing a peeled carrot and using a star fondant cutter to cut out the center (save the "scraps" for soup or some other use).
I also served cheddar cheese whale crackers and S'more flavored goldfish. The kids decided on water to drink and put "icebergs" in their cups.
What ideas do you have for future theme lunches? If I use them, I will credit you in the post.