Homeschool cooking: Mixed veggie salad & peanut butter/banana caterpillars

Around here, the phrase, “Eat your veggies,” is met with hearty smiles and excitement! We have learned that when we couple a few nutrition guidelines with some creative food crafts, the end result is healthy meals and happy kiddos.


Rule #1 revolves around choices. Put simply, if they only have healthy foods to choose from, then we can reasonably assume that they will choose something that’s good for them.

We also get them excited and involved in their meals. As with our classroom lessons, mealtimes are hands-on opportunities to teach them about healthy living. Today, I gave them a plate of sliced bananas, a large dollop of peanut butter, chocolate chips, and carrot slivers.

Making peanut butter and banana caterpillars
Making peanut butter and banana caterpillars

To assemble the caterpillars, the girls used plastic knives to dab a bit of peanut butter on each slice. Peanut butter serves as the “glue” that holds each slice together. The girls could also choose a banana “log” if they didn’t want to work with the slices. The caterpillar’s face consisted of two chocolate chip eyes and the carrot slivers were used to make the legs.

20150728_114048While the girls prepared their desserts,  I chopped the salad ingredients. Today’s salad consisted of:

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Avocado
  • Black olives
  • Blueberries
  • Boiled eggs
  • Tuna


Chef Gabriele, Chef Kylee, and Chef Khloe assembled the salad bar by arranging the ingredients in vertical rows (hands were thoroughly washed and sanitized during prep).

Rule #2 revolves around portion sizes. So, rather than allow the girls to serve themselves, I served them. They were allowed to choose what they wanted and reject what they didn’t want. As I served them, I heard giddy whispers of, “This is going to be so good!”


They were right. Lunch was delicious and healthy.

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