I think we all know how much I love Halloween lunches. I mean, I really love making Halloween lunches for my kids! I have tons of equipment and there are so many fun ideas around that I love to start cranking them out as soon as October starts.
Still, I sometimes have a bit of a challenge fitting the right lunch to the right kid. My younger son loves Halloween, but only too a point. If things get too creepy or scary he is overwhelmed and it stops being fun for him. I need to keep things cute for him. On the other hand my fifth grader is embarrassed by lunches that are too cutesy. He likes it when I decorate his lunches, but they need to be creepy enough that he can keep his cool reputation at the lunch table. What’s a parent to do?
Here are some ideas for tailoring lunches to kids of different ages or temperaments:
My kindergartener and I made this lunch together so we both contributed ideas. I started by pulling our PlanetBox Rover* out and then we filled each compartment with a Halloween food. First up: cucumber bones. I sliced a cuke lengthwise into planks and then used a bone cookie cutter to make the bone shapes. I’ve found that leg bones are OK with him, but skulls are not. Another safe area for younger kids: happy jack-o-lanterns. We each used a black food marker to draw a face on a peeled clementine, then I made a round pb&j sandwich and he used cutters to “carve” the pumpkin. I filled in the space between the oranges with a handful of grape tomatoes and poked a friendly ghost pick into a few. He’s also OK with spiders, so I packed a silicone cup shaped like a spider with a chocolate rice krispy treat and he added a bunch of icing googly eyes on top. Googly eyes seem to make anything more friendly so if you think the lunch might be veering too far toward scary, throw a few of those in. And finally, we filled the treat compartment with a little green jelly snack with more of those icing eyes to represent a mad scientist’s experiment gone wrong.
My 10-year-old likes things scary. When I asked him for a few ideas for this lunch, he suggested “a guy in a hockey mask with a chain saw.”
What?! Um…that’s a bit too much for me! I don’t think so!
I found these grody a severed finger candies at the craft store a couple weeks ago, so I used those as a jumping off point and went with a death and body parts theme in this PlanetBox* lunch. The pièce de résistance in this lunch is one of those same fingers with a bloody (cookie) butcher knife next to it on a bed of apple slices. (The blood is a bit of red gel icing that I squirted on the candies.) Blech! So gross! I also included skull and bone ham sandwiches on a blood red napkin. Shocking! Grape tomatoes stand in for bloody eyeballs with an eyeball pick to enhance the idea. And finally I added some black bean dip earth with tortilla chip grave stones for dipping. I made the grave stones by cutting tortillas, spraying them with a little oil and sprinkling with chili powder and baking them at 350 for about 15 minutes.
What other ideas do you have for cute or creepy lunches? I’d love it if you shared them in the comments so others can be inspired too!
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