Little Brain Builders: What’s for Lunch?

Mealtime can be a challenge for families, especially when there are picky eaters at the table. As one parent once said, “My child is suspicious of all food.” It is tough to put together a healthy lunch after your preschooler announces that they are only willing to eat pickles, ice cream, and corn chips.

First 5 California has some great tips on making mealtime easier for picky eaters and avoiding mealtime battles. Try adding bright colors and varied textures to their meal to increase appeal. Another suggestion is to get creative in food presentation. Sandwiches cut into hearts and dinosaurs will often convince a child that this is food worth eating.

You can take this creativity farther and include your children in preparing food. Your kitchen may be a mess afterwards, but your child will be excited to eat the food they prepared. In addition, they will be learning skills in the kitchen that will be useful throughout their lives.

Have some fun with this easy buggy sandwich recipe with your child. Then encourage them to invent their own fun snack!

Make a buggy sandwich!


English muffin
Peanut butter or almond butter
Whipped cream or Greek yogurt
Chocolate chips or raisins
Apple, cut into thin slices
Blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries.

Toast both halves of the English muffin. Spread the tops with peanut butter or almond butter and jelly, and stick them together. This English muffin sandwich is the base of your bug body.

Spread a layer of peanut or almond butter on top of the English muffin. Put on enough so that things will stick to it.

Stick on some berries for the back and apple slices as wings.

Make eyes in the front using two dabs of whipped cream or yogurt. Stick on raisins or chocolate chips for the pupils.

Add a bit of apple slice sticking out from the muffin halves for a tongue.

Serve and eat!

For your next buggy sandwich, encourage your child to get even more creative. How about cream cheese or hummus instead of peanut butter? Try a celery stick filled with hummus for a body. Pretzel sticks make great bug legs. What kind of buggy snack can you invent?