Kids in the Kitchen: Sandwich Sticks


Sandwich Sticks


The scenario: We’ve had a crazy-busy morning, going from one activity to another {and one kid to another}. I look up and catch a glimpse of the clock—and see that it’s already after one. Um… an hour and a half after lunch time, and I haven’t fed my kids. I know I should grab something healthy and wholesome, but instead I throw together some hot dogs, tater tots, and cookies – easy to throw in the microwave, and right there. Has this ever happened to you, homeschool mom?

I will admit it – this has happened here at the Kessler house a lot over the past year. 2012 will go down in history as my most poorly managed year {time-management-wise} yet. I am throwing away bad habits and embracing new, productive, and healthy ones.

And so, when I read of the chance to use Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken to create a healthy and quick lunch for the kiddos, I jumped at the opportunity…then turned it over to my kids. All three of them clamor to help in, or be trusted to create in, the kitchen. Trevor regularly makes us all scrambled eggs for breakfast, and Molly comes up with interesting concoctions for lunches {like raw mushrooms cut with scissors, plain lettuce, cheese sticks, and toast}.

Since they’re always asking to be in charge of meals, I asked them to brainstorm an idea for an easy and healthy lunch using the chicken breast chunks variety.

And then, because I know how long it takes them to agree on anything, I gave them a time limit of an hour to come to an agreement and make a shopping list. Then I left the room to give Logan some one-on-one time as she’s struggling the most with a new baby in the house. {Typical for a three-year-old, I know, but exhausting all the same.}

Trevor and Molly came up with two ideas – both were really interesting, but we decided to go with the quickest, as the theme of this challenge was “healthy and quick” lunches. The kids decided to make kabobs out of the components that make up sandwiches. They call their concoction “Sandwich Sticks.”

I went shopping by myself this time because the temperatures had dropped to below freezing and I didn’t want to bring the baby out. Brian stayed in the car with all the kids. It worked out well because none of the kids have felt well this week, and I didn’t want them to get worse and breathe all over Isaac.


Shopping Trip


We planned to make the Sandwich Sticks the next day, and it was a good thing. The morning totally got away from me between a little one who wanted to nurse every hour {three-week-old growth spurt?} and some super-productive and motivated kiddos who sprinted through art, history, math, handwriting, and a science experiment. We were having so much fun exploring together, that it was almost 2:00 before Logan’s whines of “I’m reeeaaalllllyyyyy hungry” got through to us.

The kids pulled out the ingredients they had asked for, washed cherry tomatoes, selected cookie cutters to give bread and cheese fun shapes, cut open chicken pouches and microwaved the breast chunks and strips, and set out wooden skewers.

Molly and Logan cut the bread and cheese with heart, scalloped, and star cutters, while I cut the lettuce into chunks and Trevor set the table. They set out all of the prepared ingredients and assembled their Sandwich Sticks while I cut apples and kiwi to make a fruit salad.


Making Sandwich Sticks


The best part of this meal was that it took little time to throw together, and they all cleaned their plates. {And they’re brainstorming other “meals on a stick” they could make together.}




Are you ready to try out Trevor’s and Molly’s new Sandwich Stick “recipe” and start making healthy lunches for your own kids that are quick and packed with protein? While this is an easy “recipe” and really doesn’t require step by step instructions, Trevor and I pulled together a printable 4×6 recipe card that you could file away in your own recipe box. Or, you could do what we did and start a “Kids’ Recipe Box” with 4×6 index cards and recipes they can make on their own. This would be the perfect one to start your child’s collection.

Simply click on the recipe thumbnail below and print:


Sandwich Sticks Recipe Card


We had so much fun creating our healthy lunch for the Tyson Grilled & Ready #mealstogether challenge. The kids loved their food, and I loved that they could make this meal themselves, keep it healthy and packed with protein, and that they felt like they’d accomplished an “adult” task all by themselves. Let me know if you try it out and what you think of their recipe. I’ll pass your thoughts on to the kids.

Have a great weekend!