We’ve recently been doing a Mermaid Unit Study (which I cannot wait to share with you), and one of my favourite things to do when the kids are really interested in something is figure out a way to incorporate that into our lunches for a bit of excitement, but also to encourage the picky eaters in our group to try something new.
These are two mermaid lunches for kids were a huge hit at my house, and I hope your little mermaids like them, too! (They can also easily work as ocean-themed lunches.)
Mermaid Pasta Salad
Our first mermaid lunch was a simple tuna pasta salad, for which I used “shell pasta” for it’s nautical reference, and sprinkled veggie “starfish” over top (sweet red peppers cut with a small star-shaped cookie cutter).
I use olive oil, not mayonnaise, for pasta salad for a light alternative and honestly, it tastes much better.
Mermaid Pasta Salad Ingredients:
- 2 cups cooked and cooled shell pasta
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (100g) can of tuna or salmon
- Veggies of your choice – we used cucumbers & sweet red peppers
- 2-4 Tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, optional
After cooking the shell pasta according to the box’s directions, run it under cold water for a minute and let sit while you finely chop veggies of your choice.
Save a bit of each type of veggie and use a small star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out “starfish” confetti and set aside.
Open the canned tuna and add to a large bowl. Mash and flake up the tuna with a fork and drizzle in two tablespoons of the olive oil.
Once the pasta has cooled, add it to the tuna bowl and coat completely with remaining olive oil. Sprinkle in the finely chopped veggies and portion out into your serving bowls.
Sprinkle with cheese and top each bowl with a few of the starfish vegetables.
Mermaid Scrambled Egg Lunch
This lunch started off as a simple scrambled eggs meal, but by taking the extra few seconds to break out the cookie cutters and cut the spinach tortillas and sweet red peppers into star shapes, this transforms into a mermaid lunch for kids (or a star themed lunch, if that’s more aligned with your kid’s interests).
This mermaid lunch consists of:
- Scrambled eggs with finely chopped onions, sweet red peppers, and cheese mixed in
- Spinach tortillas
- Healthy spinach dip
- Baby carrots (I serve them raw for the older kids and boiled in some broth for the toddlers)
- Cucumber slices (decorated with a sweet red pepper star)
To make the scrambled eggs, first saute the onions and red peppers (along with whichever vegetables you’d prefer) in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, then pour in 1.5 eggs per child and a handful or less of cheese and continuously stir the mixture to ensure fluffy eggs.
Other ideas for a Mermaid-themed lunch:
- Goldfish crackers
- Sandwich cookies with a “pearl” cake decoration to represent a clam with a pearl
- Laughing cow cheese wedges to represent “shark’s teeth”
- Our ocean-themed yogurt cups on Learning2Walk
- Seaweed salad (either use real seaweed or call some mixed greens “seaweed” for fun)
- Seaweed snacks (better than chips!)
- Croissant sandwich made to look like a crab with the addition of some “olive eyes” and possibly cut the ends into “claws”
- Any fish dish — we really like incorporate seafood into alfredo-based pastas and casseroles
- Smoked salmon, really great on cream cheese on toast
What would you prepare for a mermaid-themed lunch?