Who doesn’t love Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”? I’m guessing most parents could read it with their eyes closed in the pitch black, blindfolded. I decided it was the perfect classic children’s book to use as the theme for the second cooking class I taught to my son’s first grade class.
We started class by reading the book. And we tasted every fruit the caterpillar ate. For the record, that’s strawberries, pears, apples, oranges and plums. I would take out each fruit one at a time as we read along with the book, and slice it up so each child could taste it. It was really cool to watch some of them try a plum for the first time! We even ended up having fun conversations about the seeds inside the pears and apples, and about how plums were almost out of season and hard for me to find at the grocery store (this was in November).
Next, we made a caterpillar sandwich!
Here’s the recipe we worked from, and that I sent home with them:
The kids each cut out two circles of bread with biscuit cutters I’d bought for a few bucks at the grocery store.
They spread on jelly and peanut butter (none of the kids had allergies, but if so, substitute sunflower butter!) And then they punched holes in their sandwiches using straws.
They worked in pairs to cut cucumber rounds into quarters. Together, we assembled the sandwiches onto a green pipe cleaner, arranged the cucumber slices along the “body” as the feet, and added a tomato for the head. With toothpicks, the kids helped me add olive eyes. I think their favorite part was learning about the “edible marker” we used to add the smile (purchased at Michael’s).
In the end, they made some pretty adorable sandwiches and tried lots of fruits and some veggies!