Monster sandwiches are not only a great healthy eating lesson idea but a fun design project for children to undertake. Although creating a sandwich is quite simple, the principles of a balanced meal can be applied. Salad and vegetables are a great way to add a bit of monster fun to a sandwich allowing children to try new foods and explore possibilities for creating a healthy lunch. Spreading, cutting and chopping the different foods will also allow the children to practice some of the key skills needed to create healthy meals and there are also lots of opportunities to include literacy, maths and DT for KS1 or KS2 in this activity.
You will need:
- Our Make Your Own Monster Sandwich printable worksheet.
- A selection of bread/ rolls/ wraps (preferably wholemeal)
- Butter or spread
- A selection of sandwich fillings e.g. cheese slices, ham, tuna, salmon, egg, turkey, hummus
- A selection of salad and vegetables e.g. cucumber, pepper, radish, olives, grated carrot
- Plates, chopping boards and knives for spreading and chopping
Children first can learn about the key elements of a healthy balanced diet including:
- Protein – meat, fish, nuts, beans and eggs contain protein which is required for our bodies to grow and repair
- Carbohydrates – bread, potatoes, pasta and rice contain carbohydrates needed to give us energy, wholemeal bread and pasta and brown rice also provide fibre which helps us to digest our food.
- Fat and oils – many different foods contain fats and oils which allow our bodies to store energy. What happens if our bodies store too much energy? Are some fats and oils better for us than others?
- Fruit and vegetables – to give our bodies vitamins and minerals which keep us healthy and fibre for a healthy digestive system. We should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
- Dairy Products – milk, cheese and yoghurt provide calcium to keep bones healthy.
The NHS Change for Life website has some great resources about healthy eating for teachers which are great for researching or learning about the different food groups that make a healthy balanced diet and why they are so important. Children can then complete our Design Your Own Monster Sandwich worksheet before making their designs.
- slices of black olives with slices or radish or cucumber make great monster eyes.
- Fangs, zig zag teeth and pointy dinosaur scales can all be made using triangles cut from slices of cheese.
- Monster hair can be made from cress, grated carrot or rocket pieces.
- Toppings and sauces like mayonaise, guacamole and salsa are great for adding extra flavour.
- Pinterest has a wealth of ideas for monster sandwiches.
- Challenge children to find at least one new food that they have never tasted before to include in their monster sandwiches.
- Learn about fractions and the amount of each food group that should be included in a healthy balanced meal. A circle representing a plate can be used for children to colour in sections for each food group and list or draw possible foods to eat for each group.
- Maths can also be included in this lesson plan by counting and measuring ingredients and using a supermarket website to find the cost of different ingredients and calculate costs for making sandwiches.
- Why not try growing cress and bean sprouts for the children to add to their healthy monster sandwiches? This is a great opportunity for children to learn about germination and how plants grow and a good way to make the connection between plants and food.
- Explore seasonal fruit and vegetables by visiting a local farm shop to choose which ingredients to use.
- Writing an explanation or recipe for monster sandwiches is a fun literacy activity. Why not combine all of the recipes into a monster sandwiches recipe book with pictures or photographs, either for children to take home or to sell at a school summer fair?
- After eating monster sandwiches, create a table to evaluate the sandwich for flavour, texture and look.
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