Play It Forward Therapy

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Tired of making ho-hum sandwiches for lunch? Add this Ice Cream sandwich idea into your weekly lunch rotation for a cool surprise.

Kids will love having “dessert” for lunch with these adorable, ice cream shaped sandwiches made with the usual sandwich ingredients. Grilled cheese becomes a waffle cone and a bagel with cream cheese transforms into a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

These easy to make Ice Cream Sandwiches may include all of the same ingredients that your child typically likes.  However, we’re changing up the shape and the presentation which is one of the core principles that our OTs use in our feeding therapy sessions. It’s a fun way to change things up, especially if your child is a picky eater.

You may be thinking, “Why would I want to complicate my lunch making process?  It’s already a time consuming process”

Well, I’ve got good news.  You don’t have too!  The ingredients can stay the same, you just change up the shape and presentation.

These ice cream sandwiches can easily incorporate your child’s favorite deli meats, cheeses, condiments, peanut butter/jelly  etc… but instead of cutting the sandwich it in half, cut it into triangles for a cone shape.

For the scoop of ice cream, turn a drinking glass or a small bowl upside down and use it like a cookie cutter to make a circle shape.  Use the glass or bowl as a template and cut around it with a knife to achieve a round sandwich shape.  Spread on the cream cheese or jam on a mini bagel or round sandwich bread. And of course you can’t forget to put a “cherry” on top by adding a grape or tiny tomato secured with a toothpick.

For the Grilled Cheese Ice Cream Sandwich, I used my waffle iron.  Here are the steps:  First, butter your bread, layer your cheese, then place the bread at a diagonal angle on the waffle iron to make it look like a waffle cone.

What does making a sandwich have to do with sensory processing?

When it comes to dealing with every day picky eating, include your kids in the lunch making assembling line.   This activity is great practice for kids to experience a variety of tastes, smells and textures.  If you are making multiple sandwiches, perhaps enlist their help in making a sandwich for someone else in the family who likes different toppings on their sandwiches, for example pickles.  Exposure to the various textures of deli meat, cheese and wet condiments like mustard and mayo may be a new sensory experience with a particular focus on the tactile system.

You can also pretend to be a “Food Critic” and talk about the different way the ingredients look, smell, feel and taste.  Give an ingredient a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

Here’s a stack of my tips for efficient, lunch making:

  • If your mornings are hectic, consider assembling lunch boxes the night before to buy some extra time in the morning.
  • Have a large labeled container or bowl for each child.  I call it a “lunch bucket”. Over the weekend, have your kids pre-pack the non-perishable items.  Create an assembly line of bags and choices of chips, crackers, juice boxes, utensils, granola bars etc.
  • Have each child prefill their bags, select enough of each item for the week and put into their designed lunch bucket.
  • If you have multiple children with different tastes, they can choose what goes into their lunch, which is good for giving them some sense of control.
  • Join the Green Team:  I love these reusable sandwich bags and containers.  They’re economical over the long run and better for the environment too! Reusable Sandwich bags or silicone reusable bags
I know you’re gonna love making these with your kids!  These Ice Cream Sandwiches make for the coolest lunches this summer.

Check out the video tutorial for step by step instructions.


And if your child is wondering, where’s the “REAL” dessert?

You’ll love this pint-sized Ice Cream Cone Cookie Craft.



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