LANSING, Ill. — Kai Wilken has developed a unique and fun way for his son to eat healthy foods and enjoy his lunch while at school: The stay-at-home dad from Omaha, Neb., creates edible sandwich “artwork” using art and scrapbooking tools.
All of Wilken's creations are made using the same wholesome ingredients that make up a regular sandwich, including bread, lunchmeat, cheese and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. He makes sandwiches that feature everything from superheroes and cartoon characters to school buses and snowmen.
"When we first sent our son off to school, my wife and I wanted to not only make school fun for him, but we also wanted to find a way to help him to develop healthy eating habits," Wilken said. "When we learned that the special lunch I had packed for him on his first day of school was the hit of the lunchroom and helped him make new friends, I knew this was something I would continue to do."
Wilken starts his creations the night before school. He completes a mental inventory of all of the conversations he and his son have had recently to identify the subject matter for the next sandwich. He then draws a rough sketch of his masterpiece and either goes to work on tomorrow's lunch or wakes up early in the morning, pulls out the sketch, all of the necessary ingredients and his tools and gets to work.
When preparing his son's lunches, Wilken also incorporates some special treats that he knows he will enjoy, such as the sweet potato chips in the school bus sandwich. Wilken finds that when he includes garnishes with some of his son's favorite snacks, he is more likely to eat (or at least try) all of the healthy items included in his creations.
To watch Wilken create the school bus sandwich, view the video below or visit our Videos channel.
Land O'Frost Inc., a brand of lunchmeat, learned of Wilken's commitment to his family and has reached out to him to join forces to promote his unique talent and encourage wholesome eating and family activities. Land O'Frost will feature Wilken and several of his creations on its YouTube and Facebook pages.
"Working with Kai is a natural fit for Land O'Frost. As a family-owned and operated company, we share the same commitment to family values and making smart choices in the lunchroom," said Stephan Williams, vice president of marketing. "Much more, he clearly illustrates that it is rewarding to take an interest in your children's lives and that helping them eat healthy can be fun."