Every year I wish I was a bit more creative when it comes to planning the perfect April Fools’ Day prank. Some of the best tricks that have gone down in history are the ones we don’t see coming. I’m not keen on any pranks that embarrass or could hurt anyone; I just want to make my friends and family laugh, smile, and enjoy the surprise.
The exact origin of April Fools’ Day is unknown. In Roman times people celebrated “Hilaria” in the spring. Historians mark the first April Fools’ Days to the changing of the Gregorian calendar in 1582. People who did not get the “memo” that April 1 was no longer the beginning of the year were ridiculed and called “fools.”
Today, April Fools’ Day is an international day of practical jokes and hoaxes. Kids are gearing up their tricky ideas to scare or fool their friends, family and teachers. Don’t let the kids have all the fun. Parents, too, can get in on some prime trickery that will fool kids of all ages.
I remember my dad telling visitors that our garden had given us a bumper crop of succotash. It was hilarious how many people actually believed him and were looking forward to taking home a bushel of surplus succotash. Even companies enjoy playing pranks. In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees. Some of the more famous pranks gave me a few ideas of food-related pranks to play myself.
7 more food-foolery ideas to pull off a fun harmless April Fools’ Day food trick.
- Switch cereals in the different cereal boxes. If the kids have been asking for a sugary cereal lately, surprise them with a box of it only to have the healthy choice come pouring out.
- Create delicious homemade donuts … from peaches. Slice peaches crossways and use a melon baller to scoop any extra flesh from middle to create round center. Place the slices on a waxed paper lined tray and put the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes. Dip each slice in flavored yogurts like strawberry or vanilla. Top with nuts, granola, chocolate chips, sprinkles, or cinnamon sugar and put the tray back in the freezer. When frozen (around 3 hours) pull out of the freezer, let stand for 10 minutes.
- Snack bag replacement … Carefully cut open the bottom of a snack bag and empty out the chips etc. Replace with a healthy alternative such as carrot sticks then re-seal the bag with glue or tape. Put it in your kid’s lunch box.
- Make cupcakes or a teacake … out of meatloaf. Ice with whipped mashed potatoes and serve for dinner. Stuff some of the mashed potatoes in a resealable plastic bag. Cut the tip of one corner and squeeze out the potatoes on edges of the cake in a fancy pattern. Tell the kids you are having dessert for dinner. Or share your “cupcakes” with your office mates.
- Serve a mashed potato-ice cream sundae. Put the mashed potatoes in a tall clear glass for great effect. Drip gravy over “scoops” of mashed potatoes to look like caramel sauce and add a cherry tomato on top.
- Present Jell-o drinks complete with a straw. Make jell-o and pour into pretty glasses and insert a straw. Put in the refrigerator to set. Even in the fridge, they look ready to drink.
- Make a cardboard cake by icing a cardboard box (round, square or rectangular) generously. Get creative and beautify with decorations on it. Place on a pretty plate or cake stand. This is a lovely gift for Grandmom and Granddad from the grandkids.
We spend a lot of time thinking about eating well. Is this food healthy? Will it help me be stronger, smarter, protect me from cancer, etc.? These questions and concerns are important, but it is also important to have fun with our food. I have fun cooking and want to pass that sense of enjoyment down to my children. A day of using food to play jokes is a great place to start!