Lunch Lady Turns Aldi Fruits and Vegetables Into Whimsical Creations for Kids

updated Mar 11, 2020
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Ducks made out of Aldi citrus
Credit: Connie Sarne

When a Minnesota lunch lady needed to find a new way to encourage kids to eat their required half-cup of fruits or vegetables, she never expected to become internet famous for it. Connie Sarne is the assistant manager of the kitchen at John Glenn Middle School, and, as TwinCities.com reports, her Aldi produce carvings have found their way all over the internet to show just how cool and enticing they make the fruit and vegetables for her notoriously picky audience of middle schoolers.

When she first started carving cantaloupe into creatures, the idea was to get the kids to take the cut-up pieces of fruit straight from the mouth of the monster. While they liked the idea, the kids thought it was too cute to disassemble, so she had to switch it up and just place them on top of the salad bar as a display.

Credit: Connie Sarne

Each day after work, she’d head to Aldi, pick up the produce for display, and carve it on her own time — a labor of love. She’d find ideas online, via Pinterest or YouTube, and use her special carving tools to put something together, teaching herself as she went along.

Credit: Connie Sarne

But even a passion project deserves a little bit of credit, so in early February, she posted them to the ALDI Nerd Facebook group to share with her online community. “I work in a middle school,” she explains, “and decided to dabble in fruit to dazzle the kids.”  Then she posted an album-worth of elaborate birds with pepper feathers, pineapple rind snakes, and little lemon goldfish. The post went wild, with almost 2,000 comments and more than 500 shares, and that was just from her first month of creating. Since, she’s been featured on the local news and will make an appearance in People magazine soon, according to her daughter.