Madison Children's Museum Blog

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Edible Insects: From Fish Bait to Protein Shakes

For many in the Western culture, just the thought of eating insects might make someone feel sick. But we would like you to reconsider. Insects have proven to be an incredibly valuable source of protein and minerals, and when added to an everyday recipe or dessert, they can be downright delicious.

Want to give it a try? Join us for Edible Insects, a monthly program where we experiment with different recipes, to introduce children and their families to this sustainable practice. Or, try one of our favorites, the Wax Worm Protein Shake at home.

RECIPE: Wax Worm Protein Shakes
Serves two


1 cup milk of choice
1 large banana (fresh or frozen)
1 cup frozen fruit of choice
1/4 cup roasted wax worms
Ice cubes (optional)


Measure one cup of milk (we used Oat Milk) and pour into blender. Add  cooked wax worms and pulse to blend. Slice banana into bite-sized pieces and add to blender, along with any other fruit you desire – we used a mix of frozen strawberries, mangoes and blueberries. Blend until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. For additional protein, add peanut butter, chia or flax seeds.


Collect wax worms (readily found where live fishing bait is sold) and freeze for at least four hours. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Once frozen, use a colander to separate worms from the pieces of wood shavings used for packaging. Place frozen worms on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Shake tray at 10 minutes to ensure worms are cooked evenly. Continue to bake until worms turn a golden brown color and have a nutty scent – they should smell like pistachios. Baking ensures that bacteria will be killed. Let worms cool before using in any recipes.

To purchase edible insects, visit 

Recipe by Alissa Anderson, MCM Program Assistant.
Corinne Burgermeister contributed to this post.


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