It’s the Winter school holidays here at the moment which means we’ve been having cool indoor days, plenty of time on our hands and sometimes a few too many holiday treats. We all need a treat now and then but I really do kick myself when I go overboard on the junk food. I know that it might make my kids smile for a moment but it’s doing them no favours in the long run, nor their mama when their behaviour slides downhill as a result of excess sugar and preservatives. Our school holiday morning teas usually consist of a few crackers and some fruit (that is when we’re not gallivanting out at cafes consuming treats), but today I decided to do something a little bit different. We’ve all seen pictures of those too-good-to-eat lunches made in the shape of cartoon characters and other fancy things, and while they look pretty amazing I suspect that my kids wouldn’t be fooled; they know that a plate of veggies dressed up as a cute little puppy is still a plate of veggies. It’s not going to convince them to eat it, but when they are the creators of their own masterpieces it’s a whole different story. For morning tea today they ate two healthy food artworks each, which is impressive for my two. Sometimes playing with food is a good thing!
Taking the time to set this up is worth it, I promise, it keeps them happily busy with a creative and open-ended art activity which they can eat so you’re killing two birds with one stone.
You will Need
• Assorted chopped fruit and veggies – obviously this will depend on what’s in season where you live and what you have on hand in the kitchen
• Crackers – we used wholegrain rice crackers and jatz crackers
• Nuts and dried fruit – we used pistachios, almonds and sultanas
• Cheese – we used mini babybel cheese wheels and some apricot and almond cream cheese
• White plates to use as a blank canvas
• A small chopping board and knife to cut the fruit and veggie shapes smaller if need be (if you are comfortable with your kids using knives)
A general tip is to use lots of their favourite healthy foods to make up your platter but also include some things that are a bit more adventurous for them. For Miss R the carrot sticks are adventurous and for both of them the Apricot and Almond cheese was a new thing entirely (neither actually tried it this time but I like to think that they’re one step closer for next time)
Arrange your healthy goodies on a platter in the centre of the table and allow the kids to do their thing – no rules necessary. My kids needed no direction in what to create, they both really enjoyed making art with food (and I loved it too!).
Miss K created the funny face (the mouth is made of squashed cheese).
Miss R made the strawberry toadstools and also the raincloud with pistachio nut raindrops.
I made the fruit and veggie mandala and rainbow because you should eat a rainbow every day.
This one is Rapunzel by Miss K. She was very tasty!
Next time your stuck in a rut of the same old same old when it comes to kids’ snacks and holiday activities why not allow them to play with their food? We’ll be doing this again in the future for sure, possibly even for tomorrow’s morning tea.
You might also like
• Healthy eating printable activities for preschoolers
• Create earth art outside using nature
• Make your own construction set using items collected from nature
• Salted nut-caramel popcorn cups (the healthy version)
• Set up a tadpole to frog observation tank
You can also find lots of healthy food ideas for kids on our for the lunch box board on Pinterest.