About Judith

I love to present good, hearty, healthy food beautifully.

Fun Salad Shoes

Salad Shoes

High fashion hits the plate with these fun food shoes …

Salad Shoes snacks for girls

Recipe

– Orange capsicum (bell pepper) – you can of course choose your favourite colour!

– Yellow capsicum

– Carrot

– Cucumber

Method

1. Cut a basic shoe shape from the capsicum.

Salad Shoes - 1 Shoe (1 of 1)

2. Then give it a heel to your level of comfort!

Salad Shoes - 2 heel (1 of 1)

3. I added a platform to the front.

Salad Shoes - 3 platform (1 of 1)

4. Before slicing some cucumber to give the shoes detail.

Salad Shoes - 4 detail (1 of 1)

5. Then using a peeler to make some carrot straps.

Salad Shoes - 5 straps (1 of 1)

6. And it’s as simple as that!

Salad Shoes healthy snacks

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Brekkie Rainbow

Brekkie Rainbow

It’s great to have a big share breakfast at the weekend. My boys see a cooked breakfast as a big treat and every now and again I deliver!!

Here’s a fun food rainbow, healthy and delicious. You can of course substitute in your favourite breakfast ingredients.

Breakfast Rainbow fun food

Recipe

– Scrambled egg (just the whites)

– Fried egg (just the yolks)

– Sauteed mushrooms

– Potatoes cubed and cooked (I lightly roasted)

– Tomatoes

– Baby Spinach

– Cheese – I used Edam

Method

1. Use the scrambled whites as clouds.

Brekkie Rainbow - 1 clouds (1 of 1)

2. Place a row of mushrooms (I drew some faint lines in to make it easier to figure out where to put things!) first.

Brekkie Rainbow - 2 mushrooms (1 of 1)

3. Then a layer of egg yolk cut into strips.

Brekkie Rainbow - 3 yolk (1 of 1)

4. And a row of cubed potatoes.

Brekkie Rainbow - 4 potatoes (1 of 1)

5. I then used baby spinach for the next arch.

Brekkie Rainbow - 5 spinach (1 of 1)

6. Before adding some cheese.

Brekkie Rainbow - 6 cheese (1 of 1)

7. And to add some bright colour some tomatoes.

Healthy rainbow for breakfast

8. Not sure whether it needs some rain. But just in case I added some dried thyme.

Fun breakfast for kids rainbow

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Melon Cactus

Melon Cactus

A nice, simple, fun food dessert (desert?!?!) or snack. You can of course substitute the melon for apple, banana or pear.

Melon Cactus healthy snack

Recipe

– Melon (apple/banana/pear)

– Orange

– I used sunflower seeds for the spikes (or pepitas/almonds)

– Bananas for the ground (can substitute for other fruit or seeds)

Method

1. Cut a stem from the melon.

Melon Cactus - 1 stem (1 of 1)

2. Then add some stem segments.

Melon Cactus - 2 stem segments (1 of 1)

3. Before sticking in the spikes. I used sliced sunflower seeds.

Melon Cactus - 3 spikes (1 of 1)

4. And what desert would be complete without a burning orange sun?

Melon Cactus - 4 sun (1 of 1)

5. I used more of the orange to make the rays.

Melon Cactus - 5 sun's rays (1 of 1)

6. And banana to make the ground.

Melon Cactus - 6 ground (1 of 1)

7. Perfect to warm up the day and so quick and easy too.

Melon Cactus cute food ideas

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Salad Tank

Salad Tank

OK so tanks are probably not very P.C. these days but my boys are fascinated by them.

Here’s a fun food, super simple one to whip up as part of a meal or for a snack.

Salad Tank fun ideas for kids

Recipe

– Radish for the wheels (or carrot, cucumber, tomatoes)

– Carrot for the tracks (or cucumber skin, celery cut super thinly)

– Red capsicum (bell pepper) for the body

– Celery for the gun (or carrot, cucumber)

Method

1. Cut radish into circles for the wheels. I used the smaller part of the radish to slice circles for the back ones.

Salad Tank - 1 wheels (1 of 1)

2. I used a potato peeler to take off thick strips of carrot to use as the tracks. I bent them into shape carefully.

Salad Tank - 2 carrot (1 of 1)

3. Then cut a body from red capsicum. This helps to hold the carrot tracks in place.

Salad Tank - 3 body (1 of 1)

4. Celery seemed like the perfect gun. I sliced the back off so it sat nicely on the plate and used extra bits to make detail.

Salad Tank - 4 gun (1 of 1)

5. Before cutting a little star for detail.

Fun food ideas tank

6. Simple, quick and a great way to serve salad veg.!!

Creative food ideas Tank

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Banana Pancakes – Boy Style

Banana Pancakes Boy Style

Steve is into his health and fitness so was excited to find the recipe for the banana pancakes. A high protein breakfast so naturally sweet it doesn’t need any sugar or toppings. Even better it’s so simple his boys can make on their own – now that is a great breakfast recipe!!

Check out these gorgeous boys making their own breakfast from 2 bananas and 4 eggs.

Simple pancakes kids can cook

And using cookie cutters to do their own designs.

Cute breakfast ideas

Simple, delicious and getting the boys into the kitchen – now that is perfect!
Thanks for sending through the pics Steve.

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Egg Galleon

Egg Galleon

After a week of flowers for us fab mums it’s time to float back to normal.

Here’s my simple and nutritious, fun food, egg ship – perfect for breakfast or light lunch. The mini-chefs were impressed!

Ship breakfast healthy & fun

Recipe

– Toast (I used wholemeal grain)

– Mushrooms

– Boiled Egg

– Tomato

– Baby Spinach (could use onion)

– I used some onion for the birds but mushroom/tomato or spinach would also work

Method

1. Cut the toast into the shape of a boat hull.

Egg Galleon - 1 hull (1 of 1)

2. Add masts made from mushrooms.

Egg Galleon - 2 masts (1 of 1)

3. Then the sails from 3 slices of boiled egg.

Egg Galleon - 3 sails (1 of 1)

4. Before cutting some tomato flags.

Egg Galleon - 4 flags (1 of 1)

5. Then I used baby spinach to make some waves.

Egg Galleon - 5 sea (1 of 1)

6. And added some detail using the tomato.

Egg Galleon - 6 detail (1 of 1)

7. A few onion birds drifting in the sky and we’re ready to sail to the table.

Cute breakfast ideas for kids ship

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Love U Mum

Love U Mum

Happy Mother’s Day to all …

Healthy food for Mother's Day

Recipe

I used:

– Red capsicum (bell pepper)

– Yellow capsicum (bell pepper)

– Cucumber

– Carrot

Method

1. I cut a heart from the cheek of a red capsicum.

Love u Mum - 1 heart (1 of 1)

2. Then a “U” from a yellow capsicum.

Love u Mum - 2 u (1 of 1)

3. Before making two “M”s from a piece of cucumber and a “U” from carrot.

Love u Mum - 3 mum (1 of 1)

4. A bit of decorating with the leftovers and it’s done.

Love You Mum food

5. Or is it too jazzy?

Love u Mum Mother's Day food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Mother’s Day bouquet

Mother’s Day Bouquet

As Mother’s Day is fast approaching I still have flowers on my mind.

This is such a versatile, fun food, fruit bouquet. You can use any fruit you have to hand and even the shapes can be individualised. I used some cookie cutters and others I cut freehand.

Mother's Day Bouquet from fruit

Recipe

– Watermelon

– Pineapple

– Kiwi fruit

– Apple (green & red)

– Plum

– Blueberries

Method

1. I cut watermelon using a cookie cutter (I placed them and then moved them around once I had the other flowers cut).

Mother's Day Bouquet - 1 watermelon (1 of 1)

2. Then cut some petals from pineapple to make the next lot of flowers.

Mother's Day Bouquet - 2 pineapple (1 of 1)

3. Before giving the watermelon flowers centres cut from plum.

Mother's Day Bouquet - 3 plum (1 of 1)

4. And made the last bulbs from red apple.

Mother's Day Bouquet - 4 apple (1 of 1)

5. Then I began to add stems and leaves using kiwi fruit for the pineapple flowers.

Mother's Day Bouquet - 5 kiwi (1 of 1)

6. And some green apple stems for the watermelon blooms.

Mother's Day Bouquet - 6 apple stems (1 of 1)

7. I had to squeeze the stems for the red apple bulbs behind the kiwi stems (which I moved to the right a bit) so used little squares of cut green apple.

Mother's Day Bouquet - 7 square stems (1 of 1)

8. Then all that needed to be added were the blueberries for the centres of the pineapple flowers.

Mother's Day Bouquet - 8 blueberries (1 of 1)

9. And that is the bouquet, all ready to serve and then eat.

Healthy fruit plate for mother's day

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Mother’s Day Brekkie

Flowers for Breakfast

As Mother’s Day is coming up for many countries this Sunday I thought I’d do a few special designs. This fun food, flower plate makes a great breakfast or light lunch for anyone.

Creative breakfast for mother's Day

I did change my mind a few times during the making so bear with me!! I also did two options so you can choose toast or mushrooms.

Simple mother's day breakfast

Recipe

– 2 boiled eggs (mine kindly donated by my chickens)

– Tomato

– Toast or mushrooms for stem

– Baby spinach for leaves

– I used sautéed onions for the ground

Method

1. Peel and cut the eggs. I initially left them in halves but then sliced into quarters.

Mother's Day Brekkie - 1 eggs (1 of 1)

2. Then I added a slice of tomato as the centre of the flower.

Mother's Day Brekkie - 2 tomato (1 of 1)

3. I used mushrooms for the stem (and later cut them thinner).

Mother's Day Brekkie - 3 mushrooms (1 of 1)

4. Before adding some onion “soil”.

Mother's Day Brekkie - 4 onions (1 of 1)

5. And some baby spinach leaves for …. leaves!

Mother's Day Brekkie - 5 leaves (1 of 1)

6. I realised the stem was too wide and the flower needed extra petals.

Mother's Day breakfast Paleo

So cut the mushrooms thinner and sliced the eggs into quarters.

7. Or you can go the toast stem instead.

Mother's Day Breakfast Healthy

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Birthday

Birthday Platter

Well today is Roy’s birthday so I have made him a special platter in celebration. We won’t discuss how old he is but suffice it to say much older than me!!

Birthday Platter Fruit

Recipe

Use whatever fruits you have on hand. I used:

– Watermelon (coloured with frozen raspberries)

– Kiwi fruit

– Pineapple

– Grapes

– Orange

– Mint leaves for decoration

Method

1. Cut the numbers from the fruit. I used cookie cutters and watermelon.

Birthday Platter - 1 numbers (1 of 1)

2. Then surround with a contrasting colour. I used Kiwi fruit.

Birthday Platter - 2 kiwi (1 of 1)

3. Before adding some pineapple cut into pieces.

Birthday Platter - 3 pineapple (1 of 1)

4. And some grapes with the tips removed so they don’t roll!

Birthday Platter - 4 grapes (1 of 1)

I realised the late season watermelon was very pale so used frozen raspberries to darken the colour.

5. Add a few mint leaves for décor and we’re ready to stick the candles in.

Birthday platter healthy

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Watermelon Car

Watermelon Car

There are some amazing carvings to be made from watermelons. Alas I am neither that talented nor patient so do my simple versions of “carvings” which are met with gratifying enthusiasm from the mini chefs never-the-less.

Here is my fun food car. Easy enough to do and perfect for a party.

Watermelon Car healthy party food

Recipe

– Watermelon

– I used apple, peach, plums and blueberries (any round fruit works for wheels or cut from apple/pear etc. the windows can be cut from any larger fruit)

Method

1. Cut a chunk from the watermelon (roughly rectangular).

Watermelon Car - 1 watermelon (1 of 1)

2. And then carve a front and back indent from the rectangle.

Watermelon Car - 2 front and back (1 of 1)

I made them slightly sloping (but then what do I know about cars ?!?!)

3. Before making the wheels from the cheeks of two plums.

Watermelon Car - 3 wheels (1 of 1)

4. I made the windscreen from peach flesh but later changed to apple.

Watermelon Car - 4 windscreen (1 of 1)

5. Then cut headlights from apple flesh.

Watermelon Car - 5 lights (1 of 1)

6. And brake lights from the outside of the apple.

Watermelon Car - 6 brake lights (1 of 1)

7. Before adding peach indicators.

Watermelon Car - 7 indicator (1 of 1)

8. I used the peach again for the side windows (which I later swapped for apple) and plum for the door outline and front grille.

Watermelon Car - 8 door & grille (1 of 1)

9. Then I cut more plum for the wipers and aerial.

Watermelon Car - 9 wipers & aerial (1 of 1)

10. And used little squares of apple to create a road.

Unique party food car

11. Check it out from the side.

Watermelon Car for boys party

12. But I realised that lighter windows would look better so swapped the peach for apple.

Cute party ideas car

13. Brrrrrum brrrrum off we go.

Healthy desserts for kids car

14. Or should we go that way ….

Fun watermelon car

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Avocado Bird

Avocado Bird

Summer fruit and veggies are coming to the end for us so am making the most of the last available like avocadoes. Boys are on school holidays so wanted a simple salad design for lunch. Joe requested a bird and I thought it might encourage Max to eat some (one of the few veggies he’s not keen on). Soooo, here’s a very quick and easy fun food plate.

Avocado Bird

I changed half way through as the tail was too heavy!

Recipe

– Avocado

– Carrot

– Olive for eye

– Cottage cheese for clouds

Method

1. Slice two pieces of avocado for the wings. I used my knife to score “feathers”.

Avocado Bird - 1 wings (1 of 1)

2. Then I added a head.

Avocado Bird - 2 head (1 of 1)

3. And a body.

Avocado Bird - 3 body (1 of 1)

4. Cutting a beak from carrot.

Avocado Bird - 4 beak (1 of 1)

5. I initially tried a tail from celery but it’s too heavy.

Avocado Bird - 5 tail (1 of 1)

6. Then I made some long legs from carrot.

Avocado Bird - 6 legs (1 of 1)

7. And an eye from a piece of olive.

Avocado Bird - 7 eye (1 of 1)

8. Before swapping the tail for an avocado one and adding some cottage cheese clouds.

Healthy snack ideas for kids

Fly into a snack or a light lunch ….

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Toast Tower

Toast Tower

I’m devastated as my favourite bakery is closing down. Where to now for my lovely grainy bread with no preservatives? Although yesterday they were all sold out anyway and I had to settle for wholemeal …

Here’s a fun food breakfast. Jazz up the toast with a few mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and cheese. Yum.

Toast Tower - breakfast for kids

Recipe

– 2 slices of toast

– Mushrooms

– Tomato

– Baby Spinach

– Cheese

Method

1. Cut indents from the top of a slice of bread.

Toast Tower - 1 bread (1 of 1)

2. Then make a window.

Toast Tower - 2 window (1 of 1)

3. Toast and give the tower a second level.

Toast Tower - 3 second level (1 of 1)

4. Cover the join and make a door with some pre-cooked mushroom pieces and cut more windows.

Toast Tower - 5 mushrooms (1 of 1)

5. Then give the windows colour with some tomatoes, sliced to fit.

Toast Tower - 6 tomatoes (1 of 1)

And a lovely, mushroom full moon.

6. I used more mushrooms to make some ground.

Toast Tower - 7 ground (1 of 1)

7. Before growing some spinach trees.

Toast Tower - 8 spinach (1 of 1)

8. And adding some cheese for detail.

Fun healthy breakfast for kids

9. All finished and ready to demolish ….

Healthy castle breakfast

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

A special blog done with respect and thanks in recognition of Anzac Day (for those who served from Australia and New Zealand) and in honour of all those who sacrificed ….

Lest we Forget Fruit Poppy

Recipe

– Watermelon

– Plum

– Kiwi fruit

I actually started to do this with a red apple as the watermelon didn’t seem a vibrant enough red. However, the texture didn’t work so I reverted to the melon ….

Method

1. I cut the cheeks from an apple (then decided to cut slices from a melon).

Lest we Forget - 1 apple cheeks (1 of 1)

2. The outside needs to be wider than the centre of the petals.

Lest we Forget - 2 cut apple (1 of 1)

3. Then I sliced a circle from the outside of a dark plum.

Lest we Forget - 3 centre (1 of 1)

4. And cut the stalk from a Kiwi fruit.

Lest we Forget - 4 stalk (1 of 1)

5. Using a bit more to make the grass.

Lest we Forget - 5 ground (1 of 1)

6. And there it was finished.

Lest we Forget - Finished apple (1 of 1)

7. But it was too full and not “poppy-ish” enough so I swapped the apple petals for watermelon ones.

Anzac day fruit Poppy

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Flying Pigs

Flying Pigs

I was having a conversation about something being impossible and the “flying pigs” concept got stuck in my head!!

I made these cute, fun food pigs using a cookie cutter. The dye is roasted beetroot juice which gives a great colour without imparting any real flavour.

Cute food ideas for kids

Flying pigs kids food

Recipe

– Mashed potato (any mashed veg would do). I dyed part of it pink with beetroot juice.

– I used sliced beetroot for the eyes and noses

– I used wholemeal spaghetti for the tails

– I made the stars from cheese

Method

1. I mixed some mash with beetroot juice to make it pink then pushed it into a cookie cutter.

Flying Pigs - 1 mold (1 of 1)

2. Then I made two more.

Flying Pigs - 2 three pigs (1 of 1)

3. I fashioned some wings from regular mash.

Flying Pigs - 3 wings (1 of 1)

4. Before giving them some back wings too.

Flying Pigs - 4 more wings (1 of 1)

5. I used some spaghetti to give them little tails.

Flying Pigs - 5 tails (1 of 1)

6. Then cut some eyes from beetroot.

Flying Pigs - 6 eyes (1 of 1)

7. And used more to make noses (snouts?).

Flying Pigs - 7 noses (1 of 1)

8. As they are flying high they needed some cheese stars!

Ideas for fussy kids

Fun food ideas for kids

9. It’s true, pigs can fly …..

Food art Flying Pigs

Healthy food ideas for kids

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Easter – how many “treats”?

Easter – how many “treats”?

Religion aside, Easter is one of those times that make me ponder what we, as a society, have created as the norm for children in regards to celebrations. I wander into any supermarket, discount store, variety shop and even petrol/gas station and am greeted by rows and rows of chocolate eggs. How many do we need!?!?!?

I made the decision when my boys were born not to introduce chocolates, lollies and sweets as a “treat”. I felt there were many better options for rewards and also I wanted to make their lives simpler. They just do not crave sweets (unlike the rest of us!!).

This has made Easter so simple in our house as there is no expectation of chocolate or traditional Easter Eggs. I do not want to be a complete “bah, humbug” either so we have created traditions that the boys look forward to and make Easter into a special celebration. Each year I make a clutch of home-made eggs created from a healthy muesli bar recipe and wrap them in brightly coloured paper. These then get hidden around the house and garden (weather dependent) and the boys love the thrill of the hunt. We also have a special meal out over the long weekend and spend time together picking a restaurant that will make for a really good night out for everyone.

I wonder whether the chocolate excess is really a necessary part of Easter or whether like many things in our consumer driven societies it has become an accepted norm when really it’s quite “abnormal” to expect our children to eat multiple, large eggs. Having a chocolate egg for Easter seems like an exciting “treat”. Is having more too much? Should we be looking for alternative gifts if gifts are part of our tradition?

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Giant Easter Egg

Giant Easter Egg

Happy Easter!!

Here is my healthy, fun food giant Easter egg to share.

Healthy fruit easter egg

Recipe

– Yoghurt (or cream cheese/coconut cream)

– Blueberries

– Melon

– Plum

– Mandarin

– Kiwi fruit

– Green apple

– Red Apple

You can of course substitute any fruit you have to hand!

Method

1. Make a rough egg shape from yoghurt.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 1 yoghurt

2. Start filling with the fruit. I used blueberries.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 2 blueberries

3. Then a layer of melon.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 3 melon

4. Followed by some plum.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 4 plum (1 of 1)

5. Then some Kiwi fruit.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 5 kiwi (1 of 1)

6. And more blueberries.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 6 blueberries (1 of 1)

7. Before adding some colour with Mandarin segments.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 7 mandarins (1 of 1)

8. Then a strip of green apple.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 8 pear (1 of 1)

9. More plum.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 9 plum (1 of 1)

10. And more melon.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 10 melon (1 of 1)

11. Once the egg was complete I cut some red apple into a “bow” shape.

Party food no sugar for easter

12. And that is my finished Giant Easter Egg.

Cute ideas giant Easter egg

Have a very Happy Easter !!

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Melon Fish

Melon Fish

For those who celebrate Easter fish is traditionally served on Good Friday. I thought I’d join in by putting together a fun food, fish plate (of the dessert kind!!).

Healthy desserts for kids no sugar

Recipe

– Melon (or apple/pear/stone fruit)

– Red apple (any largish contrasting coloured fruit is good)

– I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds for the sea floor

Method

1. I cut the melon into pieces and then started to slot them roughly together starting with the mouth. Just make an approximate fish shape and it’ll come together!

Melon Fish - 1 mouth (1 of 1)

2. I placed melon slices around the bottom.

Melon Fish - 2 underside (1 of 1)

3. Then some around the top.

Melon Fish - 3 body (1 of 1)

See how messy and “unfish” like it looks at this time!

4. Fill in the spaces with more melon.

Melon Fish - 4 filled (1 of 1)

I used the softer flesh from the middle by the seeds to cover the lines.

5. Then cut the cheeks from an apple to form the tail and the lower fin.

Melon Fish - 5 fin & tail (1 of 1)

6. And used some more of the apple to make the upper fin. I cut into rough rectangles and sliced the bottoms at an angle so the fin got gradually lower.

Melon Fish - 6 top fin (1 of 1)

7. I cut careful slices out of the apple on the fin and tail to give them detail (cut only half way through the flesh).

Melon Fish - 7 fin detail (1 of 1)

8. Then I used more of the apple skin for a smile and the gill.

Melon Fish - 8 smile (1 of 1)

9. The eyes look so cool as they’re almost 3-D. I cut them from the apple flesh using a thick piece so they really stand out. The pupils are just a little of the skin cut into a rough circle.

Melon Fish - 9 eyes (1 of 1)

10. And no fish would be complete without some bubbles (apple).

Melon Fish - 10 bubbles (1 of 1)

11. Before making a sea-bed from pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Fun fruit ideas fish

12. A fun fish for Friday.

Cute fruit ideas for kids

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Egg Box Eggs

Egg Box Eggs

OK so this week is turning into egg week – without any actual eggs!!

I have wanted to use an egg box to serve egg shaped veggies for a while and Easter was a good excuse for this fun food experiment. Joe was absolutely delighted with the presentation and both boys couldn’t wait to test the “eggs”.

Fun healthy Easter eggs

Use any veg you like.

Recipe

– Egg box (I lined with cling film/Glad wrap)

I used:

– Mashed potato

– Mashed pumpkin

– Bubble and squeak (potato mixed with spinach and cheese and lightly fried)

– Mashed peas (mixed with a little potato to help hold shape)

– Roasted beetroot (mixed with potato to hold shape)

– Fresh corn (mixed with potato)

Method

1. Line an egg box with foil or cling film for hygiene.

Egg Box Eggs - 1 box (1 of 1)

2. Form some mash into an egg shape and place in the box.

Egg Box Eggs - 2 mash (1 of 1)

3. Then do the same with some pumpkin.

Egg Box Eggs - 3 pumpkin (1 of 1)

4. I used some leftover bubble and squeak.

Egg Box Eggs - 4 bubble & squeak (1 of 1)

5. Before mixing some peas with mash for the 4th egg.

Egg Box Eggs - 5 peas (1 of 1)

6. Then I did the same with some beetroot.

Egg Box Eggs - 6 beetroot (1 of 1)

7. Finishing with some corn.

Egg Box Eggs - 7 corn (1 of 1)

8. So simple and a great fun way to present veggies.

Creative egg ideas Easter

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Easter Bunny Eggs

Easter Bunny Eggs

The Easter Egg hunt on Easter Sunday morning is a big tradition in our house. Although Max is getting too old there is still something magical about a hunt for hidden treasure!! This year will be no different and the bunny will smuggle a sack of eggs to the holiday home we’re renting and hopefully remember to get up early enough to hide them around the place.

Max has always been rapt that the bunny realises he doesn’t like chocolate or sugary substitutes and always brings special eggs. Joe just wants to eat something extra and relishes the opportunity ….

Sugar free easter egg hunt eggs

So as usual I have made a batch of healthy muesli bar mix and formed it into egg shapes then wrapped in foil (which I will freeze until Sat.). Roy suggested using different coloured foils – now why didn’t I think of that?

 

Recipe

– Muesli bar mix (recipe printed at the end of the blog)

– Foil or pretty paper to wrap eggs

Method

1. Cook the muesli mix.

Muesli Eggs - 1 muesli mix (1 of 1)

2. Press and roll into egg shapes.

Muesli Eggs - 2 egg shape (1 of 1)

3. Wrap in foil, whistle for the bunny …

No Sugar Easter Eggs

Muesli Bar Mix – (no sugar or sugar substitutes)

1. Prepare 1/4 cup of chopped dates, 1/4 cup of chopped dried apricots and 1/2 cup of sultanas
2. Squeeze all the juice from 1 ½ oranges and soak the dried fruit in it (if you are eliminating a dried fruit substitute for another to give the bars the sweetness).
3. Heat oven to 180 degrees.
4. Grease a baking pan to cook in (mine is old and scratched so I line with greased baking paper to stop it sticking!)
5. Mix together in a bowl:
– 1/6 cup wholemeal flour
– 1 cup wholegrain oats
– ½ cup desiccated coconut
– Pinch of baking soda
– ¼ tsp baking powder
– 1/5 cup of pepitas *
– 1/5 cup of sunflower seeds *
– 1/8 cup of ground linseeds *
– ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
– I add lemon zest
6. Use a bar mix to blitz the orange juice/dried fruit to form a paste.
7. Add a large egg and 1/4 cup of melted butter (can substitute olive oil) and mix together.
8. Add the liquid to the dried mix and combine thoroughly.
9. Press gently into a pan.
10. Cook for approx. 15 mins.

(* optional ingredients)

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Whole Watermelon Cake

Whole Watermelon Cake

With Easter approaching and school holidays there are always so many opportunities for socialising. I love having a few healthy show stoppers up my sleeve so I can join the party without being a “pooper”!!

This whole watermelon cake always goes down so well and is a lovely counterbalance to all the sugar that is traditional. Decoration can be simple or fancy and done to your own taste.

Whole Watermelon Cake

If watermelons are not available or not your thing try the fruit mini cakes that can be made with apples or other fruit:

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Healthy party desserts

Recipe

– Watermelon (the one I made was smaller than a dinner plate so used well less than half a large watermelon – adjust the size to fit number of guests)

– Thick yoghurt for icing (for tips see below *). For non-dairy use chilled then whipped coconut cream (to make thicker only use the solid part from the tin). I actually prefer the coconut cream but my bar mix died today and I could not face hand-whipping!!

– I used Blueberries, Kiwi and Mint for decoration on top

– I used Sliced Almonds for decorating the sides

Get creative!!

(* Thickening yoghurt is really simple. Use cheesecloth or a Chux/J-Cloth to filter out some of the liquid. Simply place the cloth over a small bowl and elastic band it into place then place yoghurt on top and allow the liquid to drip into the bowl in the fridge for a few hours).

Method

1. Cut a cake shape from the watermelon (you can go rectangular if you wish!)

Whole Watermelon Cake - 1 watermelon (1 of 1)

I got rid of most of the seeds too.

2. Then covered it in thick yoghurt.

Whole Watermelon Cake - 2 yoghurt (1 of 1)

3. I decorated with blueberries around the edge.

Whole Watermelon Cake - 3 blueberries (1 of 1)

4. And added sliced kiwi fruit in the middle.

Whole Watermelon Cake - 4 kiwi (1 of 1)

5. Before adding some mint.

Whole Watermelon Cake - 5 mint (1 of 1)

6. I used sliced almonds to create a pattern around the side of the cake.

Healthy cakes for kids parties

7. And then wanted to pick up the green so switched plates.

Whole Watermelon Cake with icing

8. I wondered whether a splash of colour would enhance but the mini-chefs said “nah”.

Party cakes no sugar

Simple, refreshing, fabulous looking and healthy!

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Veggie Bunnies

Veggie Bunnies

The Easter themes continue with my fun food veggie bunnies. I actually made these from a lentil/carrot mix I made but you could use potato/pumpkin/sweet potato or a veggie or bean mash.

Fun food for Easter for kids

Recipe

– A mash or thick puree (I used lentil)

– Mashed potato/cream cheese for the teeth and tails

– I used pumpkin for ears (or carrot/sweet potato)

– I used corn for eyes (or peas/carrots/olives)

– Carrots made from carrot and parsley

– Veggies to decorate – I used broccoli and peas

Method

1. Fashion the body and head of the bunny.

Veggie Bunnies - 1 lentils

2. Then add some pumpkin ears.

Veggie Bunnies - 2 ears

3. And mash teeth and tail.

Veggie Bunnies - 3 nose-tail

4. Before giving her some eyes.

Veggie Bunnies - 4 eyes

5. Oh my goodness they are multiplying!!

Veggie Bunnies - 5 3 bunnies

6. Better give them something to eat.

Veggie Bunnies - 6 veggies

7. Or would they prefer carrots?

Veggie Bunnies - 7 carrots

8. OK. Everyone ready to eat?

Cute food ideas for kids rabbits

 

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Fun Brekkie Bunny

Brekkie Bunny

Breakfast can be such a routine meal, but with a little extra time we can transform it into an Easter special!

Here is my fun food, wheatbrick bunny. Simple, cute and eaten in a heart-beat ….

Fun food for breakfast

Recipe

– 3 wheatbricks

– I used pear for the detail (apple/melon would work too)

– I used blueberries for pupils/nose/mouth (other dark fruit like plums or raisins would work)

Method

1. I soaked a wheatbrick in a little milk just so it would hold form but not enough to be “stodgy”. Using an egg ring to make the circular shape for the face.

Brekkie Bunny - 1 mold

2. Then removed it from the mold.

Brekkie Bunny - 2 face

3. I cut two wheatbricks into rough ear shapes.

Brekkie Bunny - 3 ears

4. Before using some pear to make teeth.

 

5. And more pear for eyes (bit scary looking!!)

Brekkie Bunny - 5 eyes

6. Then made the insides of the ears.

Brekkie Bunny - 6 ear inside

7. And to make him less scary some blueberry pupils for the eyes and another for the nose.

Brekkie Bunny - 7 eyes

8. I cut a blueberry and stretched it to make a mouth shape and then framed it with pear whiskers.

Brekkie Bunny - 8 whiskers

9. Just add milk or yoghurt and hoppity hop into breakfast.

Easter bunny breakfast for kids

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Fun Apple Baskets

Apple Basket

Easter baskets seem to be a very traditional part of the season. My boys love using them to collect the muesli eggs the bunny kindly leaves as he knows they don’t eat chocolate!!

I’ve made a super simple, fun food apple basket that can be filled with fruit of your choice. Joe was so taken with it and couldn’t wait to eat it. It’s a great party piece as everything is edible.

Healthy Easter snacks for kids

Recipe

– Apple

– Fruit to stuff. I used grapes, blueberries and bits of the rest of the apple

Method

1. Cut the apple in half.

Apple Basket - 1 apple (1 of 1)

2. Hollow out one side.

Apple Basket - 2 hollowing (1 of 1)

3. Slice the handle from the other side. Cut across the top/middle to make as high as possible and then remove most of the flesh.

Apple Basket - 3 handle (1 of 1)

4. Stuff with fruit.

Apple Basket - 4 filled basket (1 of 1)

5. And it’s as quick and easy as that.

Healthy Easter gifts food

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Fun Potato Chicks

Potato Chicks

Here’s a lovely, simple fun food lunch or dinner that the mini-chefs can help you put together.

Potato Chicks Easter plate

Recipe

– Steamed potato (or other large veg). I cut prior to steaming.

– Corn

– Carrots (or other contrasting coloured veg)

– I used peas and beans for the grass

– Olives for eyes (could use peas)

Method

1. Use the large slices of potato for the bodies.

Potato Chicks - 1 potatoes (1 of 1)

2. Then cut some head shapes.

Potato Chicks - 2 heads (1 of 1)

3. Before adding some corn “feathers”.

Potato Chicks - 3 corn (1 of 1)

4. Slice some carrot beaks.

Potato Chicks - 4 beaks (1 of 1)

5. Then cut some carrot feet.

Potato Chicks - 5 feet (1 of 1)

6. I gave them some carrot crowns.

Potato Chicks - 6 crowns (1 of 1)

7. And then some olive eyes.

Potato Chicks - 7 eyes (1 of 1)

8. Before adding some peas and beans for grass.

Potato Chicks - 8 grass (1 of 1)

9. And it’s as simple as that …

Healthy food for kids Easter

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Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Rabbit Pancakes

Rabbit Pancakes

I saw this recipe on Facebook (see, spending hours on Facebook is a worthwhile enterprise!!) and was sceptical but dying to try. You take 2 eggs and one banana. Mash the banana really well and mix in with the two eggs and then pour batter into a frying pan and fry like a regular pancake. It comes out texturally like a pancake, looks like a pancake, tastes like a pancake and takes a minute to make. It is also so simple kids of all ages can make and is so sweet that no toppings are necessary. In fact for me it is way too sweet! What a find, loads of great protein, potassium and nothing unhealthy in sight and so quick and cheap.

As we’re entering the countdown to Easter it’s time to amp up the bunnies, chicks and eggs though so …..

Rabbit Pancakes

Here is my fun food Easter breakfast plate.

Recipe

– Pancakes (I used banana pancakes)

– I used raisins and yoghurt for detail

– I used pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and desiccated coconut for the ground and clouds

Method

1. Make a pancake.

Rabbit Pancakes - 1 pancake (1 of 1)

2. I used a cookie cutter to make two rabbits. One from each side of the pancake to give them a contrasting “look”.

Rabbit Pancakes - 2 rabbits (1 of 1)

3. I cut raisins for eyes.

Rabbit Pancakes - 3 eyes (1 of 1)

4. And what self-respecting rabbit would be seen without a fluffy, yoghurt tail?

Rabbit Pancakes - 4 tails (1 of 1)

5. Then I added a raisin mouth and a yoghurt nose.

Rabbit Pancakes - 5 faces (1 of 1)

6. A few pepitas for the ground and some coconut clouds and you can hop to it.

Pancakes no sugar rabbits

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Fun Melon Flowers

Melon Flowers

Well for my mother and all those other mothers in the UK here are some flowers especially for Sunday.

Simple flowers from food mothers Day

My simple but bright fun food blooms.

Recipe

– Kiwi fruit

– Melon (I used honeydew as I wanted it all green)

– Almond flakes

– Blueberries

– Green apple

– I used yoghurt to glue down the almond flakes (cream cheese would work too)

Method

1. Cut the kiwi fruit into petal shapes.

Melon Flowers - 1 flowers (1 of 1)

2. I used a cookie cutter to make a flower shape from the melon.

Melon Flowers - 2 melon centres (1 of 1)

3. Blobbed a bit of yoghurt on so the almonds will stick.

Melon Flowers - 3 almonds (1 of 1)

4. Then make the centre from blueberries.

Melon Flowers - 4 blueberries (1 of 1)

5. I sliced apple really thinly to make tendrils.

Melon Flowers - 5 tendrils (1 of 1)

6. And sprinkled a little coconut …

Creative snack ideas flowers

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Having Fun with Food

Perfection is not the aim

Zac’s mother has kindly sent me through photos of his “Gingerbread Man” dinner. Kids love their own “art” and love to eat what they have created. A masterpiece and perfection is not the aim. Eating healthy food with gusto is!

Zac (3) was given a gingerbread man cookie cutter and told he could create as he wished as long as he used something from every bowl 1) mashed pumpkin 2) beef mince 3) greens 4) tomatoes. He did and he ate and he enjoyed and it was as simple as that ….

Creative kids cooking ideas

When I do designs I try to make them look great and to create the impulse for people to eat. However, perfection is not a main priority. This is partially because food doesn’t lend itself to the same precision as found in other creative forms but mostly to make the food feel accessible to everyone. I am by no means either a great cook or a great artist but do want to make healthy food exciting and appealing. From there you and your mini-chefs can create your own food art using your own imagination, on hand ingredients and personal tastes.

Getting fussy eaters to eat
(He was smiling all through but did NOT want his photo taken – and I can identify with that!)
Thanks Zac for sharing your dinner …

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Fun Mr Tomato

Mr Tomato

I reckon he should probably be Monsieur Tomato as he looks as though he’s wearing a beret!

I had some leftover mashed potato and some lovely, ripe tomatoes so my fun food Mr Tomato was born. He’s so simple to do and it’d be a great one to get the kids involved in.

Cute food ideas for kids

Recipe

– Large tomato (I used a vine ripened one and utilised the stalk)

– Mashed potato (or any other sort of mash or thick puree)

– Use anything on hand for detail. I used peas, corn, red capsicum (bell pepper), carrots and olives.

Method

1. Slice the top off the tomato for the hat. I left the stalk on.

Mr Tomato - 1 tomato (1 of 1)

2. Then I formed a head shape from the mash and fashioned a nose.

Mr Tomato - 2 head (1 of 1)

3. And added some olives sliced into a circle for eyes.

Mr Tomato - 3 eyes (1 of 1)

4. Before cutting a mouth from red capsicum (bell pepper).

Mr Tomato - 4 mouth (1 of 1)

5. Then I made a moustache, cutting the olives lengthways.

Mr Tomato - 5 moustache (1 of 1)

6. I filled the olive eyes with pea pupils.

Mr Tomato - 6 eyes & buttons (1 of 1)

Then used blobs of mash with corn for buttons.

7. And there is Mr Tomato.

Healthy meals for kids

8. Or does he need some carrot ears?

Tomato recipes for kids

The mini-chefs preferred him with …..

The Art of Nutrition
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Fun Brekkie Bonfire

Brekkie Bonfire

The large, really dark mushrooms reminded me of sticks so I decided to build a breakfast campfire around them.

Healthy breakfasts for kids

Recipe

– Large capped mushrooms (rather than the button)

– Egg. I separated part of the yolk (so I could get the really orange looking flames)

– Tomato

– Baby spinach

Method

1. Cut the cooked mushroom into strips and pile into a campfire shape.

Campfire - 1 mushrooms (1 of 1)

2. Then add scrambled egg as glowing fire.

Campfire - 2 egg (1 of 1)

3. With the cooked separated yolk becoming the bright flames.

Campfire - 4 flames (1 of 1)

4. Then using sliced tomatoes for red flames.

Campfire - 5 tomatoes (1 of 1)

5. And spinach leaves for the surrounds.

Campfire - 6 leaves (1 of 1)

6. Leaving no cooking to do.

Creative breakfast ideas for kids

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Ladybird/ladybug

Ladybird/Ladybug

Simple, cute, delicious, this is my fun food watermelon ladybird/ladybug.

Healthy party food for children ladybird ladybug

Recipe

– Watermelon

– Blueberries

– Dark plum

– I used a little apple for the eyes (any light coloured fruit or yoghurt would be great)

Method

1. Cut a body shape from the watermelon.

Ladybird - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Then I sliced a plum cheek to make the head.

Ladybird - 2 head (1 of 1)

3. And cut a groove to show off the wings.

Ladybird - 3 wings (1 of 1)

4. Before adding the iconic spots.

Ladybird - 4 spots (1 of 1)

5. I used more of the plum to show the body beneath the wings.

Ladybird - 5 inside wings (1 of 1)

6. Then I sliced some plum very thinly for the antennae.

Ladybird - 6 antennae (1 of 1)

7. Before cutting some disks of apple with blueberry halves on top for eyes.

Ladybird - 7 eyes (1 of 1)

8. And there emerges the ladybird …

Sugar free kids desserts ladybird ladybug

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Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Flower Pot Dips

Flower Pot Dips

I have done other designs using “real” flower pots as the serving vessel. There is always a great reaction from the mini-chefs to this fun food especially as they are just the right size for a teaspoon.

This is more a party piece where you can present a variety of dips in different pots and then have vegetable crudités to dunk in.

Healthy dips for kids flower pots

Recipe

– I used home-made hummus as the dip

– Dutch carrots (baby carrots)

– Parsley as the leaf for the carrots

– Celery

– Corn

Method

1. Put something in the bottom of the flower pots to prevent leakage as being proper plant pots they have a drainage hole. I used aluminium foil.

Flower Pot Dips - 1 pots (1 of 1)

2. Then added the dip.

Flower Pot Dips - 2 dip (1 of 1)

3. Before sticking the carrots in.

Flower Pot Dips - 3 carrots (1 of 1)

4. And giving them parsley leaves (I dug a little hole in the top of the carrot then secured the leaf with a blob of dip).

Flower Pot Dips - 4 leaves (1 of 1)

5. Then for variety I cut some celery stalks and gave them some corn flowers.

Flower Pot Dips - 5 celery (1 of 1)

6. And scattered some additional carrots around.

Cute party ideas for vegetables

7. Which is about all you need to do before serving.

cute crudites for children

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Fun Leprechaun Hat

Leprechaun Hat

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

I wanted to go green today but wanted to try something a little different. Sometimes this is good and sometimes not so good. I decided to make flat bread but incorporate spinach into it. I’m always excited if I can up the dark green, leafy vegetable quotient!

The first test was a disaster as I tried steaming the spinach and then mixing through the dough. I knew as soon as I started it wouldn’t work (so the chickens get a treat!). The next batch I steamed the spinach then used my favourite kitchen toy – the bar mix. Perfect. The dough worked beautifully, cooked well and tastes good too.

Here is my fun food Leprechaun Hat made from spinach flat bread (which takes 5 mins to make and another 5 to cook).

Leprechaun Hat St.Patricks Day

Recipe

– Spinach – I used a small bunch of flat leafed steamed and then made a paste

– Flat bread – I make with wholemeal flour and a little olive oil (for this batch I combined with the spinach paste)

– Avocado for the hat band

– Cooked egg yolk for the hat buckle

– I cut clover from baby spinach leaves (using my kitchen scissors)

Method

1. I lightly fried the flat bread.

Leprechaun Hat - 1 bread (1 of 1)

2. Then cut the top of the hat from the bread.

Leprechaun Hat - 2 hat (1 of 1)

3. And then the brim.

Leprechaun Hat - 3 brim (1 of 1)

4. I used avocado to make the hat band.

Leprechaun Hat - 4 strap (1 of 1)

5. Then added a flower from baby spinach. Four leafed clover of course …..

Leprechaun Hat - 5 flower (1 of 1)

6. I cooked an egg yolk and cut a buckle from it.

Leprechaun Hat - 6 buckle (1 of 1)

7. Before decorating the plate with more clover.

Leprechaun Hat - 7 clover (1 of 1)

8. HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY !!!

Leprechaun Hat Irish food

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Fun Watermelon Train

Watermelon Train

This has got to be one of my favourite fun food, party centrepieces. I have made many watermelon trains and am still rapt by the enthusiasm by which they are received. This is one I made for Joe’s break-up party at his first Kinder.

Cute party ideas train

These trains are really quite simple to put together and are a great way to get everyone tucking into fruit instead of cake. They are also flexible as aside from the watermelon you can use whichever other fruits are seasonal.

Joe had a family picnic day at his school so I wanted to take a communal dessert and the train seemed the obvious choice, although even I was surprised at how quickly it got demolished. I blinked and there was not a “crumb” left!

Fun party ideas for kids train

Recipe

– Watermelon (it doesn’t actually take that much. ¼ of a medium sized one is plenty but you can’t use the pre-cut elongated triangular shaped pieces, it must be cut flat)

– I used kiwi fruit for the wheels (any medium sized, circular fruit would work stone fruit, oranges)

– I used pear for the steam dome and cow catcher

– Banana for the funnel (apple, pear, melon also are good)

– I stuffed the carriages with cut plum, pear, blueberries and apricots

– I used blueberries for the carriage dividers (raisins are good too)

Method

1. Cut the front of the train.

Watermelon Train - 1 front (1 of 1)

2. Then make the back of the engine.

Watermelon Train - 2 back of engine (1 of 1)

3. Before cutting the carriages (you can of course have as many as you’d like).

 

4. Then hollow out the carriages ready to carry their load.

Watermelon Train - 4 hollowing out (1 of 1)

5. And add the wheels.

Watermelon Train - 5 wheels (1 of 1)

6. I used a pear for the steam duct and the cow catcher at the front.

Watermelon Train - 6 cow catcher (1 of 1)

7. Then filled the carriages with chopped fruit.

Watermelon Train - 7 filled carriages (1 of 1)

8. And made connectors for the engine and carriages from blueberries.

Watermelon Train - 8 connectors (1 of 1)

9. Before adding a banana funnel.

Sugar free party food train

10. Chuff chuff time to leave the station ….

Healthy fruit train

It really is as simple as that …

Fun fruit train

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Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun St. Patrick’s Day Plate

St. Patrick’s Day Plate

With less than a week to go to St. Patrick’s Day it was time to evoke every stereotype aside from the Leprechaun and put together an “Irish” salad.

Max was rapt as he found a four leaf clover recently and felt this was in honour of him!

Fun food for St. Patrick's Day

Recipe

– Multi coloured capsicums (bell peppers)

Method

1. Cut a leaf shape from green capsicum (it’s pretty much heart shaped).

St Pat's Day Salad - 1 green capsicum (1 of 1)

2. Then add three more as it has to be a four leaf clover!

St Pat's Day Salad - 2 4 leaf clover (1 of 1)

3. Before giving it a stalk.

St Pat's Day Salad - 3 stalk (1 of 1)

4. Then I carved a pot from red capsicum ready for the “gold”.

St Pat's Day Salad - 4 pot (1 of 1)

5. Which was cut from a yellow capsicum.

St Pat's Day Salad - 5 coins (1 of 1)

6. Then I decided to move everything round a bit to make room for the “17th”.

St. Patrick's day healthy food

Cut from orange capsicum.

7. And we’re ready to celebrate …

Creative St. Patrick's Day food

The Art of Nutrition
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Fun Brekkie Island

Brekkie Island

Whilst we have all these gorgeous avocadoes in season I have to use them. Avocadoes are so versatile as they can be breakfast, lunch or even part of dessert!

Here’s my fun food, breakfast island. Lovely and simple and the perfect breakfast served with toast or just as is.

Healthy breakfasts for kids

Recipe

– Scrambled egg

– Mushrooms

– Avocado

Method

1. Put the scrambled egg down as “sand”.

Brekkie Island - 1 egg (1 of 1)

2. Add a trunk from mushrooms.

Brekkie Island - 2 mushroom (1 of 1)

3. Then some leaves from an avocado (cut in half then peel the skin back and slice).

Brekkie Island - 3 leaves (1 of 1)

4. But I realised my tree was out of proportion so sliced off some of the trunk and added a little more egg.

Brekkie Island - 4 more egg (1 of 1)

5. And an extra leaf with some mushroom coconuts clustered at the top of the trunk.

Brekkie Island - 5 extra leaf (1 of 1)

6. I scored the underside of the leaves with a knife to give them a “leafy” look.

Food art breakfast avocado

7. Which leaves us ready to be stranded. Dig in …..

Cute breakfast ideas

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Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Melon Windmill

Melon Windmill

I was cutting some melon and suddenly the shape “spoke” to me.

A lovely, fun food windmill emerged remarkably easily from the melons …..

Healthy snacks windmill

Recipe

– Watermelon (or other larger fruit)

– Canteloupe/Rockmelon (or Honeydew/pear)

– Kiwi – or other green fruit

– Plum (or dark fruit)

– Blueberry (plum/raisin)

– Orange

– I used desiccated coconut for the clouds

Method

1. I cut a mill shape from the watermelon.

Melon Windmill - 1 Mill (1 of 1)

2. Then used a blueberry as the pivot that the blades emanate from.

Melon Windmill - 2 blueberry (1 of 1)

3. I used a dark plum for detail, starting with a strip across the top part of the mill.

Melon Windmill - 3 detail (1 of 1)

4. Then I cut the blades from a rockmelon (cantaloupe).

Melon Windmill - 4 blades (1 of 1)

5. Before adding some detail to the blades and attaching them to the blueberry pivot by some strips too.

Melon Windmill - 5 blade detail (1 of 1)

6. Again using plum I cut a door and window.

Melon Windmill - 6 window & door (1 of 1)

7. Then added some kiwi grass.

Melon Windmill - 7 grass (1 of 1)

8. And of course a lovely, shiny, orange sun.

Melon Windmill - 8 sun (1 of 1)

9. Finished with some coconut clouds.

Healthy party food windmill

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Celery Traffic Light

Celery Traffic Light

Often simple is good.

A quick fun food snack. You can even “glue” the lights on with hummus/peanut butter/cream cheese and have it eaten like a healthy lollipop!

Healthy snacks for kids

Recipe

– Celery (or cucumber)

– Capsicum (bell pepper) in 3 colours

Method

1. Cut the celery so the top part is wider to house the lights.

Celery Traffic Light - 1 celery (1 of 1)

2. Add circles of capsicum for the 3 colours of the lights.

Celery Traffic Light - 2 capsicum (1 of 1)

3. I also tried a yellow in the middle as some lights are red, yellow, green.

Celery Traffic Light - 3 yellow (1 of 1)

4. Then added a bit of chopped celery for the ground and that was it!!

Fun food for fussy kidsFood for vehicle parties

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Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Pancake Ice Cream

Pancake Ice Cream

Shrove (pancake) Tuesday is one of my enduring childhood memories. Remembering the thrill of watching my Dad flipping pancakes in the kitchen (a skill he did not pass down to me) and the delight of scoffing a treat on a Tuesday evening ….

My boys LOVE pancakes and so how could we not continue the tradition? Tomorrow is the big day so I thought I’d do a breakfast version. Given that traditionally it signifies the last chance to indulge in foods that are to be forgone during Lent I thought an ice cream shape was very appropriate!

Pancake Tuesday recipes

Here is my fun food, breakfast pancake which is actually made with my favourite crepe recipe (1 cup wholemeal flour, 2 cups milk, 3 eggs. Whisk milk and eggs, add to the flour and combine and then cook in a pan).

Recipe

– Pancake/crepe

– Scrambled egg

– Cherry tomato

– Slice of mushroom

– I decorated with diced, fried red onion

Method

1. Roll the pancake into a cone shape and slice along the top so it’s straight.

Pancake Ice Cream - 1 pancake-001

2. Add scrambled egg to the top for the ice cream.

Pancake Ice Cream - 2 egg-002

3. Then I used a cherry tomato for the top.

Pancake Ice Cream - 3 cherry-004

4. Before sticking a slice of mushroom in for the flake.

Pancake Ice Cream - 4 mushroom-005

5. But in looking at it the “cherry” was too small so I swapped it for a larger one.

Pancake Ice Cream - 5 bigger cherry-006

6. I was frying off some onions and thought they’d make great sprinkles!

Healthy pancake ideas

7. Ready to serve ….

Creative breakfasts for kids

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Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Apricot Dragonfly

Apricot Dragonfly

A nice simple design for a Friday! Lovely, fresh fruit arranged to make a fun food dragonfly.

Sugar Free desserts for kids

Recipe

– Apricot (other stone fruit, melon or apple would substitute)

– Pear (or apple/melon)

– Blueberries (raisins)

– I used cherries for the eyes and antennae (other contrasting fruit would do and if you have no cherry stalks herbs like rosemary or mint stalks work well or bits of blueberry or raisins arranged like antennae)

Method

1. Cut the cheek from an apricot for the body.

Apricot Dragonfly- 1 body-001

2. Then a smaller bit of the other cheek for the head.

Apricot Dragonfly- 2 head-002

3. I added a big slice of cherry for each eye.

Apricot Dragonfly- 3 eyes-003

Using the stalks for antennae.

4. I cut the wings from the inner flesh of a pear and then realised they were too far up so moved them back.

Apricot Dragonfly- 4 wings-004

5. Before cutting blueberries to make the tail.

Apricot Dragonfly- 5 tail-015

6. And it’s just that simple.

Simple desserts for kids

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Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Healthy Party Snacks

Healthy Party Snacks

Max had a communal dinner organised for his new class at school last night to meet the teacher and other parents. He kindly volunteered me to bring a savoury and a sweet dish so I needed to whip something up between school finishing and the party starting. Nothing like a bit of time pressure to get one motivated …

High summer made the dessert an easy choice as there are so many delicious fruits available. I made bite sized, layered fruit cakes and served them on a tiered cake stand that has been buried at the back of successive cupboards for years. Unfortunately I was rushing to have everything done and I’m not the greatest photographer at the best of times, never mind when the sun is streaming in and I have a reflective cake stand. The photos do not do the fruit justice and I apologise for the quality of the pic.

Healthy party snacks

For the savoury option I made “veggie sandwiches”. I used a combination of veggies and interspersed some edam cheese and some cottage cheese to give a different flavour, texture and colour. These were actually eaten more quickly than the fruit. The colours were very vibrant and I think they were interesting as they were unique. Whatever the reason they were all munched with gusto and it heartens me that creative “healthy” options can still be a winner at a party and stack up next to more processed plates.

Veggie Sandwiches - Finished-004

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Salad Hot Air Balloon

Fun Salad Hot Air Balloon

This was so much fun to make. It was really easy, just a question of chopping the ingredients (which you have to do anyway) and then placing them inside the balloon shape.

Lots of fresh salad veggies married with a little cheese, what could be better in a fun food share plate?
Creative Salad for kids

Recipe

– I used cottage cheese (cream cheese/ricotta or a mash would also work)

– Carrots, red & yellow capsicum (bell pepper), celery, radish, cucumber, red cabbage for the balloon. Use anything you have available!

– Mushroom for the basket

– Cottage cheese for the clouds

Method

1. I smeared cottage cheese in the shape of the balloon. This makes the veggies stay in place and gives you a shape to work to.

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 1 cheese-carrot-001

I made an outline from carrot cut into circles.

2. Then added layers of red capsicum, celery and began one of yellow capsicum.

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 2 capsicum cucumber-002

3. I finished the yellow …

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 3 yellow capsicum-003

4. Before adding some radish.

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 4 radish-004

5. Then some cucumber sliced into semi-circles.

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 5 cucumber-005

6. And filled the centre with red cabbage.

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 6 red cabbage-007

7. I used strips of the red cabbage to make the wires attaching the balloon to the mushroom basket.

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 7 basket-008

8. Before adding some cottage cheese fluffy clouds for it to float through.

Creative salad ideas for kids

Perfect rainbow food for any occasion …..

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Giant Toadstool

Giant Toadstool

I found these giant mushrooms and just had to use them for a fun food breakfast.

I wanted something quick and simple so that’s what it is!!

Healthy breakfast ideas for kids

Recipe

– Mushroom (big ones are easier to use)

– Boiled egg

– I used baby spinach and cherry tomatoes for the flowers

Method

1. I boiled an egg and sliced one end off then placed the flat bit downwards.

Giant Toadstool - 1 Egg-002

2. Then balanced the mushroom cap on top (after removing the stalk).

Giant Toadstool - 2 mushroom-003

3. I used the remainder of the egg for the “spots” cutting rough circles.

Giant Toadstool - 3 spots-005

4. But it looked a bit plain on the plate and I always add extra veggies whenever I can so …. I made some flowers.

Giant Toadstool - 4 flowers-006

I used baby spinach leaves with half cherry tomatoes in the middle.

5. Then made centres from some more of the egg.

Giant Toadstool - 5 flower centres-007

6. A lovely, simple light breakfast.

Healthy breakfast for kids

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Banana Giraffes

Banana Giraffes

I made these as a tribute to Marius, the giraffe that became surplus to Copenhagen Zoo but they are super cute so could be used for any occasion.

Healthy food giraffe

A simple fun food plate that anyone can tackle.

Recipe

– 1 large banana

– I used apricots for the pattern but any orange/brown fruit would do (pear, stone fruit even apples)

– I used blueberries for eyes and nostrils (raisins/dates would substitute)

– I used pears for foliage but any green fruit would work

Method

1. Cut the centre part from the banana and then slice into two.

Banana Giraffes - 1 bananas-001

2. Then I cut them a little thinner (with a wiggle) and sliced the top in preparation for the heads.

Banana Giraffes - 2 cut bananas-002

3. I used another part of the banana to cut 2 head shapes then placed them on the top of the necks.

Banana Giraffes - 3 heads-003

4. Fresh apricots made great patterns for them and make them look way more “giraffe like”.

Banana Giraffes - 4 spots-005

5. Then I sliced a blueberry in half to make the eyes.

Banana Giraffes - 5 eyes-006

6. And used more banana to give them some flamboyant ears.

Banana Giraffes - 6 ears-007

7. And more blueberry for their nostrils.

Banana Giraffes - 7 nostrils-008

8. Then it was time for their ossicones (horns) made from thin slices of banana with a tiny rectangle on top.

Banana Giraffes - 8 ossicones-009

9. As they are up in the trees we needed some foliage. I cut a pear into thin slices and placed along the bottom of the plate.

Fun food for kids

10. And a few more at the top.

Cute food ideas giraffe

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Watermelon Cup Cakes

Watermelon Cup Cakes

As a great alternative to regular cup cakes for a party or social gathering or even just for a fun dessert why not try some fruit creations.

Healthy party food

I am very pleased to announce that The Art of Nutrition will now be blogging fortnightly on the Healthy Food Guide.

For the usual step-by-step photo instructions for the Watermelon Cup Cakes please follow the link to see the full blog published on the Healthy Food Guide website.
http://www.healthyfood.co.nz/blogs/the-art-of-nutrition/2014/february/19/watermelon-cupcakes

Fun Capsicum Parrot

Capsicum Parrot

Or should he be a Pepper Parrot?

I have been wanting to make a parrot for ages and had hummus and had tri colour capsicums (bell peppers) so it was time!

Aside from the beak which I just couldn’t get right this was really quite simple and quick to put together (and of course disappeared twice as fast).

Healthy snacks for kids

Recipe

– I used home-made hummus as the body but mashed potato or any other thick dip would work

– Capsicums (bell peppers)

– Celery for the branch

– Olives for feet and beak

– I used a dash of yoghurt (cream cheese/sour cream) for the eye

Method

1. I made a rough body shape from hummus.

Capsicum Parrot - 1 body-001

2. Then added the first part of the wing. I cut a piece from the capsicum (which is nicely rounded naturally) and sliced feathery bits on the tip.

Capsicum Parrot - 2 wing-002

3. I elongated it with some red capsicum.

Capsicum Parrot - 3 red wing-004

4. Then added yet more.

Capsicum Parrot - 4 extended wings-005

5. Before cutting a flamboyant tail from the green capsicum.

Capsicum Parrot - 5 tail-006

6. To give him balance I gave him green crown feathers.

Capsicum Parrot - 6 crown-007

7. And a celery branch to stand on.

Capsicum Parrot - 7 branch-010

8. Then I cut an olive into feet to grip the branch.

Capsicum Parrot - 8 feet-011

9. And used more olive to curve him a big beak (which I kept fiddling with).

Capsicum Parrot - 9 beak-013

10. Then used some yellow capsicum and a bit of olive for his eye. But he looked a bit unbalanced so I added extra feathers to his crown.

Capsicum Parrot - 11 pupil-crown-016

11. As he lives in the trees we needed some more leaves (celery).

Healthy food for kids parrot

12. And I thought I was finished but then realised I needed a bit more definition to his eye so put a blob of yoghurt underneath. I also revisited the crown again and made it bigger.

Cute veggie snacks parrot

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Oat Puppy

Oat Puppy

This was supposed to be a slam dunk, quick design but as usual I wasn’t 100% happy with the results of the cookie cutter mold so had to adapt. Using a mold, even if you make changes does make things easier though as you have a basic shape to work to.

Here is my still simple and quick oat puppy fun food breakfast.

Puppy breakfast picture

Recipe

– Oats – I use wholegrain and soak for a while to soften and make them easier to mold.

– I used some papaya for the ball (any fruit you can cut into a circle would work)

– I used pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for the ground.

– I used a raisin for the eye and sliced almonds for mouth and ear

Method

1. I filled a cookie cutter mold with softened oats.

Oat Puppy - 1 mold-016

2. Then thought I’d prefer him standing up, with 2 legs and a longer tail …

Oat Puppy - 2 Puppy-018

It was fortunately quite simple to bend him around a bit.

3. Then I added a raisin eye and a bit of sliced almond for the mouth.

Oat Puppy - 3 eye & mouth-019

4. And another piece of almond for the ear.

Oat Puppy - 4 ear-020

5. I used a cookie cutter to cut a circle from a piece of papaya and sprinkled pepitas for the ground.

Creative breakfast food

6. And there it is a quick and nutritious fun food breakfast.

Healthy breakfast food for kids

Woof Woof.

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Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Valentine’s Strawberry Heart

Valentine’s Strawberry Heart

Nothing says love and Valentine’s like a heart … and especially a red one!!

What better than some luscious strawberries to create a love fun food design. We had the plate for dessert (a little early granted) and the boys were delighted.

Healthy Valentines dessert

Recipe

– Fresh strawberries

Method

1. I used a cookie cutter mold in the shape of a heart and filled it liberally with strawberries.

Valentines Heart - 1 mold-001

2. Then removed it slowly and the strawberries stayed in place … phew!

Valentines Heart - 2 strawberries-002

3. To make it clear what it was for I cut the date from another couple of berries.

Valentines Heart - 3 numbers-003

4. Then decorated with a few bits of left over strawberry and some desiccated coconut.

Healthy Valentines food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Valentine Hearts

Valentine’s Hearts

Valentine’s week continues and so here are my super simple, fun food salad plates ..

Healthy food for Valentines

Love food platesHealthy food ideasSpecial Valentines plates

Recipe

– Capsicums (Bell peppers) in various colours

– I used a little celery for detail

Method

1. I cut a big red heart from a red capsicum. I cut it freehand as the shape actually lends itself to a heart ..

Valentine Hearts - 1 red-004

as long as you have a sharp knife and aren’t too picky about symmetry!!

2. Then I cut an “I” and a “U” in the spirit of love …

Valentine Hearts - 2 I U-005

3. And added some colour.

Valentine Hearts - 3 green & yellow-006

4. Then I cut two smaller hearts from the red as well.

Valentine Hearts - 4 little reds-007

5. And used strips of celery to give the plate some balance and definition.

Valentine Hearts - 5 detail-008

6. A simple Valentines salad plate.

Cute Valentines ideas

That could be presented so many ways:

Creative Valentines Plates

Healthy Valentines Food

Valentine Hearts

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Teddy Valentine

Valentine Teddy

Carrying on in the spirit of Valentines I made a cute, fun food breakfast …

Healthy breakfasts for kids

Recipe

– Wheatbrick soaked to soften

– I used oat bran, sliced almonds and raisins for detail (and for the writing)

– ½ Strawberry for the rose

– Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for the stem and leaves

Method

1. I used a teddy bear mold and filled with softened wheatbrick – but then of course was dissatisfied so modified it!

Teddy Valentine - 1 mold-001

2. Once the mold was full I pulled it away carefully.

Teddy Valentine - 2 Teddy-002

3. Then thought I could improve on the shape so tried.

Teddy Valentine - 3 Teddy refit-003

4. I used sliced almonds to give him ears, hands and feet.

Teddy Valentine - 4 almonds-005

5. Then thought he should be tubbier so gave him a rounder tummy.

Teddy Valentine - 5 face-006

And covered his face with oat bran so his features would show up.

6. I used raisins to give him eyes, nose and mouth.

Teddy Valentine - 6 features-007

7. Then he needed a rose which I made from half a strawberry (sliced at the end to “feather”) with a pepita stalk and leaves.

Teddy Valentine - 7 rose-008

8. Gave him a pepita ground to stand on.

Teddy Valentine - 8 ground-009

9. And then gave him some raisin love ….

Valentine breakfast

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Balloon Valentine

Balloon Valentine

Exactly a week to go until Valentine’s Day so I thought I’d start with a few topical fun food plates!

Here are my love heart balloons.

Healthy Valentines snacks

Recipe

– Watermelon for the balloons (or any red fruit)

– I used plums for the bodies (apple/pear/stone fruit/melon)

– I used blueberries for their heads

– I made the strings from sunflower seeds

Method

1. I cut bodies for the people from plum.

Balloon Valentine - 1 body-013

2. And added arms.

Balloon Valentine - 2 arms-012

3. Then legs.

Balloon Valentine - 3 legs-011

4. I added half a blueberry each for a head.

Balloon Valentine - 4 heads-010

5. Then used sunflower seeds to create the balloon strings. It wasn’t quite as frustrating to do as I thought it would be!

Balloon Valentine - 5 strings-009

6. Next I used a cookie cutter to make three balloons each.

Balloon Valentine - 6 balloons-008

7. Gave them some sunflower seeds to walk on …

Creative Valentines Day food

And off they wandered into the sunset …

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Salad Garden

Salad Garden

I really wanted to use my little, metal cookie cutters so decided to make a salad garden.

This fun food tray was so simple to make and you could use any veg you have on hand. My boys love picking their favourite bits off the platter and dipping in home-made mayo. And of course it’s great “rainbow” food. The more natural colours the more nutrients!

Creative salads for kids

Recipe

I used:

– Cucumber

– Lettuce

– Cherry tomatoes

– Carrot

– Baby spinach leaves

– Coriander (cilantro) stems

– Celery

– Capsicum (bell pepper)

– Corn

– Hummus

But as you can see you could chop and change most of the ingredients!

Method

1. Make some cucumber flowers. I cut with a cookie cutter then made stems from celery.

Salad Garden - 1 cucumber-001

2. Then I added celery leaves.

Salad Garden - 2 leaves-003

3. Next I cut star shaped flowers from carrots and balanced them on coriander (cilantro) stalks.

Salad Garden - 3 carrots-004

4. And added celery “grass”

Salad Garden - 4 celery-005

5. Giving the carrot flowers baby spinach leaves.

Salad Garden - 5 spinach-006

6. To add colour and sweetness I used cherry tomatoes balanced on cucumber stems for the final bunch of flowers.

Salad Garden - 6 tomato-007

7. Then added detail. Corn centres for the tomatoes, hummus for the carrots and red cabbage for the cucumber.

Salad Garden - 7 detail-009

8. The garden seemed to be missing something so I added a butterfly. I used scissors to cut the wings and then used the inside of the tomatoes and some capsicum to make the detail.

Fun snacks for kids

For the body I used carrot and the antennae were cut from red cabbage.

9. The perfect summery garden.

Fun food for kids

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Egg Ducklings

Egg Ducklings

We love eggs in our house. In fact we go through so many we decided to invest in some hens of our own! They have a house to rival ours and get treated as part of the family with treats and cuddles. Not sure this is conducive to laying lots of eggs but time will tell …

This is my fun food egg duckling plate. Great for breakfast or a snack.

Healthy breakfast for kids

Recipe

– 1 large egg, scrambled (I always use free range as they are just so much better)

– 1 large egg with yolk and white cooked separately

– I used a little olive for eyes

Method

1. Make the shape of the body.

Egg Ducklings - 1 bodies-001

2. Then add a head.

Egg Ducklings - 2 heads-002

3. I cut beak shapes from the cooked yolk.

Egg Ducklings - 3 beaks-003

4. And cut wings from the white.

Egg Ducklings - 4 wings-004

5. I realised their tails needed to be longer so made them so.

Egg Ducklings - 6 eyes-006

6. Then cut eyes from an olive.

Egg Ducklings - 6 eyes-006

7. And no duck would be happy without some water, made from little pieces of the white.

Egg Ducklings - 7 water-007

8. But then I thought it’d look better if it was a bit wavy.

Egg Ducklings - 8 waves-008

9. And with a few ripples.

Egg Ducklings - 9 ripples-010

10. Add an egg yolk sun and off they swim.

Healthy kids snacks

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Pineapple Bee

Pineapple Bee

I love summer with all the fruit so luscious and plentiful. It makes designing fun food plates a delight.

This is my simple bee.

Healthy snacks bee

 

Recipe

– Pineapple

– Dark skinned plum

– Blueberries

– Desiccated coconut

Method

1. Cut the plum to make the black stripes.

Pineapple Bee - 1 stripes-001

2. Then I cut a slice from the pineapple to make the head (if you don’t have a whole pineapple you can form the circle from pieces).

Pineapple Bee - 2 head-002

3. Using pineapple to fill in the yellow stripes.

Pineapple Bee - 3 yellow stripes-003

4. The wings and antennae were made with blueberries cut in half.

Pineapple Bee - 4 wings-005

5. Then I sprinkled desiccated coconut into the wings to give them the gossamer look.

Healthy desserts for kids

BUZZ BUZZ ….

The Art of Nutrition
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Fun Veggie Scooter

Veggie Scooter

Every now and again I need something very easy and it doesn’t get a lot simpler than this.

Here is my fun food veggie scooter which is a slam dunk crowd pleaser!

Feed fussy kids scooter

Recipe

– Carrots

– Green beans

– Corn

– I used brown rice for the ground

Method

1. Cut steamed carrots into circles for wheels.

Veggie Scooter - 1 wheels-011

2. Make the long front bar from a green bean.

Veggie Scooter - 2 front bar-010

3. Then make the footplate and support bar from more beans.

Veggie Scooter - 3 base-009

4. And I added some extra bulk to the footplate with another chopped bean.

Veggie Scooter - 4 footplate-008

5. Then fashioned handles from corn.

Veggie Scooter - 5 handles-007

6. And used the rice I was cooking for the ground.

Healthy snacks scooter

7. Ready to roll ….

Healthy food for kids

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Oaty Three Blind Mice

Oaty Three Blind Mice

It’s great to reproduce classic nursery rhymes and they’re always instantly recognisable!

Here is my breakfast fun food three blind mice.

Healthy breakfasts for kids

Recipe

– Porridge – I soaked then cooked oats to make a simple porridge

– Apple (or other fruit)

– I used raisins, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for detail

Method

1. Form the shape of a mouse from porridge.

Oaty 3 Blind Mice - 1 body-002

2. Then make 2 friends.

Oaty 3 Blind Mice - 2 three-003

3. And cut them some ears from apple.

Oaty 3 Blind Mice - 3 ears-006

4. I made some dark glasses from raisins.

Oaty 3 Blind Mice - 4 glasses-007

5. Then some cute little feet from bits of apple.

Oaty 3 Blind Mice - 5 feet-008

6. And some long tails from slices of apple.

Oaty 3 Blind Mice - 6 tails-009

7. Making a floor from sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Oaty 3 Blind Mice - 7 floor-011

8. And little noses from a bit of the red apple.

Cute breakfast ideas

9. Run mice, run ….

Healthy breakfast food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Cartoon Insect

Cartoon Insect

I love doing simple cartoony shapes that are very forgiving to the non-artistic!

This was my fun food insect that I was able to whip up very quickly for a play date share.

Healthy snack ideas

Recipe

– Red apple (use pear or other fruit if you wish)

– Green apple

– Plum (or use any other contrasting harder fruit)

Method

1. Cut the large cheek off the side of the red apple for the abdomen.

Cartoon Insect - 1 apple-012

2. Then a smaller bit of the other cheek for the thorax.

Cartoon Insect - 2 head-011

3. I used slices of a green apple for the wings.

Cartoon Insect - 3 Wings-010

4. And cut more of the red apple for the head.

Cartoon Insect - 4 head-009

5. Then I sliced a bit of plum for the mouth.

Cartoon Insect - 5 mouth-008

6. And some circles for the eyes.

Cartoon Insect - 6 eyes-007

7. Then some apple irises and some plum pupils.

Cartoon Insect - 7 pupils-006

8. Followed by more plum slices for antennae.

Cartoon Insect - 8 antennae-005

9. And then a little stinger from green apple.

Healthy party food

10. Here is my fun food insect ready to eat.

Healthy food for kids

 

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Pasta Lion

Pasta Lion

We were having a few people over so I couldn’t resist making a creative side plate.

This is visually effective but really quite a simple fun food plate. I have found that most children love hummus and when teamed with some freshly cut veggies it makes a great, healthy share plate for special occasions. This was served warm as a side plate and vanished in minutes.

Healthy party food

I made the hummus as it’s easy and means I can cook without all the additives the store bought tubs come with.

Recipe

– Hummus

– Pasta (I used wholemeal spirals)

– Spaghetti for the whiskers (I used wholemeal)

– Cheese (Edam)

– Olives – for detail

– Grated carrot for highlight

Method

1. Shape some hummus into a “face” shape.

Pasta Lion - 1 head-003

2. I slapped hummus around to stick the pasta to.

Pasta Lion - 2 outline-004

3. Then added the pasta spirals as a mane.

Pasta Lion - 3 mane-005

4. I shaped some ears and a nose from more hummus.

Pasta Lion - 4 ears & nose-006

5. Then some whisker pads.

Pasta Lion - 5 whisker pads-007

6. Before adding the eyes cut from cheese.

Pasta Lion - 6 eyes-008

7. I used the cheese to give the ears detail.

Pasta Lion - 7 ear detail-010

8. Then made irises for the eyes from carrot.

Pasta Lion - 8 pupils-011

9. And added detail to the face with slices of olive. Pupils, eyebrows and nose.

Pasta Lion - 9 olive detail-012

10. Before adding some whiskers.

Pasta Lion - 10 whiskers-013

11. Then I used grated carrot to liven him up and give him colour.

Healthy food ideas lion

12. And here he is in all his majesty … ROAR …

Healthy appetisers

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Egg Volcano

Egg Volcano

The boys were soooo excited when I was making this. They could not wait to eat it. Unfortunately the photos do not do it justice as it’s hard to get perspective with the camera. The “lava” was a spectacle and they couldn’t wait to taste the “mountain”.

Healthy breakfast food

Here is my fun food egg volcano, perfect for breakfast or a main meal. It doesn’t take long to cook and you can serve on top of bread, rice or just some veggies.

Recipe

– Eggs

– Tomato paste

– Bread

– I used mushrooms, onion and spinach for the background

Method

1. Separate the eggs.

Egg Volcano - 1 eggs (1 of 1)

2. Place bread on greased baking paper on a tray.

Egg Volcano - 2 bread (1 of 1)

3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. I used a stick blender.

Egg Volcano - 3 whipped whites (1 of 1)

4. Fashion the whipped egg whites into a volcano shape on top of the bread (making a hollow for the sauce).

Egg Volcano - 4 volcano whites (1 of 1)

5. I spooned a little tomato paste into the well at the top.

Egg Volcano - 5 tomato (1 of 1)

6. Then added the egg yolks carefully on top of that and put them in the oven (180 degrees for 10-15 mins).

Egg Volcano - 6 yolks (1 of 1)

7. As the eggs were cooking I fried some mushrooms and onions.

Egg Volcano - 7 mushrooms (1 of 1)

And placed them in a ring on each plate.

8. Then I slid the cooked egg volcanoes from the oven onto the plate.

Egg Volcano - 8 cooked (1 of 1)

9. Which I had added some baby spinach leaves to.

Egg Volcano - 9 egg on mushrooms (1 of 1)

10. Then the boys were able to puncture the yolk with their knife and let the tomato/egg mixture become the lava down the side of the volcano.

Egg Volcano - 11 eruption-012

11. It was all very exciting.

Creative food for breakfast

12. And nutritious and delicious too ….

Food for fussy eaters

The Art of Nutrition
Healthy, fun, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Strawberry Mice

Strawberry Mice

I’m on a bit of a roll with the strawberry designing at the moment. Not sure why but keep thinking of different fun food plates I just have to make.

Here are my cute and simple strawberry mice.

Healthy party ideas

I used blueberries for the tails but you could just as easily make them from thinly sliced apple or even seeds like sunflower.

Recipe

– Strawberries. Bigger are easier to work with. I only had one with a pointy end (for a nose shape) so sliced the other two into shape. It was not uber perfect but they still looked cute!!

– Blueberries – for noses, eyes and tails

– Almond flakes – for ears

– Apple – for the cheese (could use any larger fruit)

Method

1. Cut the strawberry top off and if it doesn’t have a “pointy” end then slice into shape.

Strawberry Mice - 1 strawberries (1 of 1)

2. I made a little hole and stuck half a blueberry in for the nose.

Strawberry Mice - 2 noses (1 of 1)

3. Then did the same for the eyes.

Strawberry Mice - 3 eyes (1 of 1)

4. And made two incisions for the ears and inserted flaked almonds.

Strawberry Mice - 4 ears (1 of 1)

5. Then I cut more blueberries in half to make the tails (tapering at the end).

Strawberry Mice - 5 tails (1 of 1)

6. I sliced an apple quite thickly and then made into a triangle. I then cut little holes to give the impression of a holey cheese.

Strawberry Mice - 6 cheese (1 of 1)

7. And there they were my strawberry mice ….

Healthy food strawberry

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small.

Fun Salad Butterfly

Salad Butterfly

As my parents are here visiting from the UK it’s a great opportunity to put together platters. Here’s a fun food salad plate that I made for dinner. I served it with some lettuce and home-made dressing and it was a big hit.

Simple but effective it would be perfect to serve at a gathering or for a group of children to choose veggie bits to dip at a party.

Healthy food ideas

Recipe

This is so versatile as you could use any veggies you have to hand. I used:

– Celery

– Carrot

– Cherry Tomatoes

– Cucumber

– Capsicum (bell pepper)

– Olives

Method

1. Cut the celery horizontally and use to make the outline of the butterfly wings.

Salad Butterfly - 1 outline (1 of 1)

I cheated and drew a faint outline to work to.

2. Then I added some carrot cut into circles.

Salad Butterfly - 2 carrot (1 of 1)

3. And some more at the top.

Salad Butterfly - 3 more carrot (1 of 1)

4. Then I sliced cucumber into circular shapes and then into quarters.

Salad Butterfly - 4 cucumber (1 of 1)

5. I chopped cherry tomatoes in half and used them for more detail.

Salad Butterfly - 5 tomato (1 of 1)

6. To make the body I used olives which I also cut in half.

Salad Butterfly - 6 olives (1 of 1)

And then sliced some celery thinly for the antennae.

7. To fill in the spaces I used more celery.

Salad Butterfly - 7 filling (1 of 1)

8. Then thought she needed some additional colour so added some capsicum triangles.

Cute healthy food

9. And a beautiful butterfly is born …

Healthy party food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Pancake Rocket

Pancake Rocket

My boys love crepes (or thin pancakes) as a treat and I have to say they are great to design with as you can make them into pretty much any shape.

These crepes I used to make a fun food space scene and then combined them with fruit for a bit of sweetness.

Space party food

Recipe

– Crepes or pancakes. I make simple wholemeal ones with flour, egg and milk.

– I used strawberries for detail but any fruit you have on hand would be great.

– Desiccated coconut for the distant stars.

Method

1. I cut the body of the rocket.

Pancake Rocket - 1 rocket (1 of 1)

2. Then added the fins.

Pancake Rocket - 2 fins (1 of 1)

3. And a tail and a pointed front.

Pancake Rocket - 3 tail & front (1 of 1)

4. I used strawberries to add detail.

Pancake Rocket - 4 detail (1 of 1)

5. And of course no rocket would be complete without a destination.

Pancake Rocket - 5 planet (1 of 1)

I cut a planet and gave it a “ring”.

6. Then some stars.

Healthy pancake ideas

7. And a sprinkle of coconut for the distant constellations.

Healthy breakfast ideas

Blast off!!!

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Strawberry Cups

Strawberry Cups

Who doesn’t like to share a cup of tea or coffee with friends?

Here is a fun food way to have a little tea party for a snack or dessert. Great way to present a healthy share plate.

Healthy snacks for kids

Recipe

– Strawberries (larger are easier to work with!)

– Blueberries (for the handles)

– I used little chunks of apple to hold the handle in place (any harder fruit would do)

– Yoghurt for the filling (for dairy free you can always substitute coconut cream)

– I sprinkled cacao powder for the cappuccino effect

Method

1. Cut the stem from the strawberry and then slice the other end off and hollow it out.

Strawberry Cups - 2 hollow (1 of 1)

2. I sliced blueberries in half and cut off the flesh to leave primarily the black outer skin. Then I wrapped this around a small semi-circle of apple flesh to form the handle.

Strawberry Cups - 3 handles (1 of 1)

I then pushed these up against the “cup” where they sat nicely.

3. I filled with some Greek yoghurt.

Strawberry Cups - 4 filling (1 of 1)

4. Then sprinkled with cacao powder.

Healthy party food

5. And we’re ready to have a lovely cappuccino together!

Healthy food for kids

Strawberry Cups - Finished (1 of 1)

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Girl’s Designs

Girl’s Designs

I received these lovely photos of two sisters from Jakarta who have made some of their favourite fun food designs, improvising with what was in their fridge.

Girls Designs 1 (1 of 1)Kids healthy food

First they made a gorgeous, smiling watermelon sun substituting in some apple and apricots for mango and orange. It’s the happiest looking sun I’ve ever seen!

Healthy food for kids

Then they made a super impressive winter scene with a banana igloo, strawberry Santa’s and some giant date penguins.

Thanks so much for sending these in girls, they have put a huge smile on my face.

If you’d like to send in pics of your own fun food plates please feel free to email me via the website.

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Jacket Potato Car

Jacket Potato Car

There is always heated debate in our household as to how to cook a jacket potato. The boys and I love them when they are cooked uncovered and the skin is tough, brown and delicious. Roy on the other hand prefers a more delicate version with the potato wrapped to cook leaving the skin paler and softer.

Healthy food for children

The fun food car I made uses the crispier version but you can of course do either!

This is so quick and simple to prepare and was a slam dunk winner with my boys.

Recipe

– Jacket potatoes

– For detail I used corn, cherry tomatoes, celery, carrot and baby spinach leaves. Feel free to substitute for whatever you have in the fridge.

Method

1. Look for and cook a potato that has a cylindrical type shape.

Jacket Potato Car - 1 potato (1 of 1)

2. Cut a little triangle that gives you the drivers area and bend the sliced skin back to make the back of the seat.

Jacket Potato Car - 2 seat  (1 of 1)

3. Add 4 chunky tyres. I used carrots but other cylindrical veg would work.

Jacket Potato Car - 3 wheels (1 of 1)

4. I used a piece of celery for an ostentatious exhaust.

Jacket Potato Car - 4 exhaust (1 of 1)

5. And one sliced horizontally for a steering wheel.

Jacket Potato Car - 5 steering wheel (1 of 1)

6. Then I added some corn kernel headlights.

Jacket Potato Car - 6 lights (1 of 1)

7. Followed by some rear lights cut from a cherry tomato.

Jacket Potato Car - 7 rear lights (1 of 1)

8. And the car was ready to hit the celery road.

Jacket Potato Car - 8 road (1 of 1)

9. Brum brum into lunch or dinner …..

Healthy food for kids

Healthy meals for children

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Avocado Turtle

Avocado Turtle

Love, love, love avocadoes and it’s the season for them this time of year in NZ.

Avocadoes make a great breakfast, lunch or snack food. I have made a very simple, fun food plate that the mini chefs can help you make.

Healthy breakfast food

I served on toast but it would be delicious on mushrooms or on its own.

Recipe

– Wholegrain toast

– ½ avocado

– 2 cherry tomatoes

– I used cottage cheese for eyes

– Baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Place half the avocado on top of the toast.

Avocado Turtle - 1 avo (1 of 1)

2. Add a cherry tomato for the head.

Avocado Turtle -  head (1 of 1)

3. Then slice another cherry tomato into 4 pieces to make the legs.

Avocado Turtle -  3 legs (1 of 1)

4. I used cottage cheese to make two little eyes.

Avocado Turtle -  4 eyes (1 of 1)

5. Then added some spinach leaves for his environment.

Healthy snack food

6. Or should he be on green?

Healthy avocado snack

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Apple Present

Apple Present

There are a lot of people with birthdays at this time of the year and it’s hard for them not to get subsumed by all the other celebrations.

This is in recognition of all the birthday boys and girls, including my not so little brother …

Healthy food party

Recipe

– An apple

– Yoghurt

Method

1. I cut the apple into a squarish shape and took out the core.

Apple Present - 1 apple (1 of 1)

2. Then covered with yoghurt.

Apple Present - 2 yoghurt (1 of 1)

3. I cut the outside of the apple into strips to make the ribbon.

Apple Present - 3 bow (1 of 1)

4. Then fashioned a bow.

Apple Present - 4 bow (1 of 1)

5. And it’s as simple as that. Lovely, tasty, fun food snack finished.

Healthy food birthday

 

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Happy New Year and welcome 2014.

Healthy party platter

I have done a really simple fun food plate to start the year. Use any fruit you have to create a visual share platter.

Healthy New years food

 

I’m looking forward to sharing three or more new designs a week with you all in 2014. If you enjoy looking at my posts please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Recipe

Any fruit.

– I used apple, banana, apricot & kiwi fruit (and then swapped in plum)

Method

1. I used number cookie cutters.

2014 - 1 molds (1 of 1)

2. Then began to fill them with fruit. I started with apple cut into pieces.

2014 - 2 fruit (1 of 1)

3. And added banana, apricot and kiwi fruit.

2014 - 3 filled (1 of 1)

4. Removed the molds.

2014 - 4 numbers (1 of 1)

5. And added some blueberries.

Healthy food for parties

6. A simple, delicious plate finished.

Healthy party food

7. But does it look better with plum instead of kiwi?

Healthy food New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Fruit Champagne

Fruit Champagne

Here we are at the end of another year of being “on call” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So here’s a healthy glass to be raised to all us parents who can multi-task like a ninja in fast forward and who deserve a little treat to celebrate the wins and losses.

New Years eve dessert

CHEERS !!

healthy party food

I’m looking forward to sharing 150+ fun food plates with you in 2014, catch you next year ….

Recipe

– Banana

– Red apple

– Mango (can use any other pale coloured fruit – apple/pear/stone fruits/pineapple)

Method

1. I used a banana with a curve. The straight bit became the stem …

Champagne - 1 stem (1 of 1)

2. Then used the curved bit which naturally made the glass receptacle.

Champagne - 2 glass (1 of 1)

3. I cut a triangle of banana to make the base of the glass.

Champagne - 3 base (1 of 1)

4. Then more of the curve for the top of the glass.

Champagne - 4 top (1 of 1)

5. I cut a triangle of mango to make the “champagne”.

Champagne - 5 drink (1 of 1)

6. Then little circles of mango to make the bubbles.

Champagne - 6 bubbles (1 of 1)

7. And as its NYE we need streamers and confetti.

Champagne - 7 streamers (1 of 1)

I used a peeler to take strips from the outside of the apple and then cut little pieces from the three fruits for confetti.

8. Happy New Year !!!

Healthy fruit champagne

9. Or does it look better without the top on the glass?

Healthy New Years Eve food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Banana Igloo

Banana Igloo

Well we’re supposed to be in the middle of summer but it does NOT feel like that so this plate is probably as appropriate for us as those deep in winter!

My boys love bananas and yoghurt so this fun food plate hits the spot for dessert (aside from arguing over the penguin). The photos unfortunately do not do it justice.

Healthy food for children

Recipe

– Bananas

– Yoghurt

– Desiccated coconut for snow

– For the penguin I used a date, 2 raisins, a dried apricot, a hazelnut and some yoghurt.

Method

1. Slice the banana and build the first level of the igloo.

Banana Igloo - 1 bananas (1 of 1)

2. Add another layer of banana slices.

Banana Igloo - 2 2nd layer (1 of 1)

3. Then I sliced some banana lengthways to make the door.

Banana Igloo - 3 Door (1 of 1)

4. And added a roof with more layers.

Banana Igloo - 4 roof (1 of 1)

5. Then I covered the whole thing in yoghurt to give the snow effect.

Banana Igloo - 5 yoghurt (1 of 1)

6. And sprinkled some coconut “snow” falling.

Banana Igloo - 6 snow (1 of 1)

7. Then put together a little penguin.

Banana Igloo - Penguin (1 of 1)

8. And it’s time to eat!

Healthy breakfasts for kids

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Merry Christmas / Joyeux Noel

Merry Christmas/Joyeux Noel

Merry Christmas and I hope everyone is having a great day surrounded by family, friends and lots of hearty food.

We’re having a lovely time celebrating with our nearest and dearest and I’ve prepared two fun food plates to share. One for the cool, Northern hemisphere where root veggies are king and one for our Southern hemisphere where temps could be upwards of 40 degrees and salads are infinitely preferable!

Healthy Christmas Party Food

Healthy Christmas platters

Recipe

– Your veggies of choice!

Method

1. I used cookie cutters in the shape of letters.

Noel - 1 letters (1 of 1)

Xmas - 1 letters (1 of 1)

2. Then filled them with either veggies or salad.

Xmas - 2 filled (1 of 1)

Carrot, avocado, corn and tomatoes.

Noel - 2 filling (1 of 1)

Pumpkin, mashed potato, peas and steamed carrot.

3. Removed the cookie cutters.

Xmas - 3 veggies (1 of 1)

Noel - 3 veggies (1 of 1)

4. And then sprinkled them with herbs ready to eat.

Healthy Christmas meals

Healthy Christmas Food

Appetising, colourful, healthy and seasonal!

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Santa Over the Moon

Over the Moon …

Well we’re over the moon that Santa will finally be on his way tonight ….

Here’s my special, Christmas Eve fun food plate designed for my boys.

 

Recipe

– Apple (pear)

– Blueberries

– Strawberry

– Coconut

Method

1. I tried to use a pineapple for the moon but it was too yellow. The large centre part from an apple looked much better!

Over the Moon - 1 moon (1 of 1)

2. I cut a sled shape from a blueberry.

Over the Moon - 2 sled (1 of 1)

3. Then added a Santa-esque shape.

Over the Moon - 3 Santa (1 of 1)

And some boxes on and off the back of the sled.

4. But without reindeer where would he be …

Over the Moon - 4 Full reindeer (1 of 1)

Cut from blueberries again.

5. Then given legs to run.

Over the Moon - 4 Full reindeer (1 of 1)

6. Reins for Santa to hold.

Over the Moon - 5 nose (1 of 1)

And a blob of strawberry for Rudolph’s nose.

7. Then I added some apple planets.

Over the Moon - 6 stars & moon (1 of 1)

8. Some coconut for the distant stars and Santa could be seen flitting over the moon …

Healthy Santa over moon snack

The Art of Nutrition
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Fun Christmas Stockings

Christmas Stockings

Twas the night before Christmas ….. Well not quite but never hurts to be prepared!

This is my fun food plate ready for Christmas Eve.

Healthy snacks for Christmas

Recipe

– Strawberries

– Yoghurt

– Desiccated coconut

– Plum

– Slivered almonds

– Orange

– I used strawberry, kiwi and orange for the cards

– Sunflower seeds

Method

1. I made the shape of stockings from some lovely, ripe strawberries.

Christmas Stockings - 1 stockings (1 of 1)

2. Then topped them with thick, Greek yoghurt.

Christmas Stockings - 2 tops (1 of 1)

3. And sprinkled desiccated coconut on top as fur.

Christmas Stockings - 3 fluff (1 of 1)

4. Then built a fireplace around with slices of dark plum.

Christmas Stockings - 4 Fireplace (1 of 1)

5. And no fireplace would be complete without a fire raging (from slivered almonds).

Christmas Stockings - 5 Fire (1 of 1)

6. Lit by pieces of fresh orange.

Christmas Stockings - 6 flames (1 of 1)

7. I then strung cards up across the wall above the fire.

Christmas Stockings - 7 cards (1 of 1)

These were made from rectangles of kiwi, strawberry and orange.

8. Then held in place with a chain made from sunflower seeds.

Healthy food for Christmas

Now all we need is Santa ….

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Strawberry Christmas Tree

Strawberry Christmas Tree

I’ve gone a bit mad with Christmas trees this year but they really are such an easy thing to design and lovely and flexible. Admittedly I attempted a 3-D version first that looked great at the start but wasn’t half as structurally sound as I would have liked ….!

This is my bright, fun food plate that’s perfect for a shared plate or dessert.

Christmas fun food

Recipe

– Strawberries

– I used plum, papaya, blueberries, green apple, kiwi fruit, yoghurt and coconut. But any bright fruit you have on hand will make the tree light up!

Method
1. Cut the strawberries in half (you may need to slice some of the extra bulk from the larger end too). Use them to build the tree.

Strawberry Christmas Tree - 1 Top (1 of 1)

2. Keep adding to make the shape of the tree. This seems to work almost organically due to their shape.

Strawberry Christmas Tree - 2 layers (1 of 1)

3. Layer the strawberries until you have the triangular shape completed. You may have to push them in from the side to fill the small gaps.

Strawberry Christmas Tree - 3 tree (1 of 1)

4. I used a cookie cutter to make a papaya star.

Strawberry Christmas Tree - 4 star (1 of 1)

5. Then I cut a plum to make the base of the tree.

Strawberry Christmas Tree - 5 base (1 of 1)

6. And added some papaya and blueberry baubles.

Strawberry Christmas Tree - 6 baubles (1 of 1)

7. To make the tinsel I used a potato peeler to slice off some green apple skin.

Strawberry Christmas Tree - 7 tinsel (1 of 1)

Then sliced some kiwi fruit triangles for more colour.

8. And no tree is complete without presents at the base. I used apple initially but then changed them to the inside of the strawberries later.

Strawberry Christmas Tree - 8 presents (1 of 1)

9. I added blobs of yoghurt to make lights.

Strawberry Christmas Tree - 9 lights (1 of 1)

10. Then sprinkled desiccated coconut for snow.

Healthy Christmas party food

11. And realised the presents were not dark enough so swapped them over.

Healthy food for Christmas

Happy Holidays

The Art Of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Christmas Rudolph Pies

Christmas Rudolph Pies

My lentil and meat pies are always a huge treat for the boys so when combined with the Rudolph factor they are a complete winner. I have used my healthy pastry recipe (wholemeal flour/wholegrain oats/water) and the pies themselves are stuffed with veggies and lentils which makes them tasty and nutritious.

I have used basic additions to make these into fun food for Christmas. Skipping the pastry and just using a bowl with any filling and then putting on the face and antlers would work well too and be even more super quick and easy.

Reindeer food for kids

Recipe

– Pies (or filled small bowls)

– Mash potato for eyes and nose

– Olives for eyes

– Cherry tomatoes for nose

– Carrots for antlers

Method

1. Make and par bake pie shells.

Christmas Rudolph Pies - 1 pie shell (1 of 1)

2. Fill pie shells.

Christmas Rudolph Pies - 2 filled (1 of 1)

3. I used blobs of mash to make the base for the eyes and mouth.

Christmas Rudolph Pies - 3 face (1 of 1)

4. And of course no Rudolph would be complete without his nose …

Christmas Rudolph Pies - 4 red nose (1 of 1)

5. Then add slices of olives to give the eyes definition.

Christmas Rudolph Pies - 5 eyes (1 of 1)

6. And cut antlers from a carrot.

Christmas Rudolph Pies - 6 antlers (1 of 1)

7. Yummy and simple, I made a few so we could all share.

Healthy Christmas food Rudolph

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Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Christmas Crackers (Bon bons)

Christmas Cracker (Bon Bons)

I love turning simple breakfast food into a visual delight. This is not something that is tricky to make and transforms the humble wheatbrick into a great, fun food Christmas icon.

Use whatever fruit you have in stock to decorate. I used yoghurt coloured by raspberries and blueberries to give it a bright coating.

Healthy breakfast food Christmas

Recipe

– 2 Wheatbricks

– I used yoghurt coloured by crushed raspberries and by blueberries for colour

– I used Greek yoghurt, blueberries and strawberries for decoration

Method

1. Cut the ends of a wheatbrick on the diagonal.

Christmas Cracker - 1 wheatbrick (1 of 1)

2. Slice another wheatbrick in half then cut the inner ends on a diagonal too.

Christmas Cracker - 2 ends (1 of 1)

3. I coloured the ends using yoghurt mixed with raspberries. You could use just the berries crushed if you choose.

Christmas Cracker - 3 pink (1 of 1)

4. Then I did the same for the centre with yoghurt mixed with blueberries.

Christmas Cracker - 4 purple (1 of 1)

5. And then made some stripes for detail with plain yoghurt.

Christmas Cracker - 5 stripes (1 of 1)

6. I used blueberries and chopped strawberry to give a jewel effect.

Christmas Cracker - 6 blueberries (1 of 1)

7. And then to finish I used some of the yogurt/raspberry mix for a party effect.

Christmas food for kids

8. I had made another but it looked too “sweet/candy” like ..

Fun breakfasts for children

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Christmas Angel

Christmas Angel

Christmas seems like the right time to make angels!! This is a super simple fun food angel that can be whipped up really quickly.

I had some rare help in the kitchen yesterday from Grandma Jenny. She is over visiting her grandchildren Ilira and Isla and popped in to The Art of Nutrition to provide inspiration ….

      Healthy food for kids Christmas Angel  Christmas Angel healthy food

Recipe

– Red apple

– I used raisins for eyes and sunflower seeds for wing detail

– Desiccated coconut is perfect for stars

Method

1. Slice the apple in half and use one of the largest central pieces to cut the triangle body.

Christmas Angel - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Then cut a circle for the head (I cheated and used a cookie cutter as I’m not quite mad enough to cut perfect circles yet!).

Christmas Angel - 2 head (1 of 1)

3. I used the other large slice of apple to make the wings. I just cut three descending semi-circles on one side and mirrored on the other side. Then I cut the piece in half.

Christmas Angel - 3 wings (1 of 1)

4. I used the outer part of the apple to cut a little mouth and shoes.

Christmas Angel - 4 mouth & feet (1 of 1)

5. Then to give some detail to the wings I placed sunflower seeds along the edges.

Christmas Angel - 5 wing detail (1 of 1)

6. And added some raisin eyes.

Christmas Angel - 6 face (1 of 1)

7. Then she needed her halo which I cut from the outside of the apple.

Christmas Angel - 7 halo (1 of 1)

8. And here she is floating in a celestial sky.

Christmas Angel snack food

9. But she fades into the background on the pink plate so as per Grandma Jenny I moved her to blue …

Healthy food Christmas Angel

10. And then the mini chefs said the attachment on the bottom of the halo needed to go …..

Fun Christmas food Angel

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Avocado Christmas Tree

Avocado Christmas Tree

A lovely, fun food design that would be great for a party or an appetiser.
Decorate as you wish!

Healthy Christmas snacks for kids

Recipe

– Avocado

– For the base I used carrot

– For the decorations I used red & yellow capsicum (bell pepper), corn, cottage cheese, carrot and red cabbage

– For the skirt of the tree – baby spinach leaves

– For the presents cut Edam cheese

Method

1. Cut the avocado into slices and then build a layered tree shape. Feel free to join pieces together as avocado is very forgiving like that!

Avocado Christmas Tree - 1 avocado (1 of 1)

2. I cut a piece of carrot into a base.

Avocado Christmas Tree - 2 base (1 of 1)

3. Then placed a red capsicum (bell pepper) star on top.

Avocado Christmas Tree - 3 star (1 of 1)

4. I cut thin strips of carrot and red cabbage for “tinsel”.

Avocado Christmas Tree - 4 tinsel (1 of 1)

5. Then used yellow capsicum (bell pepper) for candles.

Avocado Christmas Tree - 5 candles (1 of 1)

6. I added “decorations” made from corn, carrot, red cabbage and red pepper.

Avocado Christmas Tree - 6 baubles (1 of 1)

7. Then blobbed on some cottage cheese for “lights”.

Avocado Christmas Tree - 7 lights (1 of 1)

8. I made a skirt for the base of the tree from baby spinach leaves then cut presents from slices of cheese. I used red cabbage and carrot strips for the ribbon.

Avocado Christmas Tree - 8 presents (1 of 1)

9. And now all we need is Santa ….

Healthy Christmas food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Strawberry Santa Hats

Strawberry Santa Hats

I usually do all my own designs but I saw a version of this and thought I could make a lovely fun food, healthy version.

It’s the perfect snack, dessert or simple breakfast.

Healthy Christmas Snacks

Recipe

– Large strawberries

– Yoghurt (or cream cheese)

– Desiccated coconut

Method

1. Slice the strawberries along the bottom.

Santa Hats - 1 strawberry (1 of 1)

2. Dip the bases in yoghurt then into desiccated coconut to make a “furry” trim.

Santa Hats - 2 trim (1 of 1)

3. Then make a yoghurt bobble for the top and again dip in desiccated coconut.

Santa Hats - 3 bobbles (1 of 1)

4. And there you have some very simple but very effective Santa Hats.

Christmas food Santa Hat

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Apple Snowman

Apple Snowman

Fun, fruit Friday. I have put together a cute, cartoon, fun food snowman. You can make with or without yoghurt to dip.

Healthy food for kids Snowman

Recipe

– Red & green apples (can make with just one)

– Raisins/dark plum (for detail) – dates or any dark fruit would work

– Orange – I used a slither for the nose but any contrasting coloured fruit would do

– Desiccated coconut – for snow (oat bran is a good alternative)

– Yoghurt for snow drift (optional)

Method

1. Cut a body and head from the centre of the apple. I have indented the body slightly to fit the head into.

Apple Snowman - 1 apple (1 of 1)

2. Then I added a jaunty hat cut from the outside of a red apple.

Apple Snowman - 2 hat (1 of 1)

3. And a scarf too.

Apple Snowman - 3 scarf (1 of 1)

4. Then I used a dark plum to give him eyes and a mouth.

Apple Snowman - 4 face & buttons (1 of 1)

And some raisins for his buttons.

5. His arms were cut from a green apple.

Apple Snowman - 5 arms (1 of 1)

6. Then I cut a sliver of orange for his nose.

Apple Snowman - 6 nose (1 of 1)

Apple Snowman - 7 nose horizontal (1 of 1)

This just shows how it actually protrudes!

7. And as I was finishing it began to snow ….

Apple Snowman - 8 snow (1 of 1)

8. Which all drifted around his base …

Healthy Christmas food for kids

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Cauliflower Christmas Tree

Cauliflower Christmas Tree

As we’re well into Dec I feel that Christmas season designs are legitimate and welcomed! I love taking classic images and crafting them from healthy food and what says Christmas more than a tree?

Here is my simple, hearty, healthy fun food tree. Feel free to use your own decorations!

Healthy Christmas food

Recipe

– Mashed potato for the structure (I don’t like non-edible things or wooden sticks etc. in my designs unless absolutely necessary)

– Steamed cauliflower

– For the decorations I used cherry tomatoes, red cabbage, baby spinach, corn, peas and red capsicum (bell pepper).

– I used rectangles of cheese for the presents

Method

1. I made a pile of mashed potato that would be the inner structure of the tree.

Cauli Chrissy Tree - 1 mash (1 of 1)

2. Then covered with florets of cauliflower.

Cauli Chrissy Tree - 2 cauli (1 of 1)

3. I started with cherry tomato “baubles” and strips of red cabbage “tinsel” but anything you have in the fridge will do.

Cauli Chrissy Tree - 3 tinsel (1 of 1)

4. I kept adding different veggies to give more colour and shapes, just like a regular tree when decorated by the children!

Cauli Chrissy Tree - 4 spinach (1 of 1)

First spinach leaves.

5. Then peas, corn and red capsicum (bell pepper) cut into squares.

Cauli Chrissy Tree - 5 baubles (1 of 1)

6. Then to finish a capsicum star on the top (held in place by mash glue).

Christmas healthy food

And some presents cut from cheese with different coloured ribbons cut from the veggies.

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Christmas Bells

Fun Christmas Bells

I’m always looking for new ways to serve food and as we’re in the middle of moving (ahhh) I am more time poor than usual. Dishes like Bubble and Squeak tick my boxes as I can throw whatever veggies I have in with some mashed potato, roast in the oven and voila a simple meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner packed with nutrients.

I am not usually happy with the outcome of molds – but this time they worked a treat.

Check out my very simple, fun food bells.

Christmas meals for kids

Recipe

– Bubble and Squeak

– Flat leaf spinach

– Cherry tomato

Method

1. Push the B & S into the mold.

Christmas Bells - 1 Bell (1 of 1)

2. Then add another bell.

Christmas Bells -  2 bells (1 of 1)

3. Add some slices of cherry tomatoes for the tops of the bells.

Christmas Bells -  3 tomatoes (1 of 1)

4. Then I cut some of the spinach leaves to make bows (I used my kitchen scissors).

Christmas Bells -  4 bows (1 of 1)

5. But realised the bells were too near the top of the plate and the bottom ribbons too long ….

Healthy Christmas food

Ding dong …. time to eat.

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Fruit Candy Cane

Fruit Candy Cane

I have to say Candy Canes are one of my least favourite of the commercial aspects of Christmas. That is of course unless they are a special, healthy version.

Here is my super simple, fun food Candy Cane.

Healthy kids food for Christmas

Recipe

– Banana

– Strawberries

Method

1. Cut slices of banana and strawberry.

Fruit Candy Cane - 1 top (1 of 1)

2. And keep adding to make the stem.

Fruit Candy Cane - 2 middle (1 of 1)

3. You will need to cut on a slight angle to make the curve of the cane.

Fruit Candy Cane - 3 curve (1 of 1)

4. And then I realised it was a nice “J”. Good for Joe and I but ….

Fruit Candy Cane - 4 turn around (1 of 1)

Ah … that’s better.

5. I added some mint and coconut to jazz it up but that is it in all its simplicity!

Healthy Christmas snacks

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Pear Turkey

Pear Turkey

In honour of all my friends and followers in the US here is a special Thanksgiving blog.

For everyone else it’s a great, easy, fun food dessert or share snack.

Healthy food for kids thanksgiving

Recipe

– 1 ½ big, brown pears

– I used a strawberry for the wattle (or any other red fruit)

– I used a blueberry for the eye (raisin)

– I used pepitas for the ground

Method

1. Cut the cheek from the pear as it’s the perfect shape naturally!

Pear Turkey - 1 pear (1 of 1)

2. Then take slices from the outside of the pear for the tail.

Pear Turkey - 2 tail (1 of 1)

3. And keep adding until you have a full tail.

Pear Turkey - 3 tail finished (1 of 1)

4. Then I cut a head from the inner flesh of the pear.

Pear Turkey - 4 head (1 of 1)

5. And gave her a little wattle from a piece of strawberry.

Pear Turkey - 5 wattle (1 of 1)

6. I cut little bits of the white flesh to make tips for the tail feathers.

Pear Turkey - 6 tail tips (1 of 1)

7. Then fashioned some legs.

Pear Turkey - 7 legs (1 of 1)

8. And gave her a big, blueberry eye and some wings.

Pear Turkey - 8 wings (1 of 1)

9. Then I scattered some pepitas for the ground.

Turkey healthy food

10. Gobble gobble ….

Healthy thanksgiving food for kids

 

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Mash Snowman

Mash Snowman

Snowmen are such a seasonal icon, even in the Southern hemisphere where we’re sweating in our socks!!

This is a great, comfort fun food that the boys love to make themselves. It’s all a bit messy but tonnes of fun.

Healthy Christmas food

Recipe

– Mash potato (do not make too soft)

– Carrot – for the nose

– I used peas for the buttons but any veggies cut into circles would work

– I used olives for eyes (peas/corn/carrots cut)

– I used roast pumpkin for the hat but roast sweet potato or carrot would be good

– I used beans for arms but then changed to carrot (or asparagus or strips of celery etc.)

– I used broccoli for some bushes

– I used cauliflower grated as snow (or cheese or oat bran)

Method

1. Make the snowman by rolling the potato into 3 balls. Using hands works best!

Mash Snowman - 1 mash (1 of 1)

2. Give him a set of buttons and some eyes.

Mash Snowman - 2 eyes & buttons (1 of 1)

3. Then put in some arms. I started with beans but then realized they didn’t show up very well with the dark plate so swapped them for carrots.

Mash Snowman - 3 arms (1 of 1)

4. The hat was fashioned from some roasted pumpkin (or sweet potato). They are good to work with as they can be squished and molded!

Mash Snowman - 4 hat (1 of 1)

5. Then he needed his iconic carrot nose.

Mash Snowman - 5 nose (1 of 1)

6. I added some broccoli bushes.

Mash Snowman - 6 bush (1 of 1)

7. Then grated some cauliflower to make snow.

Healthy Christmas food for kids

8. And he would have been finished but he needed some new arms!

Healthy snowman food

Ahh, those are more comfortable …

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Healthy Eating at the School

Healthy Eating at the School

Over the last weeks I have hosted two healthy eating sessions at the boy’s school.

I am very privileged to be allowed the opportunity to pack up boxes of cut up fresh fruit and vegetables and hump them down to the school and share designing with 60 – 100 students over lunch time. I have free reign of a large room with tables and chairs, a sink to wash hands and 4 fabulous parents who volunteer to help. I get to do two sessions a term, one with the older students and one with the younger side of the school.

These sessions have become more popular as word spreads and students know they can come to eat (in their words) “yummy food”. It is fascinating to see the enthusiasm and excitement generated by the opportunity to craft with everything from red cabbage to cress and then eat communally.

One of the parent helpers remarked that they wouldn’t be surprised at the stampede if we were offering chocolate but I think everyone is taken aback (even me to some extent) by the positive reaction to serving only fresh fruit and vegetables . The platters loaded with so many different colours, shapes and textures do look appetising and when given a white plate to design on – it’s all just so tempting.

It proves conclusively to me that fruit and veg can be really exciting to children. Not only do the students love designing food plates but we have virtually no wastage. What the children use to create they also eat (sorry parents who have prepared a big dinner !!). Many students try foods they normally don’t eat or may not have tried before and they do this in a supportive, community setting. It’s amazing how much difference the group environment and general enthusiasm makes.

My two favourite quotes from the sessions must be:

“ I can’t believe how much healthy food I really like”
“ Wow, there is so much yummy food”

I feel that we all need to work harder at providing an environment that is conducive to healthy eating. There are so many communal eating opportunities, especially at this time of the year and there is no reason for these to become the scene of crimes against fresh and natural. Using our imaginations and spending a little extra time can produce dishes that tantalise the senses, whet the appetite and excite the guests. Moreover my sessions at the school prove that if the expectation is that healthy food can be fun, it is!

Fun Strawberry Santa’s

Strawberry Santa’s

The Christmas season is fast approaching and Santa will feature heavily in a lot of households. Fortunately we can recreate him as a fun food very healthily!

Strawberry Santa’s are simple to make and can be used for breakfast, dessert or snacks. My boys absolutely love them, and who wouldn’t!

Healthy christmas snacks for kids

Recipe

– Large strawberries (pointed ends work better)

– Yoghurt (could substitute cream cheese)

– Blueberries (or raisins)

Method

1. Cut the top off the strawberry to form the hat.

Strawberry Santa's - 1 strawberry (1 of 1)

2. Make his head from a blob of yoghurt. If the yoghurt is not firm enough use a piece of strawberry for the head shape and just cover that in yoghurt.

Strawberry Santa's - 2 head (1 of 1)

3. Give him a bobble made from yoghurt.

Strawberry Santa's - 3 beard & button (1 of 1)

Then add a beard and a button.

4. He needs two eyes and a smiley mouth.

Strawberry Santa's - 4 Santa (1 of 1)

5. And some friends!

Healthy Christmas food for children

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small.

Fun Fruit Rudolph

Fruit Rudolph

OK, it’s third week of Nov so about time to start on the Christmas season designs. I don’t want to feel like a department store and begin months too early but then again at this time of year we are all so manic we also need to plan ahead!

I was really pleased with this fun food plate as it was simple and effective. That was until I showed it to Roy who said “that’s a great Bullwinkle”. Hmmm, had meant to go deer rather than moose but I think the antlers probably are a bit less Rudolph than ideal. Fortunately the mini chefs thought he was really cute and couldn’t wait to eat him. They got me to cut him exactly down the middle to share fairly.

Rudolph fun food christmas

Recipe

– Papaya (or melon/pear/apple) for antlers

– Apple (or pear/melon) for face

– I used strawberry for nose and mouth (or other red fruit)

– I used blueberries for eyes (raisins/dates)

– I sprinkled desiccated coconut for snow

Method

1. I cut a face shape from near the centre of an apple.

Fruit Rudolph - 1 face (1 of 1)

2. Then I carved the antlers from papaya. When I needed a bit of extra length I just cut a little extra as it fits together fairly seamlessly.

Fruit Rudolph - 2 antlers (1 of 1)

3. I sliced the top from a lovely, bright red strawberry for his nose.

Fruit Rudolph - 3 Nose (1 of 1)

4. I cut circles of apple for the outside of the eyes.

Fruit Rudolph - 4 eyes (1 of 1)

5. Then used blueberries as the pupils.

Fruit Rudolph - 5 eyeballs (1 of 1)

6. Little slices of apple gave him some ears.

Fruit Rudolph - 6 Ears (1 of 1)

7. Then all he needed was a strawberry smiling mouth.

Fruit Rudolph - 7 mouth (1 of 1)

8. A sprinkle of desiccated coconut for falling snow and he’s good to go!

Healthy rudolph christmas

 

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Four and 20 Blackbirds

Four and 20 Blackbirds

I’m stumbling from Fairy Tales to Nursery Rhymes at the moment!

Max had begged me to make a pie, which I will make on occasion as a treat. The filling is mostly veggies and lentils slow cooked in home-made stock with a pastry shell which is made from wholemeal flour, wholegrain oats and water. The end result is surprisingly good, passably healthy and a total crowd-pleaser.

This time I decided to make it more exciting by adding some olive birds to transform it into Four and 20 Blackbirds. It makes it into a great centrepiece, fun food creation. And yes, the blackbirds are a bit Ninja-ish !!

Healthy fun party food for kids

The boys were totally delighted by the addition of the birds and couldn’t wait to pick them off the top. The leftover pie slotted nicely into their thermoses for lunch the next day too!

Recipe

– Pie, I used a veggie/lentil one

– Egg. I egg washed the pie lid to make it glossy

– Olives for birds

– Carrots for birds detail

Method

1. Bake a pie.

Four & 20 Blackbirds - 2 Pie (1 of 1)

2. Make the blackbirds. I sliced two olives down the centre lengthways and used the first as the body. The second one I broke in half and slotted the two pieces into the split at the back in the first olive curling out to make wings.

Four & 20 Blackbirds - 1 blackbird (1 of 1)

Then I cut an olive in half widthways to make the head and balanced it on the body.
A carrot was cut to make eyes, beak and feet. I carefully poked holes in the olive head and pushed the carrot bits in for the eyes and beak. The feet just sat at the front of the bird.

3. Place the birds on the pie (make sure it’s not too hot or the feet curl …..)

Healthy meals for children

4. I cut and peeled back part of the lid of the pie for the “birds emerging” from the centre of the pie effect!

Healthy party food for children

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Mushroom Tree

Mushroom Tree

It’s great to have basic, healthy breakfasts that can be whipped up in a minute. My boys love sautéed mushrooms and marrying them with tomato and cheese is always a winner.

This is my simple, fun food mushroom tree.

Healthy breakfasts for kids

Recipe

– Mushrooms

– Cherry tomatoes

– Cheese (I used Edam)

– Baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Cut the mushroom into stem/stalk like strips.

Mushroom Tree - 1 mushrooms (1 of 1)

2. I used a cookie cutter to make flower shapes from cheese (you could cut free-hand or use triangles which work well).

Mushroom Tree - 2 flowers (1 of 1)

3. Then I sliced cherry tomatoes in half to make the centre of the flowers.

Mushroom Tree - 3 tomatoes (1 of 1)

4. And added a little circle of cheese for the centres.

Mushroom Tree - 4 centres (1 of 1)

5. To finish off the tree and make it lush and verdant I layered baby spinach leaves.

Healthy fun breakfasts for children

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Pineapple Lizard

Pineapple Lizard

I had a lovely, juicy, bright yellow pineapple and as I was cutting it I was getting all these angular shapes. They made me think of lizards so common both here and in Aus. I cut a head shape and the rest just sort of formed itself.

Healthy party food for kids

The boys couldn’t wait to demolish this fun food lizard. Although there was too much fruit for one sitting so probably would make a better share plate or healthy party food recipe.

Recipe

– Fresh pineapple

– I used honeydew melon for the spines & feet but other melon, apple, pears etc. would work

– I used blue berries for eyes but raisins/dates etc. are good too

Strawberry for tongue – or red apple/watermelon

Method

1. Cut a head shape.

Pineapple Lizard - 1 head (1 of 1)

2. Then some ears.

Pineapple Lizard - 2 ears (1 of 1)

3. I roughly cut some geometric type blocks from the pineapple to make the bumpy back of the lizard.

Pineapple Lizard - 3 back (1 of 1)

4. And kept adding them.

Pineapple Lizard - 4 back 2 (1 of 1)

5. And adding them …

Pineapple Lizard - 5 back 3 (1 of 1)

6. Then I cut a few longer strips for the tail.

Pineapple Lizard - 6 tail (1 of 1)

7. And some more for the legs.

Pineapple Lizard - 9 legs (1 of 1)

8. I used some honeydew melon cut into triangles for the spines along the back.

Pineapple Lizard - 10 spines (1 of 1)

9. And some more to make the feet.

Pineapple Lizard - 11 feet (1 of 1)

10. Blueberries made some lovely googly eyes.

Pineapple Lizard - 12 eyes (1 of 1)

11. And a strawberry cut in half and shaped to make a fork to create a dramatic tongue.

Healthy party plates for kids

12. Get ready to tuck into this lovely, refreshing plate ….

Fun party food for kids

Healthy party food for children

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Jack & the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

Everyone loves Fairy Tales despite how bizarre and scary many of them seem if you analyse them too carefully!!

When I got some plump, long, green beans it was obvious what they were to become …

Here is my fun food Jack and the Beanstalk. It is very simple to make and the boys thought it was fantastic.

Healthy meals for kids

Recipe

– Steamed green beans

– Baby spinach leaves for the vine leaves

– I used hummus for the soil but other options like cous cous, sweet potato, pasta or lentils would be great too

– Mashed potato – for the clouds (or cauliflower puree/cottage cheese/ricotta cheese)

– Steamed carrot for the house

– Broccoli & cauliflower for the trees and bushes

– I used pumpkin for the castle

Method

1. Lay the beans down and intertwine them to make the beanstalk.

Jack & The Beanstalk - 1 beans (1 of 1)

2. Then I put hummus along the bottom for the ground.

Jack & The Beanstalk - 2 ground (1 of 1)

3. And fluffed mashed potato clouds.

Jack & The Beanstalk - 3 sky (1 of 1)

4. I used broccoli as ready-made trees.

Jack & The Beanstalk - 4 trees (1 of 1)

5. Then built Jack’s house from mash potato with carrot edges, windows and doors.

Jack & The Beanstalk - 5 house (1 of 1)

6. And planted cauliflower bushes.

Healthy food for children

7. Then I used baby spinach leaves to give the beanstalk a verdant look.

Fun, healthy food for kids

8. I wasn’t sure whether or not to add the giant’s castle.

healthy meals for kids

In the end I cut one from a slice of roasted pumpkin and used steamed carrot for the detail.

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Pumpkin – from hate to love in only 5 years

Pumpkin – from hate to love in only 5 years …

I love pumpkin, especially roasted and so it features at our family dinner table at least weekly. From the moment my boys went onto solids pumpkin (clothes stainer extraordinaire) was added to their menu and they slurped it up happily along with all the other mush. Max began a dislike of pumpkin as soon as he was able to register such thoughts and as he was generally so unfussy I allowed him the luxury of not eating pumpkin.

Well …. that is not entirely true ….

I am a firm believer that tastes change over time, that the way a food is prepared and cooked can make a difference to how palatable you find it and that sometimes it takes time to adjust to a taste or flavour. I am also stubborn, hard-headed and unwilling to give up a cause …

So I served Max a small piece of pumpkin every time we had it as part of the meal. He usually rolled his eyes and said “mum, you know I don’t like pumpkin” to which I always replied “just try it, you may like it this time”. He obligingly tasted it and then declared that he still didn’t like it. This continued for 5 years. It was never a battle and never a negative. In fact it became more of a family joke that he would always have a small piece of orange popped onto the side of the plate and would always look at me in resignation.

Last year we had my parents over and were on holidays near the beach. I put a tray of roast veggies in the oven (including pumpkin) whilst we went for a short walk that turned into a longer meander. When we returned the veggies had shrunk and were very caramelised.
They got dished up anyway and I gave a piece of pumpkin to Max and said “try this it’s so different to usual, you will love it”. He took it suspiciously and tried it and said “actually it’s really nice, I like it”. My father then added “I don’t normally like pumpkin either but I love this”. Between the two of them they devoured 90% of the pumpkin on offer!!

Max and Joe now fight over the pumpkin I cook (in any way) and I have to adjudicate to ensure they have equal portions and no one is getting more than the other.

This has proven to me beyond doubt that food tastes do change and that it is worth persevering positively with foods. And, to make sure there is less of the “do what I say” message in this I too retry foods constantly and also vary cooking methods to see if it changes my opinion. In this way I have become an eggplant/aubergine lover not a hater over the last 3 years …

And, on a final note, whilst running a healthy eating session at the school last Friday one of the mothers tried celery for the first time since childhood. She had disliked it as a child and so avoided it throughout the intervening years. After discussing the pumpkin story she decided she should have another try of celery and is now going to buy a bunch …..

Fun Tomato Man and Pram

Tomato Man – Pram

I love little tomatoes. They are sweet, easy to eat and great to design with!!

I have started a series of “Tomato Man” plates that are simple, fun food ideas for breakfast or a snack.

This one was actually going to be something else but as I cut a mushroom the shape of the pram jumped out at me ….

Healthy Breakfast idea

Recipe

– 4 small or cherry tomatoes of different sizes

– A mushroom

– A few large baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Cut the mushroom cap into a carriage shape.

T-Man Pram - Pram (1 of 1)

2. Add a handle and struts for the wheels.

T-Man Pram - 2 handles (1 of 1)

3. Then cut a tomato in half to form the wheels.

T-Man Pram - 3 wheels (1 of 1)

4. Make the baby’s head from a small tomato and the back of it for the body.

T-Man Pram - 4 baby (1 of 1)

5. Cut legs from a spinach leaf.

T-Man Pram - 5 legs (1 of 1)

6. Then make the parent from two tomatoes for body and head.

T-Man Pram - 6 t-man (1 of 1)

7. Use spinach leaves to make arms and legs.

T-Man Pram - 7 Arms & legs (1 of 1)

8. And then some more to cut a hat.

T-Man Pram - 8 eyes (1 of 1)

Then I used some mushroom for eyes.

9. Cutting more mushroom for the ground.

Healthy breakfast for children

10. And tomato “man” is ready to step out with the baby.

Healthy Breakfast Idea

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Fairy Fruit Castle

Fairy Fruit Castle

Fairy Castles are just so easy to build and so exciting to present. I have used some of my cookie cutters to cut some hearts to use as windows.

This fun food plate is perfect for a play date or for a Kinder/school event and is deceptively quick and simple and of course all healthy.

Healthy Party Food

Recipe

– I used 1 ½ red apples

– 3 large strawberries

– Yoghurt (I used home made plain)

Method

1. I chopped the apple down the centre and then cut slices from the middle outwards to give me the biggest pieces. I then cut them into rectangles and roughly pieced together to make the main part of the castle.

Apple Fruit Castle - 1 base (1 of 1)

2. I just mixed and matched the apple pieces and didn’t need to recut much. Then I added a middle tower.

Apple Fruit Castle - 2 level 2 (1 of 1)

3. And two side towers.

Apple Fruit Castle - 3 towers (1 of 1)

4. I used big strawberries cut in half then sliced to make them more triangular for the tops of the towers.

Apple Fruit Castle - 4 tower tops (1 of 1)

5. Then I cut some of the other sides of the strawberries into squares to make the parapets.

Apple Fruit Castle - 5 parapets (1 of 1)

6. And used some of the skin side of the apple to make windows.

Apple Fruit Castle - 6 windows (1 of 1)

7. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to make windows too so it was more princess like (I have a set of metal cutters that work really well on fruit and veg).

Apple Fruit Castle - 7 more windows (1 of 1)

8. I chose different parts of the skin of the apple to give contrasting reds for more windows.

Apple Fruit Castle - 8 hearts (1 of 1)

9. Then the castle needed a big front door.

Apple Fruit Castle - 9 door (1 of 1)

10. And to be up in the yoghurt clouds …

Healthy party food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Porcupine Party Piece

Porcupine Party Piece

This is a great way to present crudités for a party, children’s or adults. I would normally have used home-made hummus for something like this but each week I try something new and this week it was the dip’s turn!

I cooked cauliflower by cutting it into very small pieces and then roasting it in a tray until it went a bit brown (hence the colour of the dip). I added a bit of milk to make it into a puree, added a few herbs and it was delicious. All the boys gave it a thumbs up for taste and texture and voted it a repeat dish.

Healthy Party Food

So here is my fun food, party piece porcupine that I may just present at the next school function requiring a share plate ……

Recipe

– Dip (I used roasted cauliflower puree) but hummus or alternative would work too

– Crudites – I used carrot and celery but any veg that can be cut into strips is good

– I used a small tomato, slice of cucumber and an olive for the face

– I cut a piece of carrot for the feet

Method

1. Mould the dip into a body shape (I use spoon, knife and fingers).

Porcupine - 1 Body (1 of 1)

2. Add a nose and then frame with a small tomato cut into half for eyes.

Porcupine - 2 eyes (1 of 1)

3. Slice carrot and celery thinly and “spike” at the ends. Insert into the body of the porcupine.

Porcupine - 3 spines (1 of 1)

4. Keep adding spines all across the back until it’s covered in carrot and celery.

Porcupine - 4 spines + (1 of 1)

5. I used cucumber slices to make the inside of the eyes then cut an olive to make the pupils and nose.

Porcupine - 5 face (1 of 1)

6. Next I gave her some legs.

Porcupine - 6 legs (1 of 1)

7. Added some carrot feet.

Healthy Party food for children

8. And she is ready to grace the centre of the table. Dig in …..

Fun food for children

Healthy party food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Fireworks Pancake

Pancake Fireworks

Coming to New Zealand has meant a return to childhood memories for me. Unlike Australia Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated on the 5th Nov here as it is in England with firework displays and community celebrations. My boys are of course rapt to have an excuse for fireworks, which being in the capital are in abundance!

I wanted to pay homage to the day so have put together a pancake city with fruit fireworks exploding over it to use either on this day or any other where fireworks are the go.

Healthy food for kids

The design is fun, simple, healthy and versatile as any fruit can be used.

Recipe

– Pancake (I made a simple batter using wholemeal flour, milk and eggs). You could substitute for a tortilla.

– I used a strawberry, pear, mandarin and some coconut. Any bright fruit would be excellent.

Method

1. Cut the pancake into the rough shape of a city outline. I made the batter thicker than I normally would and it was easy to cut without tearing.

Pancake Fireworks - 1 pancake (1 of 1)

2. I cut out some windows to give the city detail. I used a small, sharp knife and it was relatively easy but a little fiddly.

Pancake Fireworks - 2 windows (1 of 1)

3. A bright red strawberry cut into strips made my first firework.

Pancake Fireworks - 3 red firework (1 of 1)

4. Then I used strips of a green pear to make another firework.

Pancake Fireworks - 4 green firework (1 of 1)

I cut a little piece of the pear flesh for the inside of the red firework.

5. I sliced a segment of mandarin to make a third firework.

Pancake Fireworks - 5 orange firework (1 of 1)

6. Then used the inside of the pear to cut some stars and the strawberry for the rocket.

Pancake Fireworks - 6 stars & rocket (1 of 1)

A little of the outside of the strawberry made the tail of the rocket.

7. I used long strands of desiccated coconut to make light bursts around the pear firework.

Pancake Fireworks - 7 explosions (1 of 1)

And smaller bits of coconut to add to the explosions.

8. A final few bits of coconut around the mandarin and the sky show was bursting with life.

Healthy food for children

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy food for kids big and small

Fun Banana Broomstick (Halloween)

Banana Broomstick

Ahhh, my witch is late for Halloween!!

This fun food dessert is easy to put together and great to eat. Cute cat meets cartoon witch on a dubious banana broomstick …. or get creative and use some different fruits.

Fun, healthy food for kids Halloween

Recipe

– Banana for broomstick but could cut from apple/pear/melon

– Apple cat and witch. Could use pear or melon too.

– Strawberry eye (any contrasting colour fruit would do)

– Moon (yoghurt). I actually used banana to start with but it looked better being very white.

Method

1. Cut two slices of banana to make the broom handle.

Fruit Broomstick - starter (1 of 1)

2. Then make a brush end by scoring some lines into a piece of banana.

Fruit Broomstick - 2 Broomstick (1 of 1)

3. Cut an oval for the cat’s body from the flesh of an apple.

Fruit Broomstick - 3 cat body (1 of 1)

And a circle for the head.

4. Give her apple ears and an ostentatious tail.

Fruit Broomstick - 4 Ears & tail (1 of 1)

5. Then some arms.

Fruit Broomstick - 5 arms (1 of 1)

6. I made a moon from a circle cut from the banana but changed it later as it needed to be more “white” for contrast.

Fruit Broomstick - 6 moon (1 of 1)

7. I used the outer part of a green apple to cut eyes, nose/mouth and whiskers.

Fruit Broomstick - 7 face (1 of 1)

8. Then it was time for the witch, also cut from green apple.

Fruit Broomstick - 8 Body (1 of 1)

9. The witch was very roughly cut as she is supposed to cartoony! So I cut a crones face.

Fruit Broomstick - 9 head (1 of 1)

10. Then gave her a strawberry eye.

Fruit Broomstick - 10 eye (1 of 1)

11. And a triangular hat.

Fruit Broomstick - 11 hat (1 of 1)

12. Then some legs and feet.

Fruit Broomstick - 12 legs (1 of 1)

13. And an arm to hold onto the broomstick.

Fruit Broomstick - 13 arm (1 of 1)

14. With a cape flying behind her.

Fruit Broomstick - 14 cape (1 of 1)

15. Then I added a yoghurt moon and some coconut stars and she was good enough to eat ….

Healthy food for children

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small.

Fun Food – Mash Ghost (Halloween)

Fun Food – Mash Ghost

Get the children to make their own super simple mash potato ghost for Halloween. This fun food creation takes minutes to make and about the same to eat!!

 Healthy kids food

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Recipe

– Mash potato (any mashed veg would substitute – parsnip/cauliflower/white bean).

– I used olives for the eyes and mouth

– I used corn for the writing but peas or any other small veggie would do

Method

1. Make the ghost from the mash (make sure the mash is not too wet when you cook it).

Mash Ghost - 1 Mash (1 of 1)

 

I made a triangular head and then stuck arms on later and moulded them into shape.

2. Add a face. I sliced olives which gave the ghost a startled expression.

Mash Ghost - 2 face (1 of 1)

 

3. Then I made “Boo !!” from corn kernels.

Mash Ghost - 3 boo (1 of 1)

 

4. And that is it. My simple, fun, mashy ghost.

Healthy kids food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small