Fun 3 Little Salad Pigs

3 Little Salad Pigs

I decided to put together a salad/coleslaw plate to be shared over dinner. Of course it is far more fun to have it in the shape of the 3 little pigs and this turned out to be beautifully simple. The boys argued over chimney, windows and doors but it was a small price to pay for their pleasure at the fun food plate.

I used Chinese radish/daikon for the straw house. The boys like it as it is very mild flavoured, crunchy and juicy. If it’s not readily available you could substitute for cucumber or cabbage.

Healthy food for kids

Recipe

– Carrot – for the brick house

– Red cabbage – for the stick house (or cucumber/sliced lettuce)

– Chinese radish/daikon – for the straw house (or cucumber/cabbage)

– Hummus, cheese, tuna – for the 3 pigs (substitute your own dips/accompaniments/ dressing)

– Baby spinach leaves – for grass (or lettuce)

Method

1. Make the brick house. Cut the carrot into rectangular “bricks”.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 1 carrot

2. Slice the carrot into batons for the roof.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 2 daikon

And add daikon windows, door and chimney (it cuts beautifully).

3. Build the straw house from strips of daikon.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 3 Straw House

4. Then use strips of red cabbage for the stick house.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 4 Sticks House

5. Add windows and doors to the straw house. I used carrot.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 5 3 Houses

6. And to the stick house. I used Chinese radish.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 6 complete houses

7. Then we need a few pigs. I used a cookie cutter mold I had.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 7 hummus pig

And made the first pig from home-made hummus.

8. Then the straw house pig from cheese.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 8 cheese pig

9. And the final pig from tuna.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 9 tuna pig

10. I added some baby spinach for grass and the whole scene was complete.

Healthy recipes for children

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

Fun Veggie Humpty

Veggie Humpty

Real egg and Humpty Dumpty was just too tempting!! I made a fun food veggie version but the mini chefs panned my wall and said it was too wide and too low. I was forced to go back and re-model and I have to admit that once again they were right … sigh. Humpty did look a lot better perched up high with absolutely no fear of falling …..

Healthy meals for children

Recipe

– Steamed carrots – for the wall (and Humpty’s hat) (Sweet potato/pumpkin are good alternatives)

– Boiled egg

– I used broccoli, peas and corn for the bushes and plants

– I used peas and corn for his face

– Wholemeal pasta spirals for arms and legs

Method

1. Steam the carrot in large pieces so it’s easy to cut “bricks” from the pieces.

Veggie Humpty - 1 Carrot Wall

Exact rectangles are not necessary. And remember I re-built my wall taller and thinner (on the advice of the mini-chefs).

2. Cut the bottom of the boiled egg off and place on the wall.

Veggie Humpty - 2 Egg on Wall

3. Add some pasta legs (tuck them under the egg) which I achieved more successfully on the higher wall.

Veggie Humpty - 3 + legs

4. Then some pasta arms. I cut little slits (very carefully) into the egg to slot them into.

Veggie Humpty - 4 + arms

If you rest the arms on the wall they are relatively stable.

5. I cut holes for eyes nose and mouth.

Veggie Humpty - 5 Face

Then used two peas for eyes and a piece of corn for the nose.

6. I placed broccoli, peas and corn around the base of the wall.

Veggie Humpty - 6 Bushes

7. No Humpty would be complete without attire so I gave him a jaunty hat cut from carrot.

Veggie Humpty - 7 plus hat

8. Then I redid the wall so he was much higher.

Healthy food for children

And looked much better.

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

Fun Ricey Hot Air Balloon

Ricey Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloons are such fun to make with lots of patterns and bright colours that give you so much scope for creativity. This is my rice and veggie version.

Healthy food for kids

 

I realised that having a mold would make life so much easier so I made my own. This was actually the most time consuming and frustrating part of the whole exercise. I cut the inside out of the top of an old plastic pot as it was the oval shape (ish) I was looking for. I have washed and kept it for future use!

Recipe

– Mold – (makes it easier but not essential)

– Cooked rice – I used wholemeal

– Veggies of your choice. I used peas, grated steamed carrot and corn

– Steamed cauliflower for clouds (ricotta cheese makes great clouds)

– I used a cut piece of eggplant/aubergine for the basket

– Wholemeal spaghetti for the ropes (any herb stalks or cut beans would be a good substitute)

Method

1. Put a layer of rice into the mold.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 1 Rice

2. Then a layer of peas.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 2 + peas

3. Any veggies will do but contrasting colours work best. Grated carrot layer next.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 3 + carrot

4. Then some corn.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 4 + corn

5. And a last layer of rice.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 5 + Rice

6. Then I took it carefully out of the mold. If it’s packed densely this works surprisingly well.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 6 out of mold

7. As usual I am disappointed by molds (even the ones I make myself) so squished it out to give it a more rounded shape. Again this worked remarkably well.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 7 fattened

8. Then I added the eggplant/aubergine basket and spaghetti ropes.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 8 + basket

9. And some lovely, fluffy cauliflower clouds.

Healthy food for children

Float gently into dinner …..

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

Fun Underwater Fish

Underwater Fish

We all love seafood in our house and here in New Zealand it’s easy and economical to find fresh catches – yummy!!

I couldn’t help myself using the seafood as the sea bed in this fun food dinner plate.

Healthy food for children

Recipe

– Mashed pumpkin (for the fish) – or sweet potato/potato/carrot/parsnip

– Rice (I used brown) for sea bed – or cous cous or other grain

– Peas and green beans – for fishes features and bubbles

– Broccoli, green beans, carrots, parsnips corn – for sea bed

– Prawns (shrimp), mussels and calamari (squid) – for sea bed

(Substitute in any veg/sea food you have on hand).

Method

1. Make the sand with the rice.

Underwater Fish - 1 Rice

2. I used a fish mold to get the fish shape.

Underwater Fish - 2 Fish Mold

3. Then I used a pea for her eye and a green bean for the mouth.

Underwater Fish - 3 Fish

And of course you need bubbles ….

4. I placed veggies and seafood to create a busy sea bed.

Healthy food for children

So simple, appealing and a lovely balanced meal.

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

Fun, Flower Pot Veggies

Flower Pot Veggies

I was looking at a pot of brown lentils one time and I thought soil. And then I thought flower pots. I went to the local garden centre and bought a couple of the cheap ceramic pots and started experimenting. From this my flower pot series emerged. The boys think it’s the best fun to eat out of a ceramic pot with a teaspoon. Even better when I make a selection of “flowers” and they can choose their favourites.

     Healthy fun food for kids

These are my lentil soil and cooked veggie versions. Simple, fun food and delicious. Use any veggies you have to hand and get creative!

Recipe

– I used a brown lentil dish (with tomatoes, onion, garlic etc.). Any mince/ chilli dish/ bolognaise style dish would be fantastic.

– A selection of cooked veg. I used peas, cauliflower, carrot, corn, green beans and mashed pumpkin.

– I also used baby spinach leaves and half a cherry tomato.

Substitute anything you have to hand.

Method

1. Fill the flower pots with lentil/mince mixture. The ones I bought have a drainage hole at the bottom so I plug it with baking paper.

Flower Pots - 1 Pots

2. I made a cauliflower, pea and green bean “flower”.

Healthy fun food for kids

3. Then half a cherry tomato with cauliflower centre, corn detail and spinach leaves.

Healthy food for children

4. Pot 3 was filled with mashed pumpkin and decorated with green bean shoots.

Fun recipes for kids

5. And then the last pot was peas, green beans and carrots cut into shapes (badly!).

Healthy, creative food for children

6. Then put them all together.

Healthy food for kids

7. This is so versatile and there are so many other options ….

Healthy fun food for children

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

Fun Salad Fish

Salad Fish

Sometimes the boys have to bring in a “share” plate to school/Kinder/Cubs/team events. I am always wanting to come up with something fun that impulses the other members to dive in and yet is healthy. I try and make the dish from lots of bite sized pieces so everyone can have just a little at a time.

Healthy party food for kids

The salad fish is one of my simple designs that can be modified dependent upon what you have available and can be jazzed up with a pot of dip!  Enjoy my fun food plate.

Recipe

– 2 celery stalks

– 2 carrots

– 1 cherry tomato

– I used corn for the bubbles

– I used yoghurt for the eyeball

Method

1. Slice the celery and arrange into a “body” shape. Don’t worry, you can move around later if necessary!

Salad Fish - 1 Celery

2. Slice carrots for the head.

Salad Fish - 2 + Carrot

3. Add more carrot slices for the fins.

Salad Fish - 3 + Fins

4. And even more carrot for the flashy tail. I love carrots as they are sweet, crunchy, available all the year round, a great colour and cheap to buy!

Salad Fish - 4 + Tail

5. Add half a cherry tomato for the eye. I used a blob of yoghurt for the eyeball.

Salad Fish - 5 + Mouth & Eye

And a slice of the tomato for the mouth.

6. Decorate the sea bed with bits of celery, carrot and tomato.

Salad Fish - 6 + Sea Bottom

7. And add some bubbles.

Healthy party food for children

8. I tried some different tails too.

Healthy party food for kids

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

Fun Sandcastle Cous-cous Style

Sandcastle Cous-Cous Style

Cous-cous looks like sand, it just does!! I was cooking one night and decided it would be fun to see if I could build a fort from it as you do at the beach. Actually it turned out to be way easier and less effort (not to mention less gritty) than at the beach.

The boys were absolutely delighted and had such fun moving bits onto their plates. This is a versatile fun food design as you can build it anyway you choose!

Healthy, fun food for kids

Recipe

– Cous-cous (I used wholemeal)

– I used corn, carrot and wilted spinach for detail

– Toothpick for flagpole

Method

1. I filled a plastic bucket we got as a clever Easter present with cooked cous-cous (it is designed to hold boiled eggs). An egg cup, shot glass or other small receptacle would make a great substitution. Pack it in as you would sand.

Cous Cous Sandcastle - 1 Bucket

Tap the sides and the top just like at the beach to knock it out.

2. Then I used a mini loaf tin for the long sides but making it all from one shape or improvising with what you have available is order of the day!!

Cous Cous Sandcastle - 2 Bucket + Tub

3. Build your fort.

Cous Cous Sandcastle - 3 Whole Sandcastle

As with the beach its way harder but way more fun to have the kids involved!

4. We used wilted spinach as seaweed.

Cous Cous Sandcastle - 4 Castle + seaweed

5. And then made shells from steamed carrots and corn.

Healthy, party food for kids

And a flagpole from a toothpick and a flag from a triangle of carrot.

Healthy party food for kids

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

Fun Mash and Mince Teddies

Mince and Mash Teddies

I reckon my husband is one of the few men who return home from work to eat teddy bears for dinner. Apparently they taste delicious!!

This is a lovely, fun food and easy dish to make. Add a few veggies and you have a full meal for the family. The kids can decorate their own teddies and everyone is happy. As usual get creative and use whatever you have lying around. I have used a chilli bean and mince recipe with my mashed potato. Use beetroot to stain the mash if you want pink teddies.

Healthy meals for kids

Recipe

– Meat mix (or a lentil/bean vegetarian/vegan option)

– Mashed potato

– I used corn, carrot and olives for detail

Method

1. Use a cookie cutter mold to make teddies.

 Chilli Teddies - mold

2. I have alternated mince and potato.

Chilli Teddies - moldx2

 

3. I wish now I hadn’t used a white plate as the mash disappears in the photos!!!

Mince Teddie - 3 4 Teddies

4. Then add the teddy features. I used mince on the potato and mash on the meat.

Healthy fun food for children

Then I added carrot, corn and olives to make hands, feet, bow ties and faces.

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small.

Ninja-bread Men

Ninja-bread Men

I’m not really one for lots of gadgets in the kitchen. I went and purchased every cookie cutter available in the local discount store when I started on my food design and haven’t really got much since. However, I LOVE looking. I happened to be in the food wholesalers catering section (Mummy Haven as the mini-chefs call it) and they had a box of “Ninja-bread men” cookie cutters. My boys begged me to get them as they were “so cool”. I will now need to get my monies worth out of them so here is the first of my fun Ninja designs:

Very simple sandwiches cut from wholegrain bread in the shape of Ninjas with veggies for detail. Such a great idea for a party and so easy to do.

Ninjabread Man - Finished

Recipe

– Wholegrain bread

– Filling – I used lettuce and cheese

– Peas and carrots – for the ground

– Veggies for detail – I used green beans, carrots, beetroot and corn

Method

1. Cut the bottom piece of the bread using the mold.

Ninjabread Man - 1 in mold

2. Cut the filling with the top piece (makes it waaayyyyyyy easier to get it all to fit together).

Ninjabread Man - 2 4 men

3. Make the ground. I used peas and carrots.

Ninjabread Man - 3 plus Carrot-peas

4. Put detail on the “men”. I made eye wraps, belts and weapons.

Ninjabread Man - 4 All men Kitted out

5. I realised the beetroot didn’t show up at all so sprinkled it with oat bran so it showed up!

Ninjabread Man - Finished

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

Pasta Train – Choo Chew ….

Choo chew, veggies coming through ….

This was a fun food design I did ages ago and the boys were delighted. As it’s on the front of the website I need to make good on my promise and give instructions as to how to make this fun food dinner.

Do not be intimidated by this as it’s actually quite simple and doesn’t take very long to put together. The veggies can all be steamed in one pot and the pasta in another and then it’s very quick and easy to build. As with most of my recipes older children can probably follow the instructions pretty much independently and the younger ones can help.

Healthy meal ideas

This is a fun way to present a very basic meal of pasta, cheese and veggies. Enjoy …

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Recipe

Please substitute any of the veggies, I generally just make work what I have in the fridge.

– Wholemeal pasta. Penne works best because of the tubular shape.

– Carrots (for the engine)

– Green beans – for the window & carriage connectors

– 4 Cherry tomatoes (I used a slightly larger one for the back wheel of the engine hence why 4)

– Peas – for carriage load

– Mashed pumpkin – for carriage load

– Grated cheese – for steam

– Cauliflower – for clouds

– Pasta spirals – I used these for the track (the one on the front of the website uses spaghetti – again whatever is available. Cut the penne if you wish).

Method

1. Build the shape of the engine. The penne slot against each other quite well but you can always slice off the ends to make them more rectangular.

Pasta Train - 1 Engine

Add two halves of a cherry tomato (slice off very end so it doesn’t roll around) for the front and back wheels.

2. Add the shape of the carriages and their wheels.

Pasta Train - 2 Engine & carriages

3. Slice steamed carrots to fill the inside of the engine.

Pasta Train - 3 Engine carrot filler

4. Add a funnel to top of the engine and beans for the window.

Pasta Train - 4 Engine window & funnel

5. Add the peas and pumpkin fillers for the carriages. Big piles in triangular shapes look best!!

Pasta Train - 5 Filled carriages

6. Add carriage links.

Pasta Train - 6 carriage links

7. Add cheesy steam and cauliflower clouds.

Pasta Train - 7 Steam & clouds

8. Place tracks beneath the train.

Fun train food

Chuff chuff into dinner ….]

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative, food for kids big and small..

Gingerbread Veggie Man

Gingerbread Veggie Man

I was wandering through the catering section of the wholesalers (Mummy heaven as my boys dub it) and saw the gingerbread cookie cutters. An idea came to me and yes, you guessed, it doesn’t contain any sugar …..but is lovely and healthy and fun …

Orange is an easy colour to get from fresh veggies so mashed pumpkin, sweet potato or carrot will work for this.

Although my boys are used to my designs they still loved this fun, really simple addition to the meal table. Even Roy was charmed (I think).

Gingerbread Veggie Man - Finished 1

Recipe

– Mashed pumpkin/sweet potato/carrot

– Buttons/eyes – I used peas

– Smile – I used a green bean

– Hand/feet décor – I used mashed potato

Method

1. Use a gingerbread man mold. I realised that I didn’t actually own one so used a regular “person” mold instead.

Gingerbread Veggie Man - 1 Mold

2. Then to make him more “gingerbread like” I squished him once out of the mold.

Gingerbread Veggie Man - 2 Squished

Sorry, I am the queen of improvisation – especially when I get to use my fingers!

3. Add buttons. I used peas but any round veggie (or veggie cut into circles would work).

Gingerbread Veggie Man - 3 buttons + mouth

Then a smile. I used a sliced green bean.

4. Add the eyes.

Gingerbread Veggie Man - 4 + eyes

Now he’s starting to look like a gingerbread man!

5. I added cuffs and feet to give him pizzazz using mashed potato.

Gingerbread Veggie Man - 5 + hand-feet trim

6. Or the posh version ….

Gingerbread Veggie Man - Finished 2

With olive eyes and carrot bow tie.

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

Wholemeal-roll Car

Wholemeal-Roll Car

 

I saw these lovely, grainy wholemeal rolls and couldn’t resist. Their shape just screamed car to me and so on a lovely, sunny day I decided to put together an egg salad for the boys.

Really, really simple fun and fresh you could even stuff in a lunchbox for a special fun treat
(with or without driver).

Wholemeal Car - Finished Side

I did two versions, one with an egg driver and one with a celery/carrot driver

Recipe

– Wholemeal roll (preferably rectangular shaped)

– Cucumber or large carrots for wheels

– Carrot for indicators/blinkers

– Corn kernels for lights (or yellow capsicum/bell pepper)

– Carrot for steering wheel

– Celery for bumper bars

– Boiled egg for driver (or carrot on celery body)

– Olive eyes for driver (or raisins)

– Chinese radish – I used for arms (or cucumber/celery)

– Hat for driver – I used radish for eggman and cucumber for carrotman

Method

1. Cut a 3 sided flap towards the back of the roll. This becomes the seat for the driver. You will need to remove a bit of the inside of the roll to make space.

Wholemeal Car - 1 Roll

2. Add indicators/blinkers(pieces of carrot) and lights (corn kernels). If you make a slight hole in the roll you can push them in. I cut the carrots in triangles and inserted the pointy bit into the roll to leave the flat piece exposed.

Wholemeal Car - 2 Steering Wheel & lights

Add a thick slice of carrot as the steering wheel (or cucumber/other round veg).

3. Add bumper bars. I used sticks of celery and stuck them on with some hummus I had in the fridge. I was rapt with them as they even had grooves ….

Wholemeal Car - 3 Bumper Bars

4. Add the egg. Cut him some arms and lay along the side of the “body”.

Wholemeal Car - 4 Egg Driver

5. Give him some eyes and a hat so his head is warm in the convertible!

Wholemeal Car - 5 Egg Driver with Access

He looks a bit of a demon driver so look out on the roads …..

6. Add some cucumber wheels. I cut a small slice off the bottom so they stayed in place easily.

Wholemeal Car - Finished Egg

The boys thought he was fabulous and begged for another for lunch.

Wholemeal Car - Finished Carrot

Mr Carrot takes the wheel ….

Wholemeal Car - Finished Back

See yah!!!

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

Sheepy Egg

Sheepy Egg

This idea came to me when Joe was little and he really didn’t like the “orange” of eggs but loved the white. When the whites are cooked on their own they get beautifully light and fluffy and lend themselves to sheep’s wool. Eggs are such an economic, nutrient dense food and can be used for breakfast, snacks or main meals. This is my breakfast version.

Sheepy Egg - Finished

Recipe

– Scrambled whites (I needed two to fill the mold)

– Egg yolk (cooked very carefully until a harder “skin” forms). Microwaves will explode egg yolks with delight so if cooking use very low heat for approx. 10 secs).

– Cheese – for sun’s rays

– Wholemeal bread sliced for fence

– Olive/raisin for eye

– Mushroom. I used one for the ground.

– I also used a tomato for flowers (see photo at end)

Method

1. Put cooked egg whites into a mold. If you push in they hold marvellously well.

Sheepy Egg - 1 Mold

2. Take sheep from mold.

Sheepy Egg - 2 Sheep

3. Put lightly cooked yolk and cheese rays onto top corner.

Sheepy Egg - 3 Sheep & Sun

4. Add eye to sheep.

Sheepy Egg - 4 Sheep & eye

5. Add toast fence.

Sheepy Egg - 5 Sheep & fence

6. I added a cut up mushroom for the ground.

Sheepy Egg - Finished

7. And I tried a tomato for flowers but not sure!!!

Sheepy Egg - Finished 2

 

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

Clown Face

Clown Face

 

I was staring at the most beautiful cherry tomatoes in my pantry for days. They were just so luscious and red, there had to be a perfect vehicle to showcase them. And there was ….

I love to have one meal a day where we have lots of raw veggies and today its fun clown day!

This design looks really colourful and is super simple.

Clown Face - Finished 1

Recipe

– 2 potatoes, peeled, sliced thinly around into circles and steamed (boiled) for face

– 2 Cherry tomatoes for nose and hat bobble

– 1 large celery stick sliced for hat

– Slice of red capsicum (red bell pepper) for mouth

– Carrot peeled into thin strips for hair

– 2 slices of olive for pupils

– 4 thin slices of red cabbage for eye crosses (could use any veggie you have handy)

– Decoration. I also used 4 wholemeal pasta spirals for additional hair and two baby spinach leaves and the top of a carrot for the bow tie.

Method

1. Take the potato slices and make into a round shape for the face.

Clown Face - 1 Potato

2. Add a tomato for the nose (slice the very top off so it doesn’t roll).

Clown Face - 2 Potato & tomato

3. Use the sliced celery to build the triangular shaped hat.

Clown Face - 3 plus hat

4. Add a slice of capsicum/bell pepper for the mouth and two crosses for eyes.

Clown Face - 4 plus hat + bobble

5. Place the other cherry tomato on top of the hat as a bobble.

Clown Face - 5 plus bobble

6. Add peelings of carrot as hair (roll around the fingers first to encourage them to curl). I also added a few pasta spirals.

Clown Face - 6 plus hair

7. Add slices of olive as pupils.

Clown Face - 7 plus pupils

8. I used baby spinach and the top from the carrot to create a bow tie.

Clown Face - Finished 2

 

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

Chick Pea Owl

Chick Pea Owl

Yesterday I was looking down at some sliced potatoes and they just looked like eyes. I started on this owl with the view to using cauliflower as the feathers. Then when I went to make some hummus to go with the Middle Eastern flavours of the meal I saw the chick peas and suddenly my fun little owl was born.

Chick Pea Owl - Finished

This is really quite simple and easy to do and last night the boys dipped their veggies in with glee and Mr Owl vanished in a flash.

Recipe

– Chick peas – for feathers

– Hummus – for body (mashed veggies – potato/sweet potato/pumpkin/carrot would be good substitutes)

– Carrots – for beak, wings, feet (or other veggie that can be cut easily)

– Potato – for eyes (or other veggie cut into ovals)

– Pumpkin – for irises (or other bright veggie)

– Olives – for pupils (or raisins/dates/eggplant-aubergine)

– Parsnips/Spinach for branch/leaves

Method

1. Cut two slices of potato for the eyes.

Chick Pea Owl - 1 Potatoes

2. Add bright irises and dark pupils.

Chick Pea Owl - 2 Eyes

3. Form the body shape from the hummus (or mash). I used a combination of my favourite kitchen utensils (fingers), knives and a spoon.

Chick Pea Owl - 3 Body

Make his top feathers

4. Add carrot beak, wings and feet.

Chick Pea Owl - 4 Beak, feet, wings

(Cook the carrots in large chunks as it makes it easier to fashion wings and feet).

5. Cut cooked chick peas (tinned ones would be ready to use) in half and place across the chest and body as feathers.

Chick Pea Owl - 5 Body with feathers

Use a sharp knife to cut the chick peas to prevent them from breaking.

6. Add a branch and leaves. I used parsnips and baby spinach.

Chick Pea Owl - Finished 1

Then the mini-chefs said his top feathers looked like bull horns and his eyes were too cross eyed ….

Chick Pea Owl - Finished 2

And they were right …..

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

Veggie Petit Fours

Veggie Petit Fours

OK so I admit it I’ve gone a little Petit Fours mad but in my defence they really are so cool. What a great appetiser at a party or fun centrepiece at the meal table. They are bite (well, very large mouth sized) and can be made from anything that is in season and crafted to individual tastes if needs be. They are super simple and the kids can create their own.

Veggie Petit Fours - Finished

Recipe

– Veggies in season. Contrasting colours work best. I primarily used ones from a big roast    veggie platter I was preparing:
  Roast Potato, pumpkin, parsnip, beetroot

– For decoration I used:
   Green beans, corn, roasted cauliflower & peas.

– For the “cream” I used mashed potato

– I also grated a little cheese onto the plate

Method

1. Cut the veggies to approximately the same size/shape and make into a stack with decorations on top. Round, triangular or rectangle shapes all work so well. Use the mash as an “oozy” cream layer in between the veggies.

Veggie Petit Fours - Set-up

I actually pulled these apart after making to show you the internal workings so the beetroot juice has run a little into the “cream”. Occupational hazard of using beetroot! Interestingly though my husband – a long-term beetroot disliker– ate it when it was combined with other veggies like this ….. hmmmm ….

The Art of Nutrition – Healthy, creative, fun food for kids (big and small)..

Fun Meat Pie Cup-Cakes

Meat Pie Cup-Cakes

This was one of my first designs and way before I discovered a healthy pastry recipe. Prior to this I used to cheat and use wholemeal bread. The advantage of this is its simplicity and the speed with which you can put together a recipe. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of supermarket bread but I arrived late at the bakery and all the wholegrain was sold out. 
So I decided to pop across the road and buy some regular, sliced wholemeal and use for this fun food recipe as it is one shown on my front page.

(The bread “pastry” works really well for mini quiches.)

Healthy food for kids

Recipe

– Pie filling. I have used some left-over chilli.

– Mashed potato

– Wholemeal bread

– Cherry tomatoes

– Veggies/herbs for decoration

 

Method

1. Flatten the bread as best you can with a rolling pin (or clean bottle).

Mince Cup Cakes - flattened bread

It will stretch out and give you a larger surface area. This is also one of the few circumstances where I would trim off the crusts too.

2. Grease a bowl/patty tin (muffin tins work well for cup-cake sized pies) and cover with the bread. Cover well but try not to overlap too much. Use your fingers to squish it all down!

Mince Cup Cakes - Bread in bowl

Brush a little olive oil over the bread to stop it drying too much.

Mince Cup Cakes - Bread in bowls

3. Blind bake at 180 degrees for approx. 15 mins (will be crispy to the touch).

4. Make mashed potato.

5. Fill bread shell with filling.

Mince Cup Cakes - Mince in bowl

6. Bake pie with filling until warm (may pay to cover loosely to stop filling drying).

7. I have used a bar mix (stick blender) to whip the potato so it looks more “icing-like”.
Use a spoon to dollop mash on top and a knife to swirl it around to look like icing.

Mince Cup Cakes - Mince+ mash

8. Cut the end off a cherry tomato to make the “cherry”.

Mince Cup Cakes - 2nd Cake

9. Decorate with other veggies and herbs. I have used peas, corn, rosemary, thyme and paprika.

Healthy meals for kids

These got scoffed very quickly last night …….

Healthy food for children

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative, food for kids big and small..

Fun Dinner Butterflies

Dinner Butterflies

 I had some left-over Bolognese sauce and it was quite thick so I decided to put it to good use, easy fun food!!

Healthy food for kids butterfly

 

Recipe

– Thick sauce or mince/chilli/meatloaf

– Veggies to decorate

 

Method

1. Place sauce mixture in a mold.

Dinner Butterflies

2. Decorate butterflies inside the mold. I have used a combination of veggies to give it colour and flair.

Dinner Butterflies - Decoration

3. Take away the mold carefully. I have added cut green beans for antennae and body.

Healthy fun food for children

4. Serve with spaghetti/pasta/potato/bread and of course all the delicious veggies used for decoration.

Healthy food for kids

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative, food for kids big and small..

Fun Egg Nest

Egg Nest

My boys love spaghetti. I have found a wholemeal brand that is lovely and soft and doesn’t seem like chewy string so we are all happy! I enjoy making meals that tick all my boxes, lots of veggies, high fibre carbs, good protein and of course appealing presentation and great taste. This is one such fun food meal and delights all my boys, big and small.

Healthy food for kids

Recipe

– A boiled egg per person

– Wholemeal spaghetti

– Sauce (I made a simple, hearty tomato and fresh herb)

– Veggies (I served with peas, broccoli, corn and baby spinach)

Method

1. Cook pasta and add sauce

2. Wrap around in a bowl. If you can make the spaghetti roughly go around the inside of the bowl in big circles the nest will hold together easily once removed from bowl. I use my favourite kitchen utensils for this (fingers).

Egg Nest - in bowl

3. Once the bowl is full (you will have a slight hole in the middle) up-end on the serving plate.

Egg Nest - upended bowl

4. Remove the bowl. Push into the centre and make a hole for the eggs to perch in.

Egg Nest - nest

5. Place veggies around the side for foliage.

Egg Nest - nest + eggs

6. You can serve with any veggies on hand.

Healthy food for children

Healthy meals for kids

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative, food for kids big and small..

Fun Veggies at a Snail’s Pace

Veggies at a Snail’s Pace

When I first started playing with my food, um creating designs about 3 years ago my good friend Vicki suggested using roasted veggies to make a snail. It seemed like a fun food idea and I have had it in my head ever since. Last night was the time. This is so simple I have not included pictorial steps, just the final photo. And it was delicious …..

Healthy meals for children

Recipe

– Roasted veg. I used potatoes, parsnip and pumpkin (sweet potato, carrots etc. would work too !)

– Peas for the “grass” – any green veg as a contrast is good

– Green beans for antenna. Use what you have available (ends of carrots/parsnips/ broccoli stalks).

– I used a slice of olive for the eye

Method

1. Roast veggies and then arrange in a loose circular pattern to make the shell

2. Place longer veg along the bottom to make the body and head. Can always slice the veggies in half to give them shape.

3. Put eye, mouth and antenna on.

4. Pour peas across the bottom.

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small..

Fun Fairy Glen

Fairy Glen

I had some left over pie-filling and pastry so decided to make a fun food, magical-mini table setting. I then got half way through and changed plan. And then realised I had another idea to simplify too ….

Recipe

– Pastry (recipe under Substitution Sunday)

– Filling (use meat pie/lentils/quiche/beans)

– Mashed potato (optionally dyed pink with beetroot juice .. which can’t be tasted)

Method

1. Roll out pastry and put into greased tin

Fairy Glen - Pastry in tin

2. Bake at 180 degrees for approx. 15-20 mins until crisp

3. Add filling.

4. Cover with mashed potato as table spread. Get smooth with a knife.

Fairy Glen - Pastry & mash

5. Decorate with your choice of veg.
I used:
Beetroot – for plates
Green Beans – for cutlery and vase. Seeds were used on one of the “serving plates”
Corn – for glasses
Parsnip – for serving plates
Carrot – for food on plate
Mash – for decoration

Fairy Glen - Rectangle Table

6. Make chairs. I used steamed carrots cut half way up to make seat with back. I then realised that the orange clashed horribly with the pink plate. OK it clashes with the table “linen” too but I could cope with that ….. just.

Fairy food

7. Then in looking at it I realised the chairs lent themselves to a round table. I had run out of pastry mixture so just used a bowl, filled it with my meat/lentil mixture and put the potato on top. Voila, a cottage pie and a simpler version of the recipe. No pastry just a filler (mince or steamed veg & cheese or tomato, mushroom & tuna) topped with mash.

Fairy food for parties

8. This is a design I put together previously using slightly different settings for the table and chairs. Your imagination is your limit 

Healthy fun food for kids

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small.

Fun Two in the Bed

Two in the Bed

I love using my healthy pastry filled with hearty ingredients as a fun food centrepiece for a meal. Making and cooking the pastry doesn’t take a lot of time (recipe stored in Substitution Sunday section) and is very simple. It is also very flexible with lots of creative scope.

1. Make pastry

2. Roll out thinly and fill two greased tins. I have bought two baking tins from a catering store that I find very useful but anything that is the right shape would work.

Pastry in tins

3. Pre-bake for 20-25 mins at 180 degrees.

4. Fill with filling of your choice. I often use a healthy pie filling (will post recipe soon) or quiche variation.

Meat pie filling

5. Make mashed potato bedding (mashed sweet potato or other veg that hold together is a great substitute).

Mash bedding

6. Cut a steamed carrot across the wide end to make a head (cucumber, parsnip or other cylindrical veg could be substituted).

7. Add “hands” by cutting indents into a smaller piece of carrot.

Creative food for kids

8. Make eyes from mash/peas/corn.

Two in the bed - original

9. Fashion a nose and mouth and hair if you’d like.

Healthy food for children

10. Use your creative talents to display.

Healthy meals for kids

11. Serve warm with steamed veggies for a great meal.

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small.