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

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 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 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 Carrot Fingers – Halloween

Carrot Fingers

I wanted to create a party piece for Halloween and some crudites and dip are a perfect starter. I have used a home-made beetroot dip so I can make sure it’s healthy!

Fun, creative Halloween food

This is a fun plate that would be great at any time of the year ….. and then the gross addition (subtraction!!) of half a finger fits right into Halloween.

Halloween party food

Recipe

– 5 small carrots

– I used yellow capsicum (bell pepper) for the fingernails – you could substitute with sliced cucumber/celery/daikon/radish

– Dip – I used beetroot for the “blood” effect

Method

1. Peel and slice the carrot in half and then cut into a “finger” shape.

Carrot Fingers - 1 carrot (1 of 1)

 

2. Then cut an indent at the end for the fingernail to sit in.

Carrot Fingers - 2 fingernail (1 of 1)

 

3. And make enough for a handful! I used a smaller carrot for the little finger.

Carrot Fingers - 3 four fingers (1 of 1)

 

4. Then for the thumb slice the fingernail indent to the side and trim down so it’s a little shorter too.

Carrot Fingers - 4 Thumb (1 of 1)

 

5. I cut pieces of a yellow capsicum/bell pepper to make the nails.

Carrot Fingers - 5 fingernails (1 of 1)

 

6. And then used the left over pieces to make knuckles.

Carrot Fingers - 6 knuckles (1 of 1)

 

7. I made a dip.

Healthy Halloween snacks

8. And there is a great party plate to share.

Fun food for Halloween

9. Or if you prefer the Halloween (gross) version ….

Carrot Fingers - Gross (1 of 1)

Then cut off the tip of one of the fingers and dunk in the dip. I also added some beetroot juice to the end of the severed finger….

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

Fun Fruit Train

Fruit Train

I built my first fruit train for Joe’s “graduation” party from Kinder. Each child gets to have a special day once it’s their turn to go to school (in NZ children go on their birthday so entry to school is staggered). The Kinder rules were that you were able to bring potato chips (crisps) and fruit. Now I was obviously not going to bring chips so wanted to make the fruit into something a little more special for Joe. I hit upon a train with trucks filled with a variety of fruit and it worked magically!

Train party food

It is such a fun way to present fruit or veg at a party and have everyone excited. The pastry is edible although I find everyone is generally more excited about diving in for their favourite fruit.

When it was International Day at the school last Friday Joe and I decided to make a fruit train and display fruits from around the world using little flags to denote country.

Recipe

– Healthy pastry (recipe on the website). I added cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a dessert smell and taste.

– Bananas for wheels and engine funnel

– Raisins for dividers between the trucks

– Chopped fruit – whatever is in season

Method

1. Roll out the pastry. It can be a little stiff so a good workout too!

Fruit Train - 1 Pastry

 

2. I used a “large” mini tin for the front of the engine with a little ceramic bowl at the very front and then a medium mini tin behind to create an engine shape (see methodology below).

Fruit Train - 2 Engine tins

 

Covered with pastry and then baked in the oven for approx. 20 minutes at 180 degrees.

3. I used “medium” mini tins for the trucks and covered with pastry (with the tin upside down).

Fruit Train - 3 Pastry over tin

 

4. Then cut the pastry to size and squeezed it into shape around the tin.

Fruit Train - 4 pastry cut to tin

Then baked in the oven for 20 mins.

5. Once the engine and all the trucks were cooked I washed and chopped the fruit and took it all into the school to set up the train.

Fun, creative food for kids

I used some old pillowcases so the train was on something clean.

6. And cut the banana once I arrived so it didn’t go brown. I used it for the funnel and wheels.

Fun food for kids

7. Then I filled the trucks with fruit and put little flags in to show where the fruit is grown.

Fun food for kids party

I added raisins between the trucks as chain links.

8. Joe was of course ridiculously excited and rapt that he could share his train with all his classmates.

Healthy party food for children

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

International Day at School

International Day at School

Fun party food train

 

The boy’s school was celebrating “International Day” on Friday. They were to learn about customs, language, flags etc. from other countries. Joe’s class were asked to each bring in food from a different country to share with each other for lunch. Joe and I discussed this and decided there would be lots of savoury food and probably lots of “party” food so we chose fruit as our share food. Fruit comes from all over the globe so we picked a selection and made flags from one of the countries that produce lots of the particular fruit.

Joe was delighted by the idea of presenting it in a train and Joe’s teacher very kindly indulged me setting it all up in the classroom before lunch. We then got to discuss where the fruit came from and where on the map the different countries were before the class got to choose their favourite fruits to eat.

I love the opportunity to share healthy food and get everyone excited about it.

I used my healthy pastry recipe (adding some cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a “sweet” smell and taste) and made the train trucks very simply. I will blog the recipe Friday as that is my normal fruit/dessert day!!

Healthy party food train

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

Fun Double Decker Raspberry Bus

Double Decker Raspberry Bus

We all love raspberries in our house and being so lovely and deep red they just lend themselves to the iconic Double Decker buses found in London.

healthy party food

I put this together as a fun food party plate and spoons got dipped in furiously and then mixed with a bowl of home-made Greek style yoghurt each. Have to say I was tempted to eat it all myself first but refrained!

Recipe

– Red Apple for wheels and outline

– Raspberries for the paintwork (strawberries would be great too)

– Pineapple for the windows (I used fresh but tinned would work or apple/pear/melon)

– Plum – for the road. Any dark fruit would work (or raisins).

Method

1. I cut the cheeks of the apple for wheels.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 1 apples

 

2. Then cut an outline of the bus from the flesh of the apple.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 2 outline

 

3. I used more apple to make the top deck.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 3 Topdeck

 

4. Then put in some pineapple cut into rectangles for windows.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 4 Bottom windows

 

5. And some for the top deck. They don’t show up well at the moment as there is no contrast.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 5 Top Windows

 

6. But then when you add the soft raspberries ….

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 6 bottom rasp

 

7. And do the same on the top deck.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 7 Top Rasp

 

Unfortunately the raspberries “bleed” a little into the apple (which offends my sense of perfection) but the overall affect is striking enough to balance this out … I hope ..

8. Then I cut some strips from a plum to make a road.

Healthy party food for children

And we’re ready to go see the sights …

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

Fun Fruit Tractor

Fruit Tractor

I was looking at a cut orange and the disparity between the size of the middle bit and the end bits got me thinking about wheels.

I created this fun food, fruit tractor which was a great share plate and looks more complicated than it is!!

Healthy snack

Recipe

– Brown pear

– Red apple

– Orange

– I used yoghurt for the exhaust fumes

– I used pepitas and sunflower seeds for the ground

Method

1. Cut a slice from the centre of the orange for the back wheel and one from near the end for the front tyre. I cut the skin off to make it easier to eat.

Fruit Tractor - 1 Wheels

2. Then I made an engine from the cheek of a pear and cut an indent so it fitted over the front wheel.

 Fruit Tractor - 2 Engine

 

3. Knowing little about tractors I added some red apple pieces for colour in the centre, hoping they would look like they were supposed to be there!

Fruit Tractor - 3 Red bits

4. I used the other cheek of the pear for a cab to go over the back wheel.

Fruit Tractor - 4 Cab

5. Then made a mud guard for the back tyre from apple.

Fruit Tractor - 5 Mudguard

6. I cut windows from the outside of the pear.

Fruit Tractor - 6 Windows

7. And then an exhaust.

Fruit Tractor - 7 Exhaust

8. From the red skin of the apple I cut a ladder (I bought a small, very sharp knife for a few dollars from a catering store that makes this easy).

Fruit Tractor - 8 Ladder

9. And as I was on a roll made a plough for the back too!

Fruit Tractor - 9 Plough

Guess which bits the mini-chefs wanted to eat first ….

10. Then I added some exhaust fumes from yoghurt.

Fruit Tractor - 10 Fumes

11. No tractor scene would be complete without some mud so I made some from pepitas and sunflower seeds.

Healthy food tractor

 

11. Ready to farm.

Healthy snacks for children

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

Fun Fruit Flower Garden

Fruit Flower Garden

I wanted to put together a fruit share platter for a diverse group on a playdate. Flowers are fun, simple and quick to put together so I created my summery “garden” to share (in the middle of winter!!).

healthy party food

Recipe

– Orange – for sun and rays (could substitute any orange/yellow fruit)

– Kiwi for grass (could substitute any green fruit)

– Pear for stalks (apple or melon would work)

– Pear slices for flowers (I used the white flesh) apple or melon would be good too

– Plum – I used the colour to cut the flower centres and the butterfly bodies/antenna

– Mandarin – I used the segments for the butterfly body

Method

1. Cut kiwi segments for grass.

Fruit Flower Garden - 1 Kiwi Grass

2. Slice the pear lengthways to create stems.

Fruit Flower Garden - 2 Pear Stems

3. Then I used a little cookie cutter to make the flower shapes.

Fruit Flower Garden - 3 Flowers

4. I used a dark skinned plum for contrasting colour and cut little squares for the centre of the flowers.

Fruit Flower Garden - 4 flower centres

5. Then to give a summery feel a circle cut from an orange.

Fruit Flower Garden - 5 Sun

6. And no sun would be complete without rays.

Fruit Flower Garden - 6 Sun's rays

7. Then we needed some butterflies to complete the picture. I used mandarin segments.

Healthy party food

And cut strips from the plum to make bodies and antennae.

8. A great share plate which the kids loved. The leftover fruit from creating I served in small bowls and there were no complaints!!

Fruit Flower Garden - Finished

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

The Art of Nutrition at the boy’s school

The Art of Nutrition at the boy’s school

I was very privileged to be invited to share my healthy food passion with the students at the boy’s school. I hosted two sessions on consecutive Friday’s, the first for the younger half of the school and the second for the older kids.

A fun group of parents agreed to help out and we spent a manic 2 hours setting up, coordinating and clearing up afterwards. It was fabulous fun, rewarding and all of us learnt so much.

I spent the morning before each lunchtime session chopping a selection of fruit and veggies to use. I had everything from grapes to radishes and cut them into various shapes. We had carrots cut into circles, half circles, triangles and batons and celery in batons and curls. I even threw in a bunch of celery leaves.

The Art of Nutrition

We had a big room with a sink and then an annexe with a right angled bench seat. We set up the annexe with a table and chairs to become the shared eating section complete with plastic tablecloth and adult to supervise. As the children came into the large room they washed and dried their hands. Then they made their way to one of the 3 tables that were set up with tablecloth, plastic plate for each student and a platter heaving with brightly coloured fruit and veg. I also got my boys to do some designs for inspiration and printed out the photos to place on the tables.

Healthy food in schools

 

Everyone was charged with the task of creating a design on their plate to showcase the fruit and veg they had chosen to use. We then took a photo of each student proudly displaying their plate (to be printed, picked up and taken home). The children then went to sit at the communal eating table where Kathleen encouraged everyone to chat whilst they ate.

 

It was a beautiful thing to behold. The children were delighted by the whole experience and they created with excitement and then ate with gusto. Many tried foods they would not normally eat (like celery leaves and red cabbage) and there were a lot who demolished one plateful and came back to make and eat another plate.

Healthy food in schools

 

The most sought after food – celery! Who would have believed how versatile celery is? It can be limbs, fence posts, noses, motorbike struts and much more besides. And the leaves … they can become trees, hair, brooms and all manner of other things. The imagination was certainly not lacking and I have to say gave me lots of ideas for future designs!

Healthy food in schools

I learnt a lot from running these sessions. We had over 150 children participate and all embraced the idea, the selection of food and all tried the fruit and veg on their plates. It also reinforced my belief that children are more than happy with healthy food options especially if there is something exciting happening or when they are presented creatively.

Healthy food in schools

 

There has been some great feedback from parents. One mother of a 5 year old told me that her daughter asked whether she was able to have celery in her lunchbox as it is so delicious (that celery again!!). She did however, request that it was cut into curls as it tastes better that way.
Another parent said that since the session his daughter has been so focused on the veggies on her plate and they have become so important as they are easy to arrange!

Healthy food in schools

The Art of Nutrition session at the school was a great way to bring fruit and veg into the school in a fun and communal way and it seemed that most students got so caught up in the exercise they were happy to eat whatever was on their plates and do it with pleasure.

TAON - Max & orange

 

I am happy to bring The Art of Nutrition into schools in the Greater Wellington area and can be contacted via the website.

 

*For privacy reasons only a few of the photos will be posted.

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

Fun Watermelon Sunrise

Watermelon Sunrise

I had a whole watermelon and couldn’t decide what to do with it. I asked Max for suggestions and he said “sunrise”. Of course, why didn’t I think of that?

So here is Max’s fun food idea for a bright red piece of watermelon and some fresh pineapple. It’s a great share plate or party centrepiece.

Fun party food for kids

Recipe

– Piece of watermelon. I made a large sun from half a small watermelon but you could do a mini version from a cut piece.

– Some fresh pineapple (or apple/pear/melon)

– Mandarins – for the eyes (or orange/pineapple etc.)

– Oranges – for clouds (substitute as necessary)

– Raisins – for eyeballs

Method

1. Cut the watermelon. I cheated and used a bowl as a mold as I am not quite mad enough to be able to cut perfect circles!

Watermelon Sun - 1 Watermelon

2. Place on a plate.

Watermelon Sun - 1 Disc cut

3. Add the rays of light. I used watermelon.

Watermelon Sun - 2 first rays

4. And pineapple.

 Watermelon Sun - 3 More rays

5. Then made some eyes and mouth.

Watermelon Sun - 4 Eyes & mouth

Using mandarin segments and a cut piece of pineapple.

6. Then I gave the sun eyeballs with raisins.

Watermelon Sun - 5 Eyeballs

7. And used cut orange pieces for the clouds.

Healthy party food for children

8. I thought maybe the sun needed a nose. Or maybe not?

Creative party food for kids

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 Fruit Clown

Fruit Clown

Gail asked for a fruit clown in the style of the salad one so here it is especially for Gail. I actually created him that day but there have been so many other designs vying for space on the blog that he kept getting delayed!!

This is such an easy, fun food way to present fruit for a party, playgroup, kinder, playdate or other social gathering.

      Healthy party plate clown

As with the veggie clown it is very simple to create and as you can see from the Kids Specials page on the website children of all ages can do their own version. In fact it’s a great group or party activity and an easy way to get everyone eating fresh food.

Recipe

– 2 Bananas

– 2 large kiwi fruit

– 1 red apple

– 1 plum

– 1 mandarin

– 1 slice melon

As usual you could substitute all of these. If you prefer use apple slices instead of banana or melon instead of kiwi or pear instead of plum. I always just create from what’s in the fridge. Although, admittedly I go to the markets once every week and come back laden with sacks of veggies and fruit for the week so my fridge is always overstocked!!

Method

1. Make a circle from bananas for the face.

Fruit Clown - 1 Banana

2. Add kiwi slices in the shape of the hat.

Fruit Clown - 2 + hat

3. Cut a mouth and nose from the outside of the apple.

Fruit Clown - 3 + Nose & mouth

4. Cut slices from a plum to make the crosses.

Fruit Clown - 4 + eyes

5. And slice the plum cheeks to make the eyes.

Fruit Clown - 5 + eye crosses

6. Use mandarin segments to give him hair.

Fruit Clown - 6 Hair + Bobble

And a circle of flesh cut from the apple to make a bobble for the hat.

7. Add some melon slices for a tie with a circle of plum for the centre of the bow.

Healthy food for children clown

8. A great fun way to eat a shared dessert.

Healthy party plate clown

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 Decadent Apple Cake

Decadent Apple Cake

This is a cake dedicated to my dear friend Neil who is always trying to convince me to be more gratuitous in my recipes. Probably not quite the sugar fix he had in mind but it oozes decadence never the less.

This would be a fun food addition to any party and is simple but healthy. Other fruit could be substituted in the centre and you can get really creative with the toppings.

Healthy party recipes

Recipe

– 1 Apple

– Yoghurt – I used thick, Greek (no sugar, no additives)

– Slivered almonds

– Hazelnuts – for decoration (and a raspberry on the alternative)

– Mint leaves – for decoration

Method

1. Peel and core the apple. I don’t have a special corer so I butchered it with a knife instead!

Decadent Apple Cake - 1 apple

2. Cover with yoghurt (if the yoghurt is too thin then you can thicken by freezing for a while or even mixing in some milk powder).

Decadent Apple Cake - 2 plus yoghurt

3. Add toppings. I covered the sides with slivered almonds.

Decadent Apple Cake - 3 plus nuts

4. I topped with hazelnuts.

Decadent Apple Cake - 4 plus hazels

5. Then jazzed it up with a mint leaf or two.

Healthy party food

6. I also experimented with other toppings … get creative!!

Decadent Apple Cake - Finished 3

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

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.

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 Quilt Cover

Quilt Cover

I had just finished making some Petit Fours from fruit and looked at the squares and they seemed to form a pattern and I couldn’t resist. A patchwork quilt for a cuddly toy jumped out at me and just begged to be made.

This is a really fun food, simple idea that anyone can create for a dessert, a shared snack or even for a special occasion.

Healthy food for kids

Recipe

– Squares of contrasting coloured fruit – I used watermelon and apple.

– Pear – for the head, hands and tail (apple would work for a rounder head).

– Blueberries – for eyes, nose and mouth (cut out pieces of other fruit would be OK)

– Mint leaves – for bow tie (any accessories you fancy)

– I decorated one of my blankets with blueberries cut in half and mint leaves

Method

1. Cut squares of fruit to make quilt and pillow.

Tucked into quilt - set-up

2. Cut the side from a pear to make head shape.

Tucked into quilt - pear

Cut pieces from the side and trim to make rounder for ears.
Cut slices from the ends for feet and cut another slice for tail.

3. Cut two holes for eyes, a triangle for a nose and a mouth shape from the head piece of pear. Do not be too worried about it being imprecise as the blueberries will cover a multitude of cutting errors!

Tucked into quilt - pear face

Place two blueberries into the eye holes, the top of another in the nose triangle and slice around the bottom to form a mouth.

4. Put head onto pillow and loosely “tuck” under quilt. Arrange feet and tail and add bow-tie or other accessory.

Tucked into quilt - 1

5. Quilt can also be decorated if you wish.

Healthy desserts for kids

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

Fun Petit Fours – 2

Petit Fours – 2

I made Petit Fours yesterday from Watermelon and it got me thinking. What a perfect fun food, party plate, a selection of bite-sized Petit Fours filled with colour and natural vitamins. They look so enticing and would be as at home in an adult soiree as a kid’s party!

I decided to design some more today and used apple as the base. Apples – of the apple a day keeps the doctor away fame – are such an all-round fruit. Tasty, economical, available all year and packed with soluble fibre, Vit C, B-complex vitamins and anti-oxidants.

Recipe

– Apples – larger ones yield better squares

– Other fruit for filling and garnish

– I used Greek Yoghurt for “cream dollops”

Method

1. Cut squares from the apple (and should you wish other fruits for layers).

Petit Fours - Set up

2. Build layers using contrasting fruit for fillings.

3. Top with garnish for a fancy cake effect.

Healthy party food

Use any fruit that is available to create designs of your choice. Round, triangular or other shaped Petit Fours would look fabulous.

The Art of Nutrition 

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

Fun Petit Fours

Petit Fours

A fun food alternative to the Watermelon Cake are the smaller Petit Fours. If you are looking for more of a “bite-sized” dessert/party food then these are for you. They also lend themselves to other types of melon such as Honeydew or Canteloupe (Rockmelon) that have seeds on the insides and therefore cannot be cut into larger triangles.

Follow the basic steps for a Watermelon Cake but use little squares or triangles rather than the larger sections.

Healthy party food for kids

The Art of Nutrition

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

Fun Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Cake

The ultimate substitution, swapping fresh fruit filled with vitamins and minerals for the standard party cake. Watermelon cake is delicious, light and refreshing. It is a great summer party food, especially when it’s hot and is very versatile. You can use any fruit for filling and its good fun to have people create their own individual slice. In fact, building your own cake is a fabulous fun food activity for all age groups.

When I serve at a party I will pre-cut the melon and then have bowls of other fruit to choose from to build a personalised slice, which doubles the fun & the delight.

Recipe

– Watermelon

– Other fruit

Method

1. Cut a whole watermelon into wedges (pre-cut quarter or eigth pieces from the market/store work perfectly).

2. Cut slices to use for the cake. These must be approx. the same size so take from the same section of the melon. Slices work best if approx. 2cms thick.

Waterm Cake - Waterm Cutting

3. The skin can be cut off or left on.

Waterm Cake - 3 slices

4. Place other fruit on the slice. A light fruit like banana/pear/apple works well as “icing”. For best effect have a slight overhang so the cake looks as though it is “oozing” its filling once put together.

Waterm Cake - 3 slices + banana

5. Layer as many other fruits inside as you wish. Contrasting colours give visual appeal and of course different fruits yield different vitamins and minerals.

Waterm Cake - Banana + kiwi

6. Add another slice of watermelon and repeat.

Waterm Cake - Banana + kiwi + top

7. Finish with toppings and it’s ready to eat.

Healthy party food for kids

8. And there are so many variations …..

Healthy party food for children

(If you are not partial to watermelon or would like smaller portions see “Petit Fours”.)

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.