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 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 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 Egg-celerating Eggs

Egg-celerating Eggs

This is not my usual style and I don’t generally include things that can’t be eaten but the egg box just cried out to be used and I’ve had this running around in my head for weeks. I actually got the inspiration from an insurance ad – which is conclusive proof I need to get out more!

Healthy breakfast for kids

Max asked what I was making and I said eggs. His response was “egg-citing” and now I can’t get all the fun food egg plays on words out of my head ….

Recipe

– Egg box
– Aluminium foil (aluminum)
– Boiled eggs (to your favourite consistency)
– 4 Large mushrooms (can substitute for any other round veg)
– Bread
– Tomato (again other round veg is fine)
– Yellow capsicum/bell pepper (lights are optional and could be orange ala indicators or white, headlights)
– Spinach (just because I have to stuff extra veggies into everything)

Method

1. Egg Box. I have used a 6 slot one.

Egg.Eggs - Box

2. I have covered in silver paper for hygiene and let’s face it, who doesn’t want a shiny silver car ….

Egg.Eggs - Box & silver

3. Cut mushrooms for the wheels. If you use the middle bit (slice off the top and the bottom) you get a great tyre pattern as shown as the third bit in the photo. These can then be attached with a toothpick (make a hole in the box first).

Egg.Eggs - Hats-Tyres

4. I have used a slice of tomato on a mushroom stalk for the steering wheel.

5. I have put on two circles of yellow capsicum/bell pepper for lights.

Egg.Eggs - Car Shell

6. Make hats for the eggs to give them character. I used carrots. See picture of tyres for how to. I also did other versions using the top of the tomato as a beret style cap or a cut out from the mushroom. Style is in your hands ….

7. Draw faces on the boiled eggs. I have used marker as it will not come into contact with the edible portion of the design. I have used two eggs as I have two boys but there is no reason you can’t have a bus ….

Egg.Eggs - Eggs

8. Make toast as luggage.

9. Put the eggs and toast into the car. Egg-cellent (couldn’t resist …)

Healthy fun breakfast

Healthy breakfast food

 

The Art of Nutrition 

Fun, ealthy, 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.

Healthy Pastry

Pastry

Pastry is such a good medium for the creative and a great crowd pleaser at the table. I have to admit though I avoided it for years as it’s also not top of the “healthy foods” list.

Then I decided to see if I could make a substitute that would work for the family, and satisfy the husband taste test. I looked at alternatives on the internet and then experimented at home and have come up with something that works for us. Admittedly it’s not the uber flaky, melt in the mouth type of pastry found at a top deli but it does hold a healthy pie/quiche filling capably and its crispiness has won over many a party goer.

Great fun to create with and not unhealthy to boot ….

Recipe

1 ½ cups wholemeal flour
¾ cup wholegrain oats (or rolled)
1 cup of cold water

Method

– Pour flour and oats into a bowl
– Add cold water gradually (you may not need a full cup)
– Stir until the mixture forms a dough (should not be wet)
– Bring together with the hands (it will be quite stiff)

Pastry Mix

– Roll out on a board using a rolling pin (this needs a bit of muscle)

Pastry - rolling

– Roll as thin as possible. If it gets too thin holes will appear.
– Place into greased pan or bowl for baking. It does shrink a little so be generous.
– Cook at 180 for approx. 25-30 mins (it will get crunchier and browner the longer it is cooked for).
– If you are using with a filling then pre-bake for 15-20 mins before adding the mixture.
– If you want to make a pastry lid add once the mixture has been added. Egg washing gives a lovely shiny, appealing finish.
– This quantity would easily fill a large pie tin and make cover.

It’s great to work with as there is no resting in the fridge and it’s very forgiving as holes/tears can be patched effectively.
I have used in many designs which I will share as we go. Today I will post “Two in the Bed”.

The Art of Nutrition

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

Fun Designer Oats

I LOVE oats.

Not only are they tasty, filling, economical and easy to find but they have excellent health benefits. I could wax lyrical about how good they are for you but suffice it to say they are; high in fibre & proteins, essential fats and rich in minerals. They are a great low GI, slow release energy source and superb for bowel health and reducing cholesterol (I could go on ….).

Oats are also made for art. They are a great creative medium so a fitting place to start for my first blog showcasing healthy food presented in a way that is fun and creative.

Healthy breakfast ideas for kids

I have used cookie cutters as molds as it’s just so simple. Most people have a few kicking in the drawer so use what you have or pick them up cheaply from most of the discount stores or any cookware outlet. Check out my fun food breakfasts …

Recipe
– Oats (I use wholegrain – if not wholegrain then rolled are better than “Quick Cook”)

– Milk – your favourite type

– Additions – I use a lot of nuts/seeds and dried fruit as these all go in my muesli but anything you have in the cupboard is fine (preferably not sugary things though )

– Cookie cutter (mold)
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
I am very bad with measurements as I cook using the slurp of this, dash of that, ooops too much of that last one method of cooking. However, I will reform for the blog (hopefully).
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Method

1. I used a cup of oats and added some oat bran (any chance for extra fibre) then added milk to cover the oats (measurements will be determined by type of oats – I used about ½ cup). I then let them sit for 2 hours or so until they were nice and soft. You want them soft but not wet. I would suggest making them the night before you are ready to design so they are nicely soaked and sticky.
If you, like me are a NOW sort of a person then you can microwave for instant soft results (approx.. 1 min on high).
Note – This quantity will fill 3 standard cookie cutters. Each one contains approx. 1/3 cup of packed oat/milk mixture which is a standard serving size for children aged 5. You can add/remove to suit age and appetite.

2. Choose a plate/bowl that can have liquid added and place a cookie cutter on and stuff full of the oat mixture. Make sure you pack all the corners (molds with lots of thin bits do not work well as they are hard to fill). I use my favourite kitchen utensil to do this – my fingers …..You may also have to wipe around the bottom with a cloth once filled as a little liquid can leak out.

Croc - in mold

3. Remove the mold and decorate the design.

Healthy, fun breakfasts for children

4. Pour milk around in front of your audience for a great spectacle. For this reason I favour fish, turtles, crocs etc. as they are water dwelling animals so can be returned to their “environment” with the addition of milk.

Healthy breakfast foods for kids

5. For pre-prep or different effect freeze the oats once you have removed from the mold and then add hot milk at the table for serving.

Fun, creative breakfast food for children

6. For the croc I used pepitas (pumpkin seeds) along his back and sultanas for eyes. I then sprinkled almonds, dried apricot pieces, coconut, sunflower seeds, pepitas and sultanas around to make the “swamp”. They also give the oat breakfast texture, flavour and add additional nutrients. Any nuts, seeds or dried fruit would work.

7. This would also make an excellent supper!!

 

More Ideas:

Fish

Healthy ideas for breakfasts

Snowman

Snowman_

Turtle

Fun kids breakfasts

Stars

Healthy breakfast food for children

The Art of Nutrition

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