Tick-tock Pineapple Clock

Tick-tock Pineapple Clock

As I had some older children coming over I wanted something still fun but a little “older” in terms of visuals. I was looking at a lovely, fresh pineapple and the segments just fall into triangles and from there the clock was born.

My esteemed guests used the apple and pineapple as a basis for creating an afternoon snack for themselves and had a fantastic time. Max also loved showing Joe how the Roman Numerals work so win win!

Recipe

– Pineapple (tinned if no fresh would do)

– Apple

Method

1. Start by cutting segments from the pineapple for the numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12.

 Tick Tock Pineapple Clock - 1 Pineapple

2. Add the hands (from apple or pear). It was all simple until I tried to cut the circle for the middle!!

Tick Tock Pineapple Clock - 2 w-hands

3. Make the numbers from slices of the inside of the apple. I used Roman Numerals as it simplifies things enormously!

Tick Tock Pineapple Clock - 3 w-numbers

4. I added little apple rectangles for the other numbers. And, that is it – super simple!

Tick Tock Pineapple Clock - Finished

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

Happy Birthday Catrina

Happy Birthday Catrina

My good friend Teresa from Melbourne was organising a sleep-over party for her lovely daughter Catrina who is turning 12 today! She decided to do home-made pizzas which the girls could make themselves followed by fruit creations inspired by my website. I am very honoured to feel a little long-distance inclusion in the festivities.

Catrina B'day - At the table

The girls were given a selection of fresh fruit and some classy, white plates to display their designs and then let loose. So much better than cake and twice as much fun I reckon, and by the look of the photos everyone else seems to agree!

Check out my new section “Kids Specials” to see the party pics..

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.

Apple Helicopter

Apple Helicopter

The bright red of this apple just screamed shiny paint. Combine this with the shape and there’s a helicopter just waiting to fly out!

This is fun, quick and simple and my boys were delighted.

Recipe

– 1 apple (green or red)

– 2 bananas (can just squeeze out the shapes needed using 1 banana if you cut carefully and use apple for the cab door)

– I used yoghurt for the clouds

Method

1. Cut the apple cheek to form the cab of the heli.

Apple Heli - 1 Apple

2. Cut two thin strips of banana to form the outside of the tail and another bit for the ski. I cut and took the photo and then realised the ski needed to be bigger once I put the propellers on (and looking at this photo now it should have been obvious!!).

Apple Heli - 1 b with tail & ski

3. Cut pieces from the inside of the apple to make the cross pattern in the tail.

Apple Heli - 2 tail + ski

4. Cut two more small strips of apple for the propeller struts top and rear. Slice long pieces of banana for the propellers on top and smaller ones from apple for the back.

Apple Heli - 3 Propellers

5. Slice a piece of banana or apple for the door on the cab. Apple Heli - Finished

I also added yoghurt clouds for extra interest, calcium, probiotics and to dip into.

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.

Max & Joe “do” Clown Faces

Max & Joe ‘do’ Clown Faces

 

Last night the boys saw the clown face I’d made as part of dinner and they were so inspired and wanted to do their own versions. I was tired, it was late and I said no …. but, after some high level negotiations we compromised on them doing their own but with no help from me at all. I got the veggies out (fortunately I had cooked enough potato) and set them up with a plate, a chopping board and a knife they can wield safely.

They sat in front of the Ipad and scrolled through the instructions on the blog (generously sharing some of the food with the screen) and were able to come up with their own plate each. Max had to help Joe with some of the chopping and they fought over the olives but aside from that it was smooth sailing. They were also so excited to eat their own work.

Which, does go to prove that the design may look complicated but it is actually very simple and great fun for the kids too!!

Max's Clown Face

Max’s version

Joe's Clown Face

Joe’s

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)..

Yoghurt Polar Bear

Yoghurt Polar Bear

 

Yoghurt has always been a firm favourite in our house and gets used in smoothies, in dips and a variety of savoury recipes. It is also our substitution for ice cream and the thick, creamy texture makes it decadently delicious.

When the boys were small I realised how expensive it was to buy the good stuff produced without all the sugars and additives so we took a brave step and decided to make our own. It turned out to be ridiculously simple and cost effective to make and so now Roy is chief yoghurt manufacturer. Friday morning he impressed even me by making it before heading off to work (apparently he can streamline the process by using the bar mix – I reckon he just likes creating washing up …..).

I used a mold for this design but then made some adjustments after previous criticism from the mini chefs. The result is cute and fun.

Recipe

– Yoghurt (I used Greek style)
– Apple (or pear)
– Raisins (for details). Could be substituted for any dark fruit
– Polar Bear mold. (Any white animal could be used but I loved the whole Arctic feel)

Method

1. Place yoghurt in mold. If you are using runny yoghurt you could freeze for a little while to thicken up.

 Polar Bear 2 - Mold

You may have to wipe around the mold if there is a little leakage.

2. Make the sun using the flesh from an apple. Cut a slice from the cheek and cut into a rough circle. Take strips from the side where the apple is longest and cut to a point for the rays.

Polar Bear 2 - Mold + sun

3. Put eyes, nose and claws onto the bear. I used very thinly sliced pieces from a raisin.

Polar Bear 2 - Bear + sun

Take him out of the mold.
I put a blob of yoghurt onto his bottom to round it out as I’ve had criticism that it’s not the “right” shape before! I also made a knife stroke down the centre of each of the two big “legs” to make into four.

4. Use small pieces of the apple to make the ice he is standing on.

Polar Bear 2 - Finished

This is a very versatile design as it could do for breakfast, snack, dessert or even as a party piece.

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

Brekkie Racing Car

Brekkie Racing Car

 

We had our first frost of the year today and so it’s cold but with glorious blue skies and sunshine. Made me think of breakfast and getting out and about so I put together something super simple and fun that I knew would be a crowd pleaser.

 Racing Car 2 - Finished 

Recipe

– Breakfast brick. I used a Wheat Brick (I am experimenting with making my own oat ones and will let you know how it goes!)

– Banana (apple would be a good substitute if you prefer)

– Round fruit such a grape (I used half a cherry)

– Seeds for decoration

 

Method

1. Place the brick on the plate. Cut the smaller ends of the banana for the front wheels and from the fatter part for the back wheels.

Racing Car 2 - Brick & wheels

2. Cut a slice for the front of the car and two blocks for the back (the rear wing will balance on these).

Racing Car 2 - Front & back

3. Cut a slice for the rear wing (I am assured this is what it’s called !?!!?) and place on the blocks.

Racing Car 2 - Seat

Cut a semi-circle to become the seat behind the “driver”.

4. Cut the piece of fruit in half to become the driver. I also made him a little steering wheel.

Racing Car 2 - Finished 2

Decorate if you wish. I added pepitas and sunflower seeds for crunch, extra nutrients and colour!

This really is so quick and easy. Add milk and zoom into the day …..

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

Pear Hedgehog

Pear Hedgehog

I can’t look at a pear without seeing some sort of an animal. Their shape just lends itself to creating! This is one I did for the boys last year and they were delighted by how fun and cute it was. I love using seeds as they are chock full of nutrients and are a great healthy snack.

 

    Pear Hedgehog - Front

Recipe

– Pear

– Dried fruit (I used apricots and sultanas)

– Pepitas (dried pumpkin/squash seeds). Sunflower seeds or almond flakes would also work well.

Method

1. Cut the pear in half and carefully remove the core.

Pear Hedgehog - Cut Pear

2. Make holes for the eyes, ears and nose (do not worry if they are not perfect as the fruit will squash over and cover any cutting ugliness).

Pear Hedgehog - Cut Pear + eyeholes

3. Add features to the hedgehog.

Pear Hedgehog - Cut Pear + eyes, nose, ears

4. Start adding the pepitas.

Pear Hedgehog - Caesar Do

He looks very Roman like this!

Initially you may find that the seeds seem to fall out quicker than you can put them in but persevere and work from the front backwards.

5. Cover completely.

Pear Hedgehog - Finished

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..