Fun Apricot Dragonfly

Apricot Dragonfly

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

Sugar Free desserts for kids

Recipe

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

– Pear (or apple/melon)

– Blueberries (raisins)

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

Method

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

Apricot Dragonfly- 1 body-001

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

Apricot Dragonfly- 2 head-002

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

Apricot Dragonfly- 3 eyes-003

Using the stalks for antennae.

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

Apricot Dragonfly- 4 wings-004

5. Before cutting blueberries to make the tail.

Apricot Dragonfly- 5 tail-015

6. And it’s just that simple.

Simple desserts for kids

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

Fun Healthy Party Snacks

Healthy Party Snacks

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

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

Healthy party snacks

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

Veggie Sandwiches - Finished-004

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

Fun Salad Hot Air Balloon

Fun Salad Hot Air Balloon

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

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

Recipe

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

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

– Mushroom for the basket

– Cottage cheese for the clouds

Method

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

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 1 cheese-carrot-001

I made an outline from carrot cut into circles.

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

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 2 capsicum cucumber-002

3. I finished the yellow …

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 3 yellow capsicum-003

4. Before adding some radish.

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 4 radish-004

5. Then some cucumber sliced into semi-circles.

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 5 cucumber-005

6. And filled the centre with red cabbage.

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 6 red cabbage-007

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

Salad Hot Air Balloon - 7 basket-008

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

Creative salad ideas for kids

Perfect rainbow food for any occasion …..

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

Fun Giant Toadstool

Giant Toadstool

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

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

Healthy breakfast ideas for kids

Recipe

– Mushroom (big ones are easier to use)

– Boiled egg

– I used baby spinach and cherry tomatoes for the flowers

Method

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

Giant Toadstool - 1 Egg-002

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

Giant Toadstool - 2 mushroom-003

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

Giant Toadstool - 3 spots-005

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

Giant Toadstool - 4 flowers-006

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

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

Giant Toadstool - 5 flower centres-007

6. A lovely, simple light breakfast.

Healthy breakfast for kids

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

Fun Banana Giraffes

Banana Giraffes

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

Healthy food giraffe

A simple fun food plate that anyone can tackle.

Recipe

– 1 large banana

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

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

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

Method

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

Banana Giraffes - 1 bananas-001

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

Banana Giraffes - 2 cut bananas-002

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

Banana Giraffes - 3 heads-003

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

Banana Giraffes - 4 spots-005

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

Banana Giraffes - 5 eyes-006

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

Banana Giraffes - 6 ears-007

7. And more blueberry for their nostrils.

Banana Giraffes - 7 nostrils-008

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

Banana Giraffes - 8 ossicones-009

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

Fun food for kids

10. And a few more at the top.

Cute food ideas giraffe

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

Fun Watermelon Cup Cakes

Watermelon Cup Cakes

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

Healthy party food

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

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

Fun Capsicum Parrot

Capsicum Parrot

Or should he be a Pepper Parrot?

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

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

Healthy snacks for kids

Recipe

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

– Capsicums (bell peppers)

– Celery for the branch

– Olives for feet and beak

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

Method

1. I made a rough body shape from hummus.

Capsicum Parrot - 1 body-001

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

Capsicum Parrot - 2 wing-002

3. I elongated it with some red capsicum.

Capsicum Parrot - 3 red wing-004

4. Then added yet more.

Capsicum Parrot - 4 extended wings-005

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

Capsicum Parrot - 5 tail-006

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

Capsicum Parrot - 6 crown-007

7. And a celery branch to stand on.

Capsicum Parrot - 7 branch-010

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

Capsicum Parrot - 8 feet-011

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

Capsicum Parrot - 9 beak-013

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

Capsicum Parrot - 11 pupil-crown-016

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

Healthy food for kids parrot

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

Cute veggie snacks parrot

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

Fun Oat Puppy

Oat Puppy

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

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

Puppy breakfast picture

Recipe

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

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

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

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

Method

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

Oat Puppy - 1 mold-016

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

Oat Puppy - 2 Puppy-018

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

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

Oat Puppy - 3 eye & mouth-019

4. And another piece of almond for the ear.

Oat Puppy - 4 ear-020

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

Creative breakfast food

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

Healthy breakfast food for kids

Woof Woof.

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

Fun Valentine’s Strawberry Heart

Valentine’s Strawberry Heart

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

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

Healthy Valentines dessert

Recipe

– Fresh strawberries

Method

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

Valentines Heart - 1 mold-001

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

Valentines Heart - 2 strawberries-002

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

Valentines Heart - 3 numbers-003

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

Healthy Valentines food

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

Fun Valentine Hearts

Valentine’s Hearts

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

Healthy food for Valentines

Love food platesHealthy food ideasSpecial Valentines plates

Recipe

– Capsicums (Bell peppers) in various colours

– I used a little celery for detail

Method

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

Valentine Hearts - 1 red-004

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

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

Valentine Hearts - 2 I U-005

3. And added some colour.

Valentine Hearts - 3 green & yellow-006

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

Valentine Hearts - 4 little reds-007

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

Valentine Hearts - 5 detail-008

6. A simple Valentines salad plate.

Cute Valentines ideas

That could be presented so many ways:

Creative Valentines Plates

Healthy Valentines Food

Valentine Hearts

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

Fun Teddy Valentine

Valentine Teddy

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

Healthy breakfasts for kids

Recipe

– Wheatbrick soaked to soften

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

– ½ Strawberry for the rose

– Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for the stem and leaves

Method

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

Teddy Valentine - 1 mold-001

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

Teddy Valentine - 2 Teddy-002

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

Teddy Valentine - 3 Teddy refit-003

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

Teddy Valentine - 4 almonds-005

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

Teddy Valentine - 5 face-006

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

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

Teddy Valentine - 6 features-007

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

Teddy Valentine - 7 rose-008

8. Gave him a pepita ground to stand on.

Teddy Valentine - 8 ground-009

9. And then gave him some raisin love ….

Valentine breakfast

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

Fun Balloon Valentine

Balloon Valentine

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

Here are my love heart balloons.

Healthy Valentines snacks

Recipe

– Watermelon for the balloons (or any red fruit)

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

– I used blueberries for their heads

– I made the strings from sunflower seeds

Method

1. I cut bodies for the people from plum.

Balloon Valentine - 1 body-013

2. And added arms.

Balloon Valentine - 2 arms-012

3. Then legs.

Balloon Valentine - 3 legs-011

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

Balloon Valentine - 4 heads-010

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

Balloon Valentine - 5 strings-009

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

Balloon Valentine - 6 balloons-008

7. Gave them some sunflower seeds to walk on …

Creative Valentines Day food

And off they wandered into the sunset …

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

Fun Salad Garden

Salad Garden

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

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

Creative salads for kids

Recipe

I used:

– Cucumber

– Lettuce

– Cherry tomatoes

– Carrot

– Baby spinach leaves

– Coriander (cilantro) stems

– Celery

– Capsicum (bell pepper)

– Corn

– Hummus

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

Method

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

Salad Garden - 1 cucumber-001

2. Then I added celery leaves.

Salad Garden - 2 leaves-003

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

Salad Garden - 3 carrots-004

4. And added celery “grass”

Salad Garden - 4 celery-005

5. Giving the carrot flowers baby spinach leaves.

Salad Garden - 5 spinach-006

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

Salad Garden - 6 tomato-007

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

Salad Garden - 7 detail-009

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

Fun snacks for kids

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

9. The perfect summery garden.

Fun food for kids

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

Fun Egg Ducklings

Egg Ducklings

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

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

Healthy breakfast for kids

Recipe

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

– 1 large egg with yolk and white cooked separately

– I used a little olive for eyes

Method

1. Make the shape of the body.

Egg Ducklings - 1 bodies-001

2. Then add a head.

Egg Ducklings - 2 heads-002

3. I cut beak shapes from the cooked yolk.

Egg Ducklings - 3 beaks-003

4. And cut wings from the white.

Egg Ducklings - 4 wings-004

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

Egg Ducklings - 6 eyes-006

6. Then cut eyes from an olive.

Egg Ducklings - 6 eyes-006

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

Egg Ducklings - 7 water-007

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

Egg Ducklings - 8 waves-008

9. And with a few ripples.

Egg Ducklings - 9 ripples-010

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

Healthy kids snacks

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