Fun Avocado Bird

Avocado Bird

Summer fruit and veggies are coming to the end for us so am making the most of the last available like avocadoes. Boys are on school holidays so wanted a simple salad design for lunch. Joe requested a bird and I thought it might encourage Max to eat some (one of the few veggies he’s not keen on). Soooo, here’s a very quick and easy fun food plate.

Avocado Bird

I changed half way through as the tail was too heavy!

Recipe

– Avocado

– Carrot

– Olive for eye

– Cottage cheese for clouds

Method

1. Slice two pieces of avocado for the wings. I used my knife to score “feathers”.

Avocado Bird - 1 wings (1 of 1)

2. Then I added a head.

Avocado Bird - 2 head (1 of 1)

3. And a body.

Avocado Bird - 3 body (1 of 1)

4. Cutting a beak from carrot.

Avocado Bird - 4 beak (1 of 1)

5. I initially tried a tail from celery but it’s too heavy.

Avocado Bird - 5 tail (1 of 1)

6. Then I made some long legs from carrot.

Avocado Bird - 6 legs (1 of 1)

7. And an eye from a piece of olive.

Avocado Bird - 7 eye (1 of 1)

8. Before swapping the tail for an avocado one and adding some cottage cheese clouds.

Healthy snack ideas for kids

Fly into a snack or a light lunch ….

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

Fun Toast Tower

Toast Tower

I’m devastated as my favourite bakery is closing down. Where to now for my lovely grainy bread with no preservatives? Although yesterday they were all sold out anyway and I had to settle for wholemeal …

Here’s a fun food breakfast. Jazz up the toast with a few mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and cheese. Yum.

Toast Tower - breakfast for kids

Recipe

– 2 slices of toast

– Mushrooms

– Tomato

– Baby Spinach

– Cheese

Method

1. Cut indents from the top of a slice of bread.

Toast Tower - 1 bread (1 of 1)

2. Then make a window.

Toast Tower - 2 window (1 of 1)

3. Toast and give the tower a second level.

Toast Tower - 3 second level (1 of 1)

4. Cover the join and make a door with some pre-cooked mushroom pieces and cut more windows.

Toast Tower - 5 mushrooms (1 of 1)

5. Then give the windows colour with some tomatoes, sliced to fit.

Toast Tower - 6 tomatoes (1 of 1)

And a lovely, mushroom full moon.

6. I used more mushrooms to make some ground.

Toast Tower - 7 ground (1 of 1)

7. Before growing some spinach trees.

Toast Tower - 8 spinach (1 of 1)

8. And adding some cheese for detail.

Fun healthy breakfast for kids

9. All finished and ready to demolish ….

Healthy castle breakfast

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

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

A special blog done with respect and thanks in recognition of Anzac Day (for those who served from Australia and New Zealand) and in honour of all those who sacrificed ….

Lest we Forget Fruit Poppy

Recipe

– Watermelon

– Plum

– Kiwi fruit

I actually started to do this with a red apple as the watermelon didn’t seem a vibrant enough red. However, the texture didn’t work so I reverted to the melon ….

Method

1. I cut the cheeks from an apple (then decided to cut slices from a melon).

Lest we Forget - 1 apple cheeks (1 of 1)

2. The outside needs to be wider than the centre of the petals.

Lest we Forget - 2 cut apple (1 of 1)

3. Then I sliced a circle from the outside of a dark plum.

Lest we Forget - 3 centre (1 of 1)

4. And cut the stalk from a Kiwi fruit.

Lest we Forget - 4 stalk (1 of 1)

5. Using a bit more to make the grass.

Lest we Forget - 5 ground (1 of 1)

6. And there it was finished.

Lest we Forget - Finished apple (1 of 1)

7. But it was too full and not “poppy-ish” enough so I swapped the apple petals for watermelon ones.

Anzac day fruit Poppy

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

Fun Flying Pigs

Flying Pigs

I was having a conversation about something being impossible and the “flying pigs” concept got stuck in my head!!

I made these cute, fun food pigs using a cookie cutter. The dye is roasted beetroot juice which gives a great colour without imparting any real flavour.

Cute food ideas for kids

Flying pigs kids food

Recipe

– Mashed potato (any mashed veg would do). I dyed part of it pink with beetroot juice.

– I used sliced beetroot for the eyes and noses

– I used wholemeal spaghetti for the tails

– I made the stars from cheese

Method

1. I mixed some mash with beetroot juice to make it pink then pushed it into a cookie cutter.

Flying Pigs - 1 mold (1 of 1)

2. Then I made two more.

Flying Pigs - 2 three pigs (1 of 1)

3. I fashioned some wings from regular mash.

Flying Pigs - 3 wings (1 of 1)

4. Before giving them some back wings too.

Flying Pigs - 4 more wings (1 of 1)

5. I used some spaghetti to give them little tails.

Flying Pigs - 5 tails (1 of 1)

6. Then cut some eyes from beetroot.

Flying Pigs - 6 eyes (1 of 1)

7. And used more to make noses (snouts?).

Flying Pigs - 7 noses (1 of 1)

8. As they are flying high they needed some cheese stars!

Ideas for fussy kids

Fun food ideas for kids

9. It’s true, pigs can fly …..

Food art Flying Pigs

Healthy food ideas for kids

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

Easter – how many “treats”?

Easter – how many “treats”?

Religion aside, Easter is one of those times that make me ponder what we, as a society, have created as the norm for children in regards to celebrations. I wander into any supermarket, discount store, variety shop and even petrol/gas station and am greeted by rows and rows of chocolate eggs. How many do we need!?!?!?

I made the decision when my boys were born not to introduce chocolates, lollies and sweets as a “treat”. I felt there were many better options for rewards and also I wanted to make their lives simpler. They just do not crave sweets (unlike the rest of us!!).

This has made Easter so simple in our house as there is no expectation of chocolate or traditional Easter Eggs. I do not want to be a complete “bah, humbug” either so we have created traditions that the boys look forward to and make Easter into a special celebration. Each year I make a clutch of home-made eggs created from a healthy muesli bar recipe and wrap them in brightly coloured paper. These then get hidden around the house and garden (weather dependent) and the boys love the thrill of the hunt. We also have a special meal out over the long weekend and spend time together picking a restaurant that will make for a really good night out for everyone.

I wonder whether the chocolate excess is really a necessary part of Easter or whether like many things in our consumer driven societies it has become an accepted norm when really it’s quite “abnormal” to expect our children to eat multiple, large eggs. Having a chocolate egg for Easter seems like an exciting “treat”. Is having more too much? Should we be looking for alternative gifts if gifts are part of our tradition?

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

Fun Giant Easter Egg

Giant Easter Egg

Happy Easter!!

Here is my healthy, fun food giant Easter egg to share.

Healthy fruit easter egg

Recipe

– Yoghurt (or cream cheese/coconut cream)

– Blueberries

– Melon

– Plum

– Mandarin

– Kiwi fruit

– Green apple

– Red Apple

You can of course substitute any fruit you have to hand!

Method

1. Make a rough egg shape from yoghurt.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 1 yoghurt

2. Start filling with the fruit. I used blueberries.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 2 blueberries

3. Then a layer of melon.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 3 melon

4. Followed by some plum.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 4 plum (1 of 1)

5. Then some Kiwi fruit.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 5 kiwi (1 of 1)

6. And more blueberries.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 6 blueberries (1 of 1)

7. Before adding some colour with Mandarin segments.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 7 mandarins (1 of 1)

8. Then a strip of green apple.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 8 pear (1 of 1)

9. More plum.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 9 plum (1 of 1)

10. And more melon.

Giant Fruit Easter Egg - 10 melon (1 of 1)

11. Once the egg was complete I cut some red apple into a “bow” shape.

Party food no sugar for easter

12. And that is my finished Giant Easter Egg.

Cute ideas giant Easter egg

Have a very Happy Easter !!

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

Fun Melon Fish

Melon Fish

For those who celebrate Easter fish is traditionally served on Good Friday. I thought I’d join in by putting together a fun food, fish plate (of the dessert kind!!).

Healthy desserts for kids no sugar

Recipe

– Melon (or apple/pear/stone fruit)

– Red apple (any largish contrasting coloured fruit is good)

– I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds for the sea floor

Method

1. I cut the melon into pieces and then started to slot them roughly together starting with the mouth. Just make an approximate fish shape and it’ll come together!

Melon Fish - 1 mouth (1 of 1)

2. I placed melon slices around the bottom.

Melon Fish - 2 underside (1 of 1)

3. Then some around the top.

Melon Fish - 3 body (1 of 1)

See how messy and “unfish” like it looks at this time!

4. Fill in the spaces with more melon.

Melon Fish - 4 filled (1 of 1)

I used the softer flesh from the middle by the seeds to cover the lines.

5. Then cut the cheeks from an apple to form the tail and the lower fin.

Melon Fish - 5 fin & tail (1 of 1)

6. And used some more of the apple to make the upper fin. I cut into rough rectangles and sliced the bottoms at an angle so the fin got gradually lower.

Melon Fish - 6 top fin (1 of 1)

7. I cut careful slices out of the apple on the fin and tail to give them detail (cut only half way through the flesh).

Melon Fish - 7 fin detail (1 of 1)

8. Then I used more of the apple skin for a smile and the gill.

Melon Fish - 8 smile (1 of 1)

9. The eyes look so cool as they’re almost 3-D. I cut them from the apple flesh using a thick piece so they really stand out. The pupils are just a little of the skin cut into a rough circle.

Melon Fish - 9 eyes (1 of 1)

10. And no fish would be complete without some bubbles (apple).

Melon Fish - 10 bubbles (1 of 1)

11. Before making a sea-bed from pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Fun fruit ideas fish

12. A fun fish for Friday.

Cute fruit ideas for kids

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

Fun Egg Box Eggs

Egg Box Eggs

OK so this week is turning into egg week – without any actual eggs!!

I have wanted to use an egg box to serve egg shaped veggies for a while and Easter was a good excuse for this fun food experiment. Joe was absolutely delighted with the presentation and both boys couldn’t wait to test the “eggs”.

Fun healthy Easter eggs

Use any veg you like.

Recipe

– Egg box (I lined with cling film/Glad wrap)

I used:

– Mashed potato

– Mashed pumpkin

– Bubble and squeak (potato mixed with spinach and cheese and lightly fried)

– Mashed peas (mixed with a little potato to help hold shape)

– Roasted beetroot (mixed with potato to hold shape)

– Fresh corn (mixed with potato)

Method

1. Line an egg box with foil or cling film for hygiene.

Egg Box Eggs - 1 box (1 of 1)

2. Form some mash into an egg shape and place in the box.

Egg Box Eggs - 2 mash (1 of 1)

3. Then do the same with some pumpkin.

Egg Box Eggs - 3 pumpkin (1 of 1)

4. I used some leftover bubble and squeak.

Egg Box Eggs - 4 bubble & squeak (1 of 1)

5. Before mixing some peas with mash for the 4th egg.

Egg Box Eggs - 5 peas (1 of 1)

6. Then I did the same with some beetroot.

Egg Box Eggs - 6 beetroot (1 of 1)

7. Finishing with some corn.

Egg Box Eggs - 7 corn (1 of 1)

8. So simple and a great fun way to present veggies.

Creative egg ideas Easter

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

Fun Easter Bunny Eggs

Easter Bunny Eggs

The Easter Egg hunt on Easter Sunday morning is a big tradition in our house. Although Max is getting too old there is still something magical about a hunt for hidden treasure!! This year will be no different and the bunny will smuggle a sack of eggs to the holiday home we’re renting and hopefully remember to get up early enough to hide them around the place.

Max has always been rapt that the bunny realises he doesn’t like chocolate or sugary substitutes and always brings special eggs. Joe just wants to eat something extra and relishes the opportunity ….

Sugar free easter egg hunt eggs

So as usual I have made a batch of healthy muesli bar mix and formed it into egg shapes then wrapped in foil (which I will freeze until Sat.). Roy suggested using different coloured foils – now why didn’t I think of that?

 

Recipe

– Muesli bar mix (recipe printed at the end of the blog)

– Foil or pretty paper to wrap eggs

Method

1. Cook the muesli mix.

Muesli Eggs - 1 muesli mix (1 of 1)

2. Press and roll into egg shapes.

Muesli Eggs - 2 egg shape (1 of 1)

3. Wrap in foil, whistle for the bunny …

No Sugar Easter Eggs

Muesli Bar Mix – (no sugar or sugar substitutes)

1. Prepare 1/4 cup of chopped dates, 1/4 cup of chopped dried apricots and 1/2 cup of sultanas
2. Squeeze all the juice from 1 ½ oranges and soak the dried fruit in it (if you are eliminating a dried fruit substitute for another to give the bars the sweetness).
3. Heat oven to 180 degrees.
4. Grease a baking pan to cook in (mine is old and scratched so I line with greased baking paper to stop it sticking!)
5. Mix together in a bowl:
– 1/6 cup wholemeal flour
– 1 cup wholegrain oats
– ½ cup desiccated coconut
– Pinch of baking soda
– ¼ tsp baking powder
– 1/5 cup of pepitas *
– 1/5 cup of sunflower seeds *
– 1/8 cup of ground linseeds *
– ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
– I add lemon zest
6. Use a bar mix to blitz the orange juice/dried fruit to form a paste.
7. Add a large egg and 1/4 cup of melted butter (can substitute olive oil) and mix together.
8. Add the liquid to the dried mix and combine thoroughly.
9. Press gently into a pan.
10. Cook for approx. 15 mins.

(* optional ingredients)

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

Fun Whole Watermelon Cake

Whole Watermelon Cake

With Easter approaching and school holidays there are always so many opportunities for socialising. I love having a few healthy show stoppers up my sleeve so I can join the party without being a “pooper”!!

This whole watermelon cake always goes down so well and is a lovely counterbalance to all the sugar that is traditional. Decoration can be simple or fancy and done to your own taste.

Whole Watermelon Cake

If watermelons are not available or not your thing try the fruit mini cakes that can be made with apples or other fruit:

http://theartofnutrition.com/?p=228

Healthy party desserts

Recipe

– Watermelon (the one I made was smaller than a dinner plate so used well less than half a large watermelon – adjust the size to fit number of guests)

– Thick yoghurt for icing (for tips see below *). For non-dairy use chilled then whipped coconut cream (to make thicker only use the solid part from the tin). I actually prefer the coconut cream but my bar mix died today and I could not face hand-whipping!!

– I used Blueberries, Kiwi and Mint for decoration on top

– I used Sliced Almonds for decorating the sides

Get creative!!

(* Thickening yoghurt is really simple. Use cheesecloth or a Chux/J-Cloth to filter out some of the liquid. Simply place the cloth over a small bowl and elastic band it into place then place yoghurt on top and allow the liquid to drip into the bowl in the fridge for a few hours).

Method

1. Cut a cake shape from the watermelon (you can go rectangular if you wish!)

Whole Watermelon Cake - 1 watermelon (1 of 1)

I got rid of most of the seeds too.

2. Then covered it in thick yoghurt.

Whole Watermelon Cake - 2 yoghurt (1 of 1)

3. I decorated with blueberries around the edge.

Whole Watermelon Cake - 3 blueberries (1 of 1)

4. And added sliced kiwi fruit in the middle.

Whole Watermelon Cake - 4 kiwi (1 of 1)

5. Before adding some mint.

Whole Watermelon Cake - 5 mint (1 of 1)

6. I used sliced almonds to create a pattern around the side of the cake.

Healthy cakes for kids parties

7. And then wanted to pick up the green so switched plates.

Whole Watermelon Cake with icing

8. I wondered whether a splash of colour would enhance but the mini-chefs said “nah”.

Party cakes no sugar

Simple, refreshing, fabulous looking and healthy!

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

Fun Veggie Bunnies

Veggie Bunnies

The Easter themes continue with my fun food veggie bunnies. I actually made these from a lentil/carrot mix I made but you could use potato/pumpkin/sweet potato or a veggie or bean mash.

Fun food for Easter for kids

Recipe

– A mash or thick puree (I used lentil)

– Mashed potato/cream cheese for the teeth and tails

– I used pumpkin for ears (or carrot/sweet potato)

– I used corn for eyes (or peas/carrots/olives)

– Carrots made from carrot and parsley

– Veggies to decorate – I used broccoli and peas

Method

1. Fashion the body and head of the bunny.

Veggie Bunnies - 1 lentils

2. Then add some pumpkin ears.

Veggie Bunnies - 2 ears

3. And mash teeth and tail.

Veggie Bunnies - 3 nose-tail

4. Before giving her some eyes.

Veggie Bunnies - 4 eyes

5. Oh my goodness they are multiplying!!

Veggie Bunnies - 5 3 bunnies

6. Better give them something to eat.

Veggie Bunnies - 6 veggies

7. Or would they prefer carrots?

Veggie Bunnies - 7 carrots

8. OK. Everyone ready to eat?

Cute food ideas for kids rabbits

 

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

Fun Brekkie Bunny

Brekkie Bunny

Breakfast can be such a routine meal, but with a little extra time we can transform it into an Easter special!

Here is my fun food, wheatbrick bunny. Simple, cute and eaten in a heart-beat ….

Fun food for breakfast

Recipe

– 3 wheatbricks

– I used pear for the detail (apple/melon would work too)

– I used blueberries for pupils/nose/mouth (other dark fruit like plums or raisins would work)

Method

1. I soaked a wheatbrick in a little milk just so it would hold form but not enough to be “stodgy”. Using an egg ring to make the circular shape for the face.

Brekkie Bunny - 1 mold

2. Then removed it from the mold.

Brekkie Bunny - 2 face

3. I cut two wheatbricks into rough ear shapes.

Brekkie Bunny - 3 ears

4. Before using some pear to make teeth.

 

5. And more pear for eyes (bit scary looking!!)

Brekkie Bunny - 5 eyes

6. Then made the insides of the ears.

Brekkie Bunny - 6 ear inside

7. And to make him less scary some blueberry pupils for the eyes and another for the nose.

Brekkie Bunny - 7 eyes

8. I cut a blueberry and stretched it to make a mouth shape and then framed it with pear whiskers.

Brekkie Bunny - 8 whiskers

9. Just add milk or yoghurt and hoppity hop into breakfast.

Easter bunny breakfast for kids

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

Fun Apple Baskets

Apple Basket

Easter baskets seem to be a very traditional part of the season. My boys love using them to collect the muesli eggs the bunny kindly leaves as he knows they don’t eat chocolate!!

I’ve made a super simple, fun food apple basket that can be filled with fruit of your choice. Joe was so taken with it and couldn’t wait to eat it. It’s a great party piece as everything is edible.

Healthy Easter snacks for kids

Recipe

– Apple

– Fruit to stuff. I used grapes, blueberries and bits of the rest of the apple

Method

1. Cut the apple in half.

Apple Basket - 1 apple (1 of 1)

2. Hollow out one side.

Apple Basket - 2 hollowing (1 of 1)

3. Slice the handle from the other side. Cut across the top/middle to make as high as possible and then remove most of the flesh.

Apple Basket - 3 handle (1 of 1)

4. Stuff with fruit.

Apple Basket - 4 filled basket (1 of 1)

5. And it’s as quick and easy as that.

Healthy Easter gifts food

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

Fun Potato Chicks

Potato Chicks

Here’s a lovely, simple fun food lunch or dinner that the mini-chefs can help you put together.

Potato Chicks Easter plate

Recipe

– Steamed potato (or other large veg). I cut prior to steaming.

– Corn

– Carrots (or other contrasting coloured veg)

– I used peas and beans for the grass

– Olives for eyes (could use peas)

Method

1. Use the large slices of potato for the bodies.

Potato Chicks - 1 potatoes (1 of 1)

2. Then cut some head shapes.

Potato Chicks - 2 heads (1 of 1)

3. Before adding some corn “feathers”.

Potato Chicks - 3 corn (1 of 1)

4. Slice some carrot beaks.

Potato Chicks - 4 beaks (1 of 1)

5. Then cut some carrot feet.

Potato Chicks - 5 feet (1 of 1)

6. I gave them some carrot crowns.

Potato Chicks - 6 crowns (1 of 1)

7. And then some olive eyes.

Potato Chicks - 7 eyes (1 of 1)

8. Before adding some peas and beans for grass.

Potato Chicks - 8 grass (1 of 1)

9. And it’s as simple as that …

Healthy food for kids Easter

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