Fun Mandarin Ostrich

Mandarin Ostrich

On a roll with the mandarin designs – they’re just so easy!

Here’s my fun food, Mandarin Ostrich.

Fun food art Mandarin Ostrich


– Mandarin

– Brown pear or apple

– Raisin or blueberry

– Sunflower seeds or nuts


1. Use half a mandarin as the body.

Mandarin Ostrich - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Add a pear neck with a little piece that the beak will fit onto.

Mandarin Ostrich - 2 neck & head (1 of 1)

3. Then some pear legs and feet.

Mandarin Ostrich - 3 legs (1 of 1)

4. Use some of the flesh for the beak.

Mandarin Ostrich - 4 beak (1 of 1)

5. And a raisin for the pupil.

Mandarin Ostrich - 5 pupils (1 of 1)

6. Then it’s time for some ostentatious tail feathers.

Mandarin Ostrich - 6 tail (1 of 1)

7. And a little neck ruff.

Mandarin Ostrich - 7 neck rough (1 of 1)

8. Give him some ground to run on.

Mandarin Ostrich - 8 ground (1 of 1)

9. Finished!

Healthy kids snacks Mandarin Ostrich

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

Fun Pineapple Porcupine

Pineapple Porcupine

Ahhhhh, had a terrible mother moment and realised I’d forgotten to make a share plate for Joe to take to a social occasion and had literally 10 mins to rectify my “unmotherliness”.

Apologise for the quality of the photos as it was a mad dash from start to finish.

Here’s my fun food, share plate, a Pineapple Porcupine (and yes he was appreciated, devoured and finished!) phew, I am redeemed.

Healthy Party food Pineapple Porcupine


– Pineapple (I used fresh but tinned would work)

– Red Apple (or pear/melon/stone fruit)

– Plum (or just use more apple)


1. Chop the pineapple and start to build the body.

Pineapple Porcupine - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Add more pineapple and form an oval-ish shape.

Pineapple Porcupine - 1 more body (1 of 1)

3. Pile on a second layer.

Pineapple Porcupine - 2 next layer (1 of 1)

4. Use cocktail sticks as the spines and for ease of eating.

Pineapple Porcupine - 4 skewers (1 of 1)

5. Cut the red apple to form the head and ears.

Pineapple Porcupine - 5 head & ears (1 of 1)

6. And use more for the feet.

Pineapple Porcupine - 6 feet (1 of 1)

7. Add pupils from dark plum.

Pineapple Porcupine - 7 eyes (1 of 1)

8. Then slice a circle of plum for the nose.

Pineapple Porcupine - Finished (1 of 1)

9. And he’s ready to serve.

Fun food art Pineapple Porcupine

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

Fresh Food Lunchbox Workshop

Fresh Food Lunchbox Workshop

Fresh Food Lunchbox Workshop

I love the opportunity to present lovely, fresh food beautifully and make it the hero for snacks, dinners or parties. I use this knowledge to provide healthy options at community functions. I also take the food art and fresh food cooking into school and local groups to excite children about real food choices.

Recently I have begun running “Fresh Food Lunchbox Workshops” for parents. These have as the focus facilitating a change from packaged lunches to a fresh food lunchbox. They are interactive and provide guidance for simple steps to change habits.

On Tue I was privileged to be asked to speak to parents at a local preschool and my lovely Max lobbied to help and put himself in charge of the graphics. It was great to have him along and he was also able to discuss his experiences as a primarily sugar-free child in a sugary world!

I will be sharing the information from the workshop on how to make a transition with food choices on my new website (to be launched very soon). The focus will be on fresh food for lunches and also family meals with tricks, tips and recipes to support this.

Watch this space …

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

Fun Scarecrow Dip

Scarecrow Dip

Hope he’s not too “scary clown” looking!

Here’s my fun food, Scarecrow Dip.

Creative food for picky eaters Scarecrow Dip


– Dip (I used hummus)

– Celery

– Cucumber

– Carrot

– Red capsicum (bell pepper)

– Olives


1. Put the dip in a bowl. Having a lip makes it easier to balance the hat and hair!

Scarecrow Dip - 1 dip (1 of 1)

2. Use celery to form a hat.

Scarecrow Dip - 2 hat (1 of 1)

3. Cut a triangle of cucumber for the nose.

Scarecrow Dip - 3 nose (1 of 1)

4. Then use more for the eyes and pupils.

Scarecrow Dip - 4 eyes (1 of 1)

5. Add some strips of carrot for hair.

Scarecrow Dip - 5 hair (1 of 1)

6. And slices of olive for the mouth.

Scarecrow Dip - 6 mouth (1 of 1)

7. Give him some rosy, red capsicum cheeks.

Scarecrow Dip - 7 cheeks (1 of 1)

8. And he’s ready to party!

Fun food art Scarecrow Dip

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small


Fun Mandarin Balloons

Mandarin Balloons

Mandarins are the perfect shape for lots of things, including balloons!

Here are my fun food, Mandarin Balloons.

Fun food art Mandarin Balloons


– Mandarin

– Pear

– Kiwi fruit

– Linseeds/flaxseeds

– Desiccated coconut


1. Peel the mandarin and split in half to form the balloons.

Mandarin Balloons - 1 mandarins (1 of 1)

2. Add a pear basket for each.

Mandarin Balloons - 2 baskets (1 of 1)

3. Then pear flesh for the ropes.

Mandarin Balloons - 3 ropes (1 of 1)

4. Slice pear to form the buildings below.

Mandarin Balloons - 4 building (1 of 1)

5. Then use some kiwifruit for the greenery.

Mandarin Balloons - 5 grass (1 of 1)

6. Add some detail to the buildings using pear and linseeds.

Mandarin Balloons - 6 detail (1 of 1)

7. Finishing with some desiccated coconut clouds.

Fun food for picky kids Mandarin Balloons

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small


Fun Oat Clown

Oat Clown

My boys view porridge as a treat for breakfast so they are always excited when I make a bowl. With extra fruit – bonus!!

Here’s my fun food, Oat Clown.

Creative breakfast Oat Clown


– Oats

– Red apple

– Green pear

– Raisins/blueberries


1. Make a bowl of porridge or soaked oats.

Oat Clown - 1 oats (1 of 1)

2. Add a big, red, apple nose.

Oat Clown - 2 nose (1 of 1)

3. And a curved mouth.

Oat Clown - 3 mouth (1 of 1)

4. Then a bright smile.

Oat Clown - 4 smile (1 of 1)

5. Some apple eyes.

Oat Clown - 5 eyes (1 of 1)

6. With some clown-like crosses.

Oat Clown - 6 crosses (1 of 1)

7. And some funky, pear hair.

Oat Clown - 7 hair (1 of 1)

8. Then some raisin pupils.

Oat Clown - 8 pupils (1 of 1)

9. A triangle of apple makes the perfect hat.

Fun food art Oat Clown

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

Fun Pear Elephant

Pear Elephant

Elephants are so hard to do! Not sure I nailed this and the boys agreed but didn’t stop them eating it anyway!

Here’s my fun food Pear Elephant.

Cute food for kids Pear Elephant


– Brown pear

– Raisin (or blueberry)

– Pepitas/pumpkin seeds

– Persimmon/orange


1. Cut a body from the flesh of the pear.

Pear Elephant - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Add a tail.

Pear Elephant - 2 tail (1 of 1)

3. And 3 legs (oops?).

Pear Elephant - 3 feet (1 of 1)

4. Then the head.

Pear Elephant - 4 head (1 of 1)

5. Using the outside of the pear for the trademark ears.

Pear Elephant - 5 ears (1 of 1)

6. Adding a big trunk.

Pear Elephant - 6 trunk (1 of 1)

7. And a raisin eye.

Pear Elephant - 7 eye (1 of 1)

8. Then a bright orange persimmon sun.

Pear Elephant - 8 sun (1 of 1)

9. Pepitas and chopped pear form the ground.

Pear Elephant - 9 ground (1 of 1)

10. Finished!

Fun food art Pear Elephant

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small


Fun Hummus Fish

Hummus Fish

My boys love home-made hummus with their veggie sticks. Thought we’d go one step further and create a dip/veggie plate.

Here’s my fun food, Hummus Fish. Quick, simple, delicious.

Fun food for picky kids Hummus Fish


– Hummus (or bean dip)

– Cucumber

– Carrot

– Corn

– Dill (or other edible plants!)


1. Form a body from the dip.

Hummus Fish - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Add some big, cucumber eyes.

Hummus Fish - 2 eyes (1 of 1)

3. And carrot tail fins.

Hummus Fish - 3 tail (1 of 1)

4. Then some side fins.

Hummus Fish - 4 fins (1 of 1)

5. Add some spikes.

Hummus Fish - 5 spines (1 of 1)

6. A few more spikes and a cucumber smile.

Hummus Fish - 6 spines-smile (1 of 1)

7. Then use the inside of the cucumber for the pupil.

Hummus Fish - 7 pupil (1 of 1)

8. Corn makes perfect sand.

Hummus Fish - 8 sand (1 of 1)

9. Then some dill and its flowers for seabed plants.

Hummus Fish - 9 plants (1 of 1)

10. A few cucumber bubbles and we’re all finished.

Fun food art Hummus Fish

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

Fun Banana Caterpillar

Banana Caterpillar

Busy at the moment so looking for super simple, fun food ideas. Here’s my cute Banana Caterpillar.

Fun food art Banana Caterpillar


– Banana

– Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

– Raisin


1. Cut the banana into circles to form the body then add a pointed tail.

Banana Caterpillar - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Use pepitas to create legs and antennae.

Banana Caterpillar - 2 legs (1 of 1)

3. Then add raisin eyes and mouth.

Banana Caterpillar - 3 face (1 of 1)

4. I thinned down the tail a little and she’s finished!

Fun food for picky kids Banana Caterpillar

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small


Fun Cucumber Tree

Cucumber Tree

I had some spinach pesto to use so wanted to incorporate it into a quick snack. Simple, make a fun food, Cucumber Tree!

Fun, healthy food Cucumber Tree


– Carrot

– Cucumber

– Pesto

– Corn


1. Cut a trunk from carrot.

Cucumber Tree - 1 trunk (1 of 1)

2. Use slices of cucumber to make leaves.

Cucumber Tree - 2 leaves (1 of 1)

3. Add pesto grass.

Cucumber Tree - 3 grass (1 of 1)

4. Then finish with corn flowers and cucumber birds.

Fun food art Cucumber Tree

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

Fun Delicious Dips at Cubs

Delicious Dips at Cubs

I was really excited to be invited to run cooking sessions for the local junior cubs last week. They have two separate groups so I put together 4 sugar, nut and dairy free dips that everyone could make and then taste. We combined this with some knife skills chopping crudites – veg for the savoury dips and fruit for the dessert dips.

It was all a bit mad especially as the cub leaders needed to take charge of the recipes and I think a few measurements went slightly awry ….! Luckily everyone had a great time and we discovered some very enthusiastic choppers and people who never realised they’d enjoy a pesto or a hummus.

Cooking with six and seven year olds is great fun and there are so many skills they get to use. Everything from how to use a knife safely to which is a tablespoon and which is a teaspoon. And not of course forgetting my favourite mantra – “healthy food is delicious food”.

Healthy dips at Cubs

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

Fun Apple Polar Bear

Apple Polar Bear

We are in the middle of a very cold snap here with snow on the mountains ringing Wellington. A fun food, Apple Polar Bear seemed very appropriate!

Fun food art Apple Polar Bear


– Red apple

– Raisins

– Desiccated coconut

– Dill (or other edible greenery)


1. Cut a large oval from apple for the body.

Apple Polar Bear - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Add a round piece for the head.

Apple Polar Bear - 2 head (1 of 1)

3. And two ears.

Apple Polar Bear - 3 ears (1 of 1)

4. Give him paws.

Apple Polar Bear - 4 hands & feet (1 of 1)

5. Then use raisins for eyes and nose.

Apple Polar Bear - 5 eyes & nose (1 of 1)

6. And paw pads.

Apple Polar Bear - 6 paws (1 of 1)

7. Cut the skin side for a little fish.

Apple Polar Bear - 7 fish (1 of 1)

8. Then slice a piece of apple for his rock and sprinkle desiccated coconut for the water.

Apple Polar Bear - 8 rock (1 of 1)

9. Add some more fish in the water.

Apple Polar Bear - 9 more fish (1 of 1)

10. Then some coconut snow.

Apple Polar Bear - 10 snow (1 of 1)

11. A few dill trees in the background and he’s finished.

Fun food for picky kids Apple Polar Bear

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

Fun Yoghurt Flowers

Yoghurt Flowers

My boys love yoghurt for dessert. If it’s topped with extra fruit then even better! Here are some fun food Yoghurt Flowers. Use whatever fruit is your favourite.

Fun food art Yoghurt Flowers Sugar free desserts Yoghurt Flowers Healthy, fun food Yoghurt Flowers


– Plain yoghurt

– Fruit. I used apple, mango, persimmon, blueberries

– Pepitas (sunflower seeds)


1. For the apple flower cut petals.

Yoghurt Flowers - 1 petals (1 of 1)

2. Add pepitas for stem and leaves.

Yoghurt Flowers - 2 stem (1 of 1)

3. Finish with a blueberry centre.

Creative food Yoghurt Flowers

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

Healthy School Disco

No Junk Junk

There are many junk products marketed as healthy foods but for the school winter disco we decided to turn the tables. For the seniors we had home-made burgers (created from top quality meat) and served in preservative/sugar free wholemeal rolls with sauce that contained no sweeteners. For the vegetarians there was a bean burger option and all were eaten with delight. It was fabulous to see good food served and enjoyed.

Healthy food for school disco

Healthy food can be fun. Healthy food can be delicious. Healthy food can be reasonably priced and served at a fund raiser.

For the junior disco we again had fruit salad cups but next time we’re planning a home-made banana based “ice cream”.

Sugar free food for school disco













The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small

Fun Avocado Owl

Avocado Owl

Ah, made this a little while ago and then forgot to post! It’s my cute, fun food, lunch – an Avocado Owl.

Healthy kids snacks Avocado Owl


– Avocado

– Celery

– Carrot

– Radish

– Cucumber

– Coriander (cilantro) leaves – any edible leaves work!

– Yellow capsicum (bell pepper)

– Olives


1. Cut an avocado in half and peel for the body.

Avocado Owl - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Add some big eyes from the inside of a radish.

Avocado Owl - 2 eyes (1 of 1)

3. Then a little, carrot beak.

Avocado Owl - 3 beak (1 of 1)

4. And some carrot feet.

Avocado Owl - 4 feet (1 of 1)

5. Use sliced celery for feathers.

Avocado Owl - 5 feathers  (1 of 1)

6. More celery makes the top feathers (ears?).

Avocado Owl - 6 ears (1 of 1)

7. Rings of olive make perfect pupils.

Avocado Owl - 7 eyes (1 of 1)

8. With slices of cucumber for wings.

Avocado Owl - 8 wings (1 of 1)

9. Then branches made from celery stalks.

Avocado Owl - 9 branches (1 of 1)

10. Using coriander (cilantro) for the leaves.

Avocado Owl - 10 leaves (1 of 1)

11. And finishing with a yellow capsicum (bell pepper), crescent moon.

Cute food for kids Avocado Owl

12. Or should it be a full moon?

Fun food art Avocado Owl

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

Fun Mandarin Spider

Mandarin Spider

Mandarins are perfect for lunchboxes or after school treats. Small, sweet and easy to pack and peel.

Here’s my fun food Mandarin Spider that can be whipped up in minutes!

Sugar free kids food Mandarin Spider


– Mandarins

– Blueberry (raisin)

– Yoghurt/cream cheese


1. Peel a mandarin for the body.

Mandarin Spider - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Add a slightly smaller one for the head.

Mandarin Spider - 2 head (1 of 1)

3. Then break one apart and use the segments for legs.

Mandarin Spider - 3 legs (1 of 1)

4. Use a blueberry sliced in half with a blob of yoghurt for the eyes.

Mandarin Spider - 4 eyes (1 of 1)

5. Finished. Bet the kids could make themselves!

Fun food art Mandarin Spider

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