Lunch Wraps

Have been recipe testing – which the boys love and hate in equal measure. Today was a love day as I’ve done some rather successful brown rice wraps. Joe has his filled with mince, veg and cheese (to be melted). Max’s have cheese and home-made tomato sauce. They roll and stay together well. Good one Mum!! They were also very excited as my lovely neighbour gifted us some home-grown damsons. We all LOVE the tartness and the sweetness.

For more lunchbox ideas and ever growing list of recipes head to www.theartofnutrition.co.nz

Healthy lunchboxes gluten free wraps


Quick healthy vegetarian Lunchbox

Kumara Quiche

Kumara Quiche

The kumara (sweet potato) quiche I baked yesterday for Max was well received and of course makes the perfect lunch fare. Here he’s taking a big chunk of the quiche and some baked cauli tots in the thermos. He also has his standard chopped veggies, a piece of fresh corn, home-made yoghurt with fermented strawberries and blueberries and cherries and watermelon. No prizes for guessing what season we’re in!

Healthy Vegetarian Lunchbox

Re-learning How to Cook

Re-learning How to Cook

As Max is determined to remain a vegetarian for a while I need to rethink the way I cook. It is not enough to dump the meat and add some melted cheese or an egg. I am gradually getting better at providing meals that are tasty and nutritious without the traditional proteins I would add. But I am still a long way off being confident that I am providing a balanced diet and being able to serve enough decent protein substitutes and fat to keep Max satiated. Not only do I not want him to feel hungry but I want to make sure he is looking forward to meals with the same enthusiasm he used to. Ahhh, to be at a less busy point so I have the luxury of spending hours perusing new recipe ideas. But alas that is not so. I have however, made a promise to myself that I will do one recipe specifically for Max every other day so I am at least moving forwards and getting closer to serving the sort of food that will tick all of my boxes.

Healthy Kids Lunchboxes

The lunchbox shown is Joe’s from this morning. Chopped veg, corn, nectarine, plum, home-made yoghurt with fermented strawberries and blueberries. To go in the thermos a marinated chicken wing, a zucchini fritter and some potato wedges. Max got the same but minus the chicken wing and I added a broccoli burger and some melted cheese (yes I resorted to the melted cheese … sigh). In my defense the broccoli burger was a new recipe and it rocked!

Non grain quiche

I am feeling very smug about tonight though. Check out the Kumara (sweet potato) Quiche. It looks and smells fab and I tasted the mixture and can confirm that if Max doesn’t like it I will be quite happy to snarf the whole lot.

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small


Fun Kids Food Art

Kids Food Art

Things have got crazy busy for me organising workshops, running programs, doing cooking classes and gearing up for a gig at the GF & Allergy Show. The boys have decided to help by doing some food art for me. And do it they have. Check out the Apple Hummingbird from Max and Joe’s Parrot!

Food Art kids Hummingbird Cute kids food art Parrot

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

Max’s Moral Stand

Max’s Moral Stand

So my lovely Max has just started at Intermediate School. It’s a big step up in terms of maturity and responsibility. Now he needs to leave a lot earlier for school, catch the train to and fro and generally be more independent. It’s been such a positive move for him and he’s loving it all. Mon night he came home from school and asked whether he could go vegetarian. We discussed his reasons for choosing to do this and he explained what he was thinking and what he had researched. I said that it wasn’t a problem but a little more warning may have been helpful. To which he replied “we eat so many veggies anyway it’s not exactly going to be a huge difference!” True ….

Healthy kids Lunchboxes

I’m getting into my stride now so today for lunch he has corn, a nectarine, a plum, mixed chopped veg, veggie nori rolls (no rice just veggies) and to go in the thermos a jacket potato and cheese). There is also a totally sugar free (as in no sugar or sugar substitutes) quinoa muffin. I don’t bake for my boys … poor neglected little mites .. but I do test recipes for my programs and then they are the very willing recipients of the samples 🙂

Fun Beach Salad

Beach Salad

Well, it’s beautifully hot here. Definitely high summer so beach is on our minds.

Here’s our fun food, Beach Salad.

Sugar free party food Beach Salad


– Yellow capsicum (bell pepper)

– Carrot

– Celery

– Red cabbage

– Cucumber


1. Cut a sun from yellow capsicum.

Beach Salad - 1 sun (1 of 1)

2. Add chopped carrot for the sand.

Beach Salad - 2 sand (1 of 1)

3. Use celery and red cabbage for a giant beach umbrella.

Beach Salad - 3 umbrella (1 of 1)

4. Create a cucumber bucket and spade.

Beach Salad - 4 bucket & spade (1 of 1)

5. Finish with a carrot sandcastle.

Fun food art Beach Salad

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

Fun Watermelon Manor

Watermelon Manor

Watermelon is just so great for designing as you have a giant piece of fruit to work with. This fun food plate was a lot more time consuming than usual (if you want to go the whole hog and put in the window panes) but the end result was worth it and the mini-chefs were delighted by the detail.

Sugar free party food Watermelon house


– Watermelon (or other large fruit)

– Pear (or other green fruit)

– Red Apple (plum or pear would work too)

– Desiccated coconut (for the clouds – yoghurt is also good)


1. Cut a big rectangle of watermelon for the house.

Watermelon Manor - 1 house (1 of 1)

2. Then another rectangle with sloping edges for the roof.

Watermelon Manor - 2 roof (1 of 1)

3. Slice pear for the windows

Watermelon Manor - 3 top windows (1 of 1)

4. Then more pear for the lower windows.

Watermelon Manor - 4 windows-door (1 of 1)

5. Before using apple for the chimneys.

Watermelon Manor - 5 chimneys (1 of 1)

6. All that was quick and easy. The window detail from red apple was fiddly and time consuming (and not essential!)

Watermelon Manor - 6 detail (1 of 1)

7. The roof looked a little detached so I added an apple roof-line.

Watermelon Manor - 7 roof line (1 of 1)

8. Then some pear grass, bushes and tree.

Watermelon Manor - 8 foliage (1 of 1)

9. And some steps.

Watermelon Manor - 9 steps (1 of 1)

10. Before finishing it off with some desiccated coconut clouds.

Fun food art Watermelon House

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

Fun Superbowl Eggs

Superbowl Eggs

A little celebration for the upcoming Superbowl. And, as I lived in N.C. for a year I have to say “GO PANTHERS”!!

Here’s our fun food, Superbowl Eggs.

Fun, healthy Superbowl Eggs


– Boiled eggs

– Cucumber

– Red cabbage

– Carrot

– Cheese


1. Boil, peel and cut eggs in half.

Superbowl Eggs - 1 eggs (1 of 1)

2. Add lacing detail from cucumber.

Superbowl Eggs - 2 green lacing (1 of 1)

3. Then lacing from red cabbage.

Superbowl Eggs - 3 purple lacing (1 of 1)

4. And finally from carrot.

Superbowl Eggs - 4 orange lacing (1 of 1)

5. Finish with some stars from the veg and cheese.

Fun food art Superbowl Eggs

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

Fun Melon Crab

Melon Crab

Ah summer, and all these beautiful fruits. NZ is so seasonal so we have to make the most of them for the short period they are around!

Here’s our fun food, Melon Crab.

Sugar free party food Melon Crab


– Cantaloupe (Rockmelon)

– Honeydew melon

– Grapes or blueberries

– Strawberry


1. Carve a head from the rockmelon.

Melon Crab - 1 head (1 of 1)

2. Add two, bright eyes.

Melon Crab - 2 eyes (1 of 1)

3. Cut the honeydew melon into pieces and build the arms.

Melon Crab - 3 legs (1 of 1)

4. Keep going until there are 3 on each side.

Melon Crab - 4 more legs (1 of 1)

5. Then make shorter ones at the front with rockmelon pincers.

Melon Crab - 5 pincers (1 of 1)

6. Finish with a strawberry smile.

Fun food art Melon Crab

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small



So (and the irony is not wasted on me) the lady who spends countless happy hours creating food art from fruit and veg prepares very bog standard looking lunchboxes!

Fun, simple lunchboxes

I do not have the pretty boxes with all the little compartments to beautifully present every last morsel. But what I do have is:

1. Nutritious meals – every day.

2. Food that is soooo quick and simple to pack.

3. Lunches that sustain my boys from their big breakfast to their big dinner in the evening.

4. Vibrant colours that provide a variety of tastes, textures and nutrients and that can be eaten quickly and easily (busy boys).

5. Different foods every day of the week.

This is a standard “summer” lunchbox for us. It contains:

1. A pot of 5 types of chopped veggies (we always have raw veggies for lunch)

2. A pot of fruit – who doesn’t like apricots and cherries – yum!

3. Home-made yogurt with fermented blueberries (which the boys love). I have frozen it in deference to the weather so it’s a squeezy popsicle.

4. A piece of fresh corn. Gotta be done!

5. A thermos with fish and roast potatoes (leftovers from the evening meal)

Packing a meal like this literally takes no time at all and most is done the night before (fruit washed, yoghurt frozen etc.). Once you’re in a routine it doesn’t seem like a psychological hurdle or chore – although boy am I glad when holidays roll around!

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small


Fun Capsicum Dinosaur

Capsicum Dinosaur

Ooh, I’m on such a roll making salads fun.

Here’s our fun food, Capsicum Dinosaur.       Healthy party food Capsicum Dinosaur


– Capsicum red & yellow (bell pepper)

– Carrot

– Cucumber


1. Cut a piece of red capsicum for the dinosaur’s body.

Capsicum Dinosaur - 1 body (1 of 1)

2. Add a head and long neck from yellow capsicum.

Capsicum Dinosaur - 2 head & neck (1 of 1)

3. Give her a tail from yellow capsicum.

Capsicum Dinosaur - 3 tail (1 of 1)

4. Use carrots for the big, strong legs.

Capsicum Dinosaur - 4 legs (1 of 1)

5. Add a face from capsicum and cucumber.

Capsicum Dinosaur - 5 face (1 of 1)

6. And toes from yellow capsicum.

Capsicum Dinosaur - 6 toes (1 of 1)

7. Make some ground from cucumber.

Capsicum Dinosaur - 7 ground (1 of 1)

8. Finish with a cucumber sun.

Fun food art Capsicum Dinosaur

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