Fun Mushroom Tree

Mushroom Tree

It’s great to have basic, healthy breakfasts that can be whipped up in a minute. My boys love sautéed mushrooms and marrying them with tomato and cheese is always a winner.

This is my simple, fun food mushroom tree.

Healthy breakfasts for kids

Recipe

– Mushrooms

– Cherry tomatoes

– Cheese (I used Edam)

– Baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Cut the mushroom into stem/stalk like strips.

Mushroom Tree - 1 mushrooms (1 of 1)

2. I used a cookie cutter to make flower shapes from cheese (you could cut free-hand or use triangles which work well).

Mushroom Tree - 2 flowers (1 of 1)

3. Then I sliced cherry tomatoes in half to make the centre of the flowers.

Mushroom Tree - 3 tomatoes (1 of 1)

4. And added a little circle of cheese for the centres.

Mushroom Tree - 4 centres (1 of 1)

5. To finish off the tree and make it lush and verdant I layered baby spinach leaves.

Healthy fun breakfasts for children

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

Fun Fairy Fruit Castle

Fairy Fruit Castle

Fairy Castles are just so easy to build and so exciting to present. I have used some of my cookie cutters to cut some hearts to use as windows.

This fun food plate is perfect for a play date or for a Kinder/school event and is deceptively quick and simple and of course all healthy.

Healthy Party Food

Recipe

– I used 1 ½ red apples

– 3 large strawberries

– Yoghurt (I used home made plain)

Method

1. I chopped the apple down the centre and then cut slices from the middle outwards to give me the biggest pieces. I then cut them into rectangles and roughly pieced together to make the main part of the castle.

Apple Fruit Castle - 1 base (1 of 1)

2. I just mixed and matched the apple pieces and didn’t need to recut much. Then I added a middle tower.

Apple Fruit Castle - 2 level 2 (1 of 1)

3. And two side towers.

Apple Fruit Castle - 3 towers (1 of 1)

4. I used big strawberries cut in half then sliced to make them more triangular for the tops of the towers.

Apple Fruit Castle - 4 tower tops (1 of 1)

5. Then I cut some of the other sides of the strawberries into squares to make the parapets.

Apple Fruit Castle - 5 parapets (1 of 1)

6. And used some of the skin side of the apple to make windows.

Apple Fruit Castle - 6 windows (1 of 1)

7. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to make windows too so it was more princess like (I have a set of metal cutters that work really well on fruit and veg).

Apple Fruit Castle - 7 more windows (1 of 1)

8. I chose different parts of the skin of the apple to give contrasting reds for more windows.

Apple Fruit Castle - 8 hearts (1 of 1)

9. Then the castle needed a big front door.

Apple Fruit Castle - 9 door (1 of 1)

10. And to be up in the yoghurt clouds …

Healthy party food

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

Fun Princess Dress

Princess Dress

As I was walking back from dropping the boys at school I saw beautiful flowers on the rosemary bushes that grow along our street. They sparked an idea and a few minutes later I was back with a pot to collect a few of the 100’s that were blooming.

I created a fun princess dress that my boys were fascinated by so hopefully it would be a hit at any dinner table.

healthy food for kids

Recipe

– Mashed potato (or any white veg puree)

– Beetroot to stain the mash pink

– Rosemary flowers (or other edible flowers – rose petals could be cut for example)

Method

1. Mold the mash into the shape of a bodice and flowing gown. I used a knife and my favourite kitchen utensils (fingers!).

Princess Dress - 1 mash

 

2. I drew some lines into the bottom part of the dress to give it folds.

Princess Dress - 2 lines

 

3. And then some horizontal ones to create ruffles.

Princess Dress - 3 Ruffles

 

4. I used some beetroot juice from my roasted beetroot to stain the bodice.

Princess Dress - 4 Bodice

5. And then added some rosemary flowers along the ruffle line.

Princess Dress - 5 Flowers

6. I also put a row of flowers along the bottom of the bodice.

Princess Dress - 6 Waist Flowers

7. Then made some little sleeves.

Princess Dress - 7 Sleeves

And added more flowers.

8. I fashioned some little buttons from mash for the bodice.

Healthy creative food

9. And realised they were a little skew-whiff so moved them into line!

Healthy princess food

All we need is some slippers and we’re ready to go to the ball ….

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

Fun Fruit Train

Fruit Train

I built my first fruit train for Joe’s “graduation” party from Kinder. Each child gets to have a special day once it’s their turn to go to school (in NZ children go on their birthday so entry to school is staggered). The Kinder rules were that you were able to bring potato chips (crisps) and fruit. Now I was obviously not going to bring chips so wanted to make the fruit into something a little more special for Joe. I hit upon a train with trucks filled with a variety of fruit and it worked magically!

Train party food

It is such a fun way to present fruit or veg at a party and have everyone excited. The pastry is edible although I find everyone is generally more excited about diving in for their favourite fruit.

When it was International Day at the school last Friday Joe and I decided to make a fruit train and display fruits from around the world using little flags to denote country.

Recipe

– Healthy pastry (recipe on the website). I added cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a dessert smell and taste.

– Bananas for wheels and engine funnel

– Raisins for dividers between the trucks

– Chopped fruit – whatever is in season

Method

1. Roll out the pastry. It can be a little stiff so a good workout too!

Fruit Train - 1 Pastry

 

2. I used a “large” mini tin for the front of the engine with a little ceramic bowl at the very front and then a medium mini tin behind to create an engine shape (see methodology below).

Fruit Train - 2 Engine tins

 

Covered with pastry and then baked in the oven for approx. 20 minutes at 180 degrees.

3. I used “medium” mini tins for the trucks and covered with pastry (with the tin upside down).

Fruit Train - 3 Pastry over tin

 

4. Then cut the pastry to size and squeezed it into shape around the tin.

Fruit Train - 4 pastry cut to tin

Then baked in the oven for 20 mins.

5. Once the engine and all the trucks were cooked I washed and chopped the fruit and took it all into the school to set up the train.

Fun, creative food for kids

I used some old pillowcases so the train was on something clean.

6. And cut the banana once I arrived so it didn’t go brown. I used it for the funnel and wheels.

Fun food for kids

7. Then I filled the trucks with fruit and put little flags in to show where the fruit is grown.

Fun food for kids party

I added raisins between the trucks as chain links.

8. Joe was of course ridiculously excited and rapt that he could share his train with all his classmates.

Healthy party food for children

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

Fun Toast Dice

Toast Dice

OK so there is only one and it should be die but I couldn’t call it that so have made it plural so there is one for everyone!

This was inspited by the lovely, ripe cherry tomoatoes and the need for something super quick. Fun food for kids of all ages.

Healthy breakfast food

Recipe

– 2 pieces of toast

– 8 small tomatoes (I used cherry toms)

– I used cheese for an outline

Method

1. Cut the toast. I left one piece whole and then cut the other so it was just under half. I used the remaining pieces to prop up the die so it’s 3-D.

Brekkie Dice - 1 toast

 

2. Then I propped up the toast and added the tomatoes cut in half for the dots.

Brekkie Dice - 2 spots

I chose the number 5 as it’s visually great and then cut one of the tomato halves in half again to make the part of the 3 dot side disappearing into the plate!

3. I cut cheese into strips and laid it around the outside. Yum, cheese and tomatoes on toast.

Brekkie Dice - 3 Cheese

4. And there is the breakfast die. Super quick and fun.

Healthy breakfast food

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

Fun Double Decker Raspberry Bus

Double Decker Raspberry Bus

We all love raspberries in our house and being so lovely and deep red they just lend themselves to the iconic Double Decker buses found in London.

healthy party food

I put this together as a fun food party plate and spoons got dipped in furiously and then mixed with a bowl of home-made Greek style yoghurt each. Have to say I was tempted to eat it all myself first but refrained!

Recipe

– Red Apple for wheels and outline

– Raspberries for the paintwork (strawberries would be great too)

– Pineapple for the windows (I used fresh but tinned would work or apple/pear/melon)

– Plum – for the road. Any dark fruit would work (or raisins).

Method

1. I cut the cheeks of the apple for wheels.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 1 apples

 

2. Then cut an outline of the bus from the flesh of the apple.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 2 outline

 

3. I used more apple to make the top deck.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 3 Topdeck

 

4. Then put in some pineapple cut into rectangles for windows.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 4 Bottom windows

 

5. And some for the top deck. They don’t show up well at the moment as there is no contrast.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 5 Top Windows

 

6. But then when you add the soft raspberries ….

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 6 bottom rasp

 

7. And do the same on the top deck.

Double Decker Fruit Bus - 7 Top Rasp

 

Unfortunately the raspberries “bleed” a little into the apple (which offends my sense of perfection) but the overall affect is striking enough to balance this out … I hope ..

8. Then I cut some strips from a plum to make a road.

Healthy party food for children

And we’re ready to go see the sights …

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

Fun Pancake House

Pancake House

I made some crepes (a thinner version of pancakes) and steamed some apples at the same time to make a sweet but not sugary accompaniment.

Max was fascinated by the tree and it was the first thing he dived for. A fun food breakfast or snack idea.

Healthy breakfast

Recipe

– Apple

– Crepes (I make them with wholemeal flour, eggs and milk)

– I used yoghurt for the moon and chimney smoke

Method

1. I cooked the crepes then used a giant house cookie cutter.

Pancake House - 1 House

 

2. But as usual I was under whelmed by the outcome so started adding and chopping bits. I started with windows and door.

Pancake House - 2 Windows & Doors

 

I also cut the right hand side of the top of the house off at an angle.

3. Then added another peak to the roof.

Pancake House - 3 Additional roof

 

4. As we were getting bigger and fancier chimneys seemed in order.

Pancake House - 4 Chimneys & window detail

And I put some cross pieces into the window.

5. I used the steamed apple to make the ground and a tree.

Pancake House - 5 Tree and wall

6. And some bushes and a path.

Pancake House - 6 Path & bushes

7. I used some home-made Greek style yoghurt to make a moon as it seemed like a night scene.

Fun food for kids pancake

And added some smoke from the chimneys.

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

Fun 3 Little Salad Pigs

3 Little Salad Pigs

I decided to put together a salad/coleslaw plate to be shared over dinner. Of course it is far more fun to have it in the shape of the 3 little pigs and this turned out to be beautifully simple. The boys argued over chimney, windows and doors but it was a small price to pay for their pleasure at the fun food plate.

I used Chinese radish/daikon for the straw house. The boys like it as it is very mild flavoured, crunchy and juicy. If it’s not readily available you could substitute for cucumber or cabbage.

Healthy food for kids

Recipe

– Carrot – for the brick house

– Red cabbage – for the stick house (or cucumber/sliced lettuce)

– Chinese radish/daikon – for the straw house (or cucumber/cabbage)

– Hummus, cheese, tuna – for the 3 pigs (substitute your own dips/accompaniments/ dressing)

– Baby spinach leaves – for grass (or lettuce)

Method

1. Make the brick house. Cut the carrot into rectangular “bricks”.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 1 carrot

2. Slice the carrot into batons for the roof.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 2 daikon

And add daikon windows, door and chimney (it cuts beautifully).

3. Build the straw house from strips of daikon.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 3 Straw House

4. Then use strips of red cabbage for the stick house.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 4 Sticks House

5. Add windows and doors to the straw house. I used carrot.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 5 3 Houses

6. And to the stick house. I used Chinese radish.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 6 complete houses

7. Then we need a few pigs. I used a cookie cutter mold I had.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 7 hummus pig

And made the first pig from home-made hummus.

8. Then the straw house pig from cheese.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 8 cheese pig

9. And the final pig from tuna.

3 Little Salad Pigs - 9 tuna pig

10. I added some baby spinach for grass and the whole scene was complete.

Healthy recipes for children

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

Fun Ricey Hot Air Balloon

Ricey Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloons are such fun to make with lots of patterns and bright colours that give you so much scope for creativity. This is my rice and veggie version.

Healthy food for kids

 

I realised that having a mold would make life so much easier so I made my own. This was actually the most time consuming and frustrating part of the whole exercise. I cut the inside out of the top of an old plastic pot as it was the oval shape (ish) I was looking for. I have washed and kept it for future use!

Recipe

– Mold – (makes it easier but not essential)

– Cooked rice – I used wholemeal

– Veggies of your choice. I used peas, grated steamed carrot and corn

– Steamed cauliflower for clouds (ricotta cheese makes great clouds)

– I used a cut piece of eggplant/aubergine for the basket

– Wholemeal spaghetti for the ropes (any herb stalks or cut beans would be a good substitute)

Method

1. Put a layer of rice into the mold.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 1 Rice

2. Then a layer of peas.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 2 + peas

3. Any veggies will do but contrasting colours work best. Grated carrot layer next.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 3 + carrot

4. Then some corn.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 4 + corn

5. And a last layer of rice.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 5 + Rice

6. Then I took it carefully out of the mold. If it’s packed densely this works surprisingly well.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 6 out of mold

7. As usual I am disappointed by molds (even the ones I make myself) so squished it out to give it a more rounded shape. Again this worked remarkably well.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 7 fattened

8. Then I added the eggplant/aubergine basket and spaghetti ropes.

Ricey Hot Air Balloon - 8 + basket

9. And some lovely, fluffy cauliflower clouds.

Healthy food for children

Float gently into dinner …..

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