Lunchboxes

Lunchboxes

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 Cucumber Pig

Cucumber Pig

Almost but not quite time for Halloween fare!

So, here’s my fun food, Cucumber Pig.

Fun food art Cucumber Pig

Recipe

– Cucumber

– Cherry tomato

– Celery

– Olives

Method

1. Slice cucumber for the head.

Cucumber Pig - 1 head-001

2. Add a cherry tomato nose.

Cucumber Pig - 2 nose-002

3. And some cucumber ears.

Cucumber Pig - 3 ears-003

4. Then some olive nostrils.

Cucumber Pig - 4 nostrils-005

5. Eyes from cucumber skin.

Cucumber Pig - 5 eyes-006

6. And a lovely, fat body.

Cucumber Pig - 6 body-007

7. Some legs.

Cucumber Pig - 7 legs-008

8. A flashy, celery tail.

Cucumber Pig - 8 tail-009

9. Finishing with olive and cucumber soil.

Fun party food Cucumber Pig

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

Recipe

– Banana

– Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

– Raisin

Method

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 Strawberry Fish

Strawberry Fish

Still getting late season strawberries – yum!!

Here are some simple, fun food Strawberry Fish.

Cute kids food Strawberry Fish

Recipe

– Strawberries

– Yoghurt

– Blueberries

– Mint

Method

1. Top a strawberry.

Strawberry Fish - 1 head (1 of 1)

2. Then make into a diamond shape.

Strawberry Fish - 2 fish shape (1 of 1)

3. Add some fins.

Strawberry Fish - 3 fins (1 of 1)

4. And a tail.

Strawberry Fish - 4 tail (1 of 1)

5. Cut a mouth.

Strawberry Fish - 5 mouth (1 of 1)

6. Then add a yoghurt and blueberry eye.

Strawberry Fish - 6 eye (1 of 1)

7. Give her a friend.

Strawberry Fish - 7 two fish (1 of 1)

8. And some blueberry bubbles.

Strawberry Fish - 8 bubbles (1 of 1)

9. Use strawberries for the seabed.

Strawberry Fish - 9 seafloor (1 of 1)

10. Some chopped blueberries and mint leaves.

Strawberry Fish - 10 leaves (1 of 1)

11. Ready to eat!

Fun food art Strawberry Fish

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

Simple Platters

Simple Platters

Last night we had the annual meet the teacher shared dinner at the school. Finger foods aimed at adults and children so I did my traditional “veggie sandwiches” and a simple fruit platter. So easy to put together and visually appealing – although I reckon I did a better job last year ….

Veggie Sandwiches healthy party food

 

Veggie Sandwiches

Great plate for any occasion as you can use whatever you have to hand. I did a combo of just veggies and those with a cheese filling. I also used some home-made apple chutney to stuff the celery batons. Using cookie cutters gives the veggies shape but circles, triangles and squares cut by hand work just as well.

Veggie Platter healthy party food

The plate was cleared pretty quickly so that was a good sign!

Fruit Platter

I had very limited time so just quickly cut some shapes and arranged the fruit on the plate. Bite sized pieces always appeal!

Simple Fruit Platter party food

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

Fun Goodbye Platter

Goodbye Platter

Joe’s class were having a shared lunch to say goodbye to a student teacher who’d been working in the class for a few months. I wanted to create a vegetable platter that was easy to eat and share and thought something topical would be more interesting. I titled it with the class room number and had the teacher waving goodbye to the students and them waving back!

Here’s my fun food platter, complete with home-made hummus for dipping. It seemed to work well as it all disappeared super quickly (I moved the letters at the last minute but the paper dried quickly so the marks were not apparent).

Goodbye Platter Healthy party plate

Recipe

– Kumara (sweet potato) – a lovely Maori lady showed me how nice it was raw with dips and we have never looked back – it’s a great alternative to carrot.

– Tomatoes

– Cucumber

– Carrot

– Red Cabbage

– Red Capsicum (bell pepper)

– Celery

– Daikon (Chinese radish)

– Hummus for dipping

Method

1. I hand cut letters and numbers from kumara (sweet potato) and placed them on a chopping board covered with baking paper I’d taped down.

Goodbye Platter - 1 letters (1 of 1)

2. I used half tomatoes as heads.

Goodbye Platter - 2 heads (1 of 1)

3. Then started by giving the teacher a body made from cucumber, carrot and celery.

Goodbye Platter - 3 teacher (1 of 1)

4. Before adding the middle girl (carrot, capsicum, celery) and the body of the boy from cucumber.

Goodbye Platter - 4 girl (1 of 1)

5. Then I created the other girl from cucumber and kumara and added the boy’s shorts too.

Goodbye Platter - 5 girl 2 (1 of 1)

6. I finished off the boy with celery and capsicum.

Goodbye Platter - 6 boy (1 of 1)

Then went back and added details using cucumber and daikon.

7. Finally I gave everybody hair using red cabbage, daikon and carrot.

Fun, goodbye vegetable platter

And simple faces from daikon.

8. To finish I added two small bowls of hummus to dip the veggies into.

Fun vegetable platter for party

Joe was delighted with the platter and it was very well received. It also travelled well as the veggies don’t move easily on the baking paper!!

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

Fun Rabbit Pancakes

Rabbit Pancakes

I saw this recipe on Facebook (see, spending hours on Facebook is a worthwhile enterprise!!) and was sceptical but dying to try. You take 2 eggs and one banana. Mash the banana really well and mix in with the two eggs and then pour batter into a frying pan and fry like a regular pancake. It comes out texturally like a pancake, looks like a pancake, tastes like a pancake and takes a minute to make. It is also so simple kids of all ages can make and is so sweet that no toppings are necessary. In fact for me it is way too sweet! What a find, loads of great protein, potassium and nothing unhealthy in sight and so quick and cheap.

As we’re entering the countdown to Easter it’s time to amp up the bunnies, chicks and eggs though so …..

Rabbit Pancakes

Here is my fun food Easter breakfast plate.

Recipe

– Pancakes (I used banana pancakes)

– I used raisins and yoghurt for detail

– I used pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and desiccated coconut for the ground and clouds

Method

1. Make a pancake.

Rabbit Pancakes - 1 pancake (1 of 1)

2. I used a cookie cutter to make two rabbits. One from each side of the pancake to give them a contrasting “look”.

Rabbit Pancakes - 2 rabbits (1 of 1)

3. I cut raisins for eyes.

Rabbit Pancakes - 3 eyes (1 of 1)

4. And what self-respecting rabbit would be seen without a fluffy, yoghurt tail?

Rabbit Pancakes - 4 tails (1 of 1)

5. Then I added a raisin mouth and a yoghurt nose.

Rabbit Pancakes - 5 faces (1 of 1)

6. A few pepitas for the ground and some coconut clouds and you can hop to it.

Pancakes no sugar rabbits

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

Fun Four and 20 Blackbirds

Four and 20 Blackbirds

I’m stumbling from Fairy Tales to Nursery Rhymes at the moment!

Max had begged me to make a pie, which I will make on occasion as a treat. The filling is mostly veggies and lentils slow cooked in home-made stock with a pastry shell which is made from wholemeal flour, wholegrain oats and water. The end result is surprisingly good, passably healthy and a total crowd-pleaser.

This time I decided to make it more exciting by adding some olive birds to transform it into Four and 20 Blackbirds. It makes it into a great centrepiece, fun food creation. And yes, the blackbirds are a bit Ninja-ish !!

Healthy fun party food for kids

The boys were totally delighted by the addition of the birds and couldn’t wait to pick them off the top. The leftover pie slotted nicely into their thermoses for lunch the next day too!

Recipe

– Pie, I used a veggie/lentil one

– Egg. I egg washed the pie lid to make it glossy

– Olives for birds

– Carrots for birds detail

Method

1. Bake a pie.

Four & 20 Blackbirds - 2 Pie (1 of 1)

2. Make the blackbirds. I sliced two olives down the centre lengthways and used the first as the body. The second one I broke in half and slotted the two pieces into the split at the back in the first olive curling out to make wings.

Four & 20 Blackbirds - 1 blackbird (1 of 1)

Then I cut an olive in half widthways to make the head and balanced it on the body.
A carrot was cut to make eyes, beak and feet. I carefully poked holes in the olive head and pushed the carrot bits in for the eyes and beak. The feet just sat at the front of the bird.

3. Place the birds on the pie (make sure it’s not too hot or the feet curl …..)

Healthy meals for children

4. I cut and peeled back part of the lid of the pie for the “birds emerging” from the centre of the pie effect!

Healthy party food for children

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

Fun Food – Mash Ghost (Halloween)

Fun Food – Mash Ghost

Get the children to make their own super simple mash potato ghost for Halloween. This fun food creation takes minutes to make and about the same to eat!!

 Healthy kids food

If you like my posts please click on the link below to vote for my site.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/pages/index.php

Recipe

– Mash potato (any mashed veg would substitute – parsnip/cauliflower/white bean).

– I used olives for the eyes and mouth

– I used corn for the writing but peas or any other small veggie would do

Method

1. Make the ghost from the mash (make sure the mash is not too wet when you cook it).

Mash Ghost - 1 Mash (1 of 1)

 

I made a triangular head and then stuck arms on later and moulded them into shape.

2. Add a face. I sliced olives which gave the ghost a startled expression.

Mash Ghost - 2 face (1 of 1)

 

3. Then I made “Boo !!” from corn kernels.

Mash Ghost - 3 boo (1 of 1)

 

4. And that is it. My simple, fun, mashy ghost.

Healthy kids food

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