Fun Strawberry Pops

Strawberry Pops

I was lucky to find a huge pot of delicious looking strawberries. Although the boys would normally slam dunk them as is with delight I thought I would jazz them up for a change. I went for an ice cream type topping deal. I reckon this would rock at a party!

Strawberry Pops fun, healthy party food

Check out the boys testing for the first time:
http://youtu.be/8Qx18SFZQFU

There’s always a bit of reservation on video. There was no such restraint at dinner ..

Recipe

– Strawberries

– Popsicle (lolly) sticks

– Yoghurt (or coconut cream)

– Toppings: chopped peanuts, flaked almonds, currants, desiccated coconut

Method

1. Wash and hull the strawberries then insert a popsicle stick into the base.

2. Dip in yoghurt.

Strawberry Pops - 1 dipping (1 of 1)

3. Roll in the toppings (or sprinkle them over the top).

Make strawberry ice creams

4. Pull out the stick and use it for another strawberry!

Strawberry Pops - dipper strawberries

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

Fun Watermelon Cup Cakes

Watermelon Cup Cakes

As a great alternative to regular cup cakes for a party or social gathering or even just for a fun dessert why not try some fruit creations.

Healthy party food

I am very pleased to announce that The Art of Nutrition will now be blogging fortnightly on the Healthy Food Guide.

For the usual step-by-step photo instructions for the Watermelon Cup Cakes please follow the link to see the full blog published on the Healthy Food Guide website.
http://www.healthyfood.co.nz/blogs/the-art-of-nutrition/2014/february/19/watermelon-cupcakes

Fun Pasta Lion

Pasta Lion

We were having a few people over so I couldn’t resist making a creative side plate.

This is visually effective but really quite a simple fun food plate. I have found that most children love hummus and when teamed with some freshly cut veggies it makes a great, healthy share plate for special occasions. This was served warm as a side plate and vanished in minutes.

Healthy party food

I made the hummus as it’s easy and means I can cook without all the additives the store bought tubs come with.

Recipe

– Hummus

– Pasta (I used wholemeal spirals)

– Spaghetti for the whiskers (I used wholemeal)

– Cheese (Edam)

– Olives – for detail

– Grated carrot for highlight

Method

1. Shape some hummus into a “face” shape.

Pasta Lion - 1 head-003

2. I slapped hummus around to stick the pasta to.

Pasta Lion - 2 outline-004

3. Then added the pasta spirals as a mane.

Pasta Lion - 3 mane-005

4. I shaped some ears and a nose from more hummus.

Pasta Lion - 4 ears & nose-006

5. Then some whisker pads.

Pasta Lion - 5 whisker pads-007

6. Before adding the eyes cut from cheese.

Pasta Lion - 6 eyes-008

7. I used the cheese to give the ears detail.

Pasta Lion - 7 ear detail-010

8. Then made irises for the eyes from carrot.

Pasta Lion - 8 pupils-011

9. And added detail to the face with slices of olive. Pupils, eyebrows and nose.

Pasta Lion - 9 olive detail-012

10. Before adding some whiskers.

Pasta Lion - 10 whiskers-013

11. Then I used grated carrot to liven him up and give him colour.

Healthy food ideas lion

12. And here he is in all his majesty … ROAR …

Healthy appetisers

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

Fun Strawberry Cups

Strawberry Cups

Who doesn’t like to share a cup of tea or coffee with friends?

Here is a fun food way to have a little tea party for a snack or dessert. Great way to present a healthy share plate.

Healthy snacks for kids

Recipe

– Strawberries (larger are easier to work with!)

– Blueberries (for the handles)

– I used little chunks of apple to hold the handle in place (any harder fruit would do)

– Yoghurt for the filling (for dairy free you can always substitute coconut cream)

– I sprinkled cacao powder for the cappuccino effect

Method

1. Cut the stem from the strawberry and then slice the other end off and hollow it out.

Strawberry Cups - 2 hollow (1 of 1)

2. I sliced blueberries in half and cut off the flesh to leave primarily the black outer skin. Then I wrapped this around a small semi-circle of apple flesh to form the handle.

Strawberry Cups - 3 handles (1 of 1)

I then pushed these up against the “cup” where they sat nicely.

3. I filled with some Greek yoghurt.

Strawberry Cups - 4 filling (1 of 1)

4. Then sprinkled with cacao powder.

Healthy party food

5. And we’re ready to have a lovely cappuccino together!

Healthy food for kids

Strawberry Cups - Finished (1 of 1)

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

Fun Apple Present

Apple Present

There are a lot of people with birthdays at this time of the year and it’s hard for them not to get subsumed by all the other celebrations.

This is in recognition of all the birthday boys and girls, including my not so little brother …

Healthy food party

Recipe

– An apple

– Yoghurt

Method

1. I cut the apple into a squarish shape and took out the core.

Apple Present - 1 apple (1 of 1)

2. Then covered with yoghurt.

Apple Present - 2 yoghurt (1 of 1)

3. I cut the outside of the apple into strips to make the ribbon.

Apple Present - 3 bow (1 of 1)

4. Then fashioned a bow.

Apple Present - 4 bow (1 of 1)

5. And it’s as simple as that. Lovely, tasty, fun food snack finished.

Healthy food birthday

 

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

Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Happy New Year and welcome 2014.

Healthy party platter

I have done a really simple fun food plate to start the year. Use any fruit you have to create a visual share platter.

Healthy New years food

 

I’m looking forward to sharing three or more new designs a week with you all in 2014. If you enjoy looking at my posts please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Recipe

Any fruit.

– I used apple, banana, apricot & kiwi fruit (and then swapped in plum)

Method

1. I used number cookie cutters.

2014 - 1 molds (1 of 1)

2. Then began to fill them with fruit. I started with apple cut into pieces.

2014 - 2 fruit (1 of 1)

3. And added banana, apricot and kiwi fruit.

2014 - 3 filled (1 of 1)

4. Removed the molds.

2014 - 4 numbers (1 of 1)

5. And added some blueberries.

Healthy food for parties

6. A simple, delicious plate finished.

Healthy party food

7. But does it look better with plum instead of kiwi?

Healthy food New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!

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 Porcupine Party Piece

Porcupine Party Piece

This is a great way to present crudités for a party, children’s or adults. I would normally have used home-made hummus for something like this but each week I try something new and this week it was the dip’s turn!

I cooked cauliflower by cutting it into very small pieces and then roasting it in a tray until it went a bit brown (hence the colour of the dip). I added a bit of milk to make it into a puree, added a few herbs and it was delicious. All the boys gave it a thumbs up for taste and texture and voted it a repeat dish.

Healthy Party Food

So here is my fun food, party piece porcupine that I may just present at the next school function requiring a share plate ……

Recipe

– Dip (I used roasted cauliflower puree) but hummus or alternative would work too

– Crudites – I used carrot and celery but any veg that can be cut into strips is good

– I used a small tomato, slice of cucumber and an olive for the face

– I cut a piece of carrot for the feet

Method

1. Mould the dip into a body shape (I use spoon, knife and fingers).

Porcupine - 1 Body (1 of 1)

2. Add a nose and then frame with a small tomato cut into half for eyes.

Porcupine - 2 eyes (1 of 1)

3. Slice carrot and celery thinly and “spike” at the ends. Insert into the body of the porcupine.

Porcupine - 3 spines (1 of 1)

4. Keep adding spines all across the back until it’s covered in carrot and celery.

Porcupine - 4 spines + (1 of 1)

5. I used cucumber slices to make the inside of the eyes then cut an olive to make the pupils and nose.

Porcupine - 5 face (1 of 1)

6. Next I gave her some legs.

Porcupine - 6 legs (1 of 1)

7. Added some carrot feet.

Healthy Party food for children

8. And she is ready to grace the centre of the table. Dig in …..

Fun food for children

Healthy party food

The Art of Nutrition
Fun, healthy, creative food for 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..

International Day at School

International Day at School

Fun party food train

 

The boy’s school was celebrating “International Day” on Friday. They were to learn about customs, language, flags etc. from other countries. Joe’s class were asked to each bring in food from a different country to share with each other for lunch. Joe and I discussed this and decided there would be lots of savoury food and probably lots of “party” food so we chose fruit as our share food. Fruit comes from all over the globe so we picked a selection and made flags from one of the countries that produce lots of the particular fruit.

Joe was delighted by the idea of presenting it in a train and Joe’s teacher very kindly indulged me setting it all up in the classroom before lunch. We then got to discuss where the fruit came from and where on the map the different countries were before the class got to choose their favourite fruits to eat.

I love the opportunity to share healthy food and get everyone excited about it.

I used my healthy pastry recipe (adding some cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a “sweet” smell and taste) and made the train trucks very simply. I will blog the recipe Friday as that is my normal fruit/dessert day!!

Healthy party food train

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 Decadent Apple Cake

Decadent Apple Cake

This is a cake dedicated to my dear friend Neil who is always trying to convince me to be more gratuitous in my recipes. Probably not quite the sugar fix he had in mind but it oozes decadence never the less.

This would be a fun food addition to any party and is simple but healthy. Other fruit could be substituted in the centre and you can get really creative with the toppings.

Healthy party recipes

Recipe

– 1 Apple

– Yoghurt – I used thick, Greek (no sugar, no additives)

– Slivered almonds

– Hazelnuts – for decoration (and a raspberry on the alternative)

– Mint leaves – for decoration

Method

1. Peel and core the apple. I don’t have a special corer so I butchered it with a knife instead!

Decadent Apple Cake - 1 apple

2. Cover with yoghurt (if the yoghurt is too thin then you can thicken by freezing for a while or even mixing in some milk powder).

Decadent Apple Cake - 2 plus yoghurt

3. Add toppings. I covered the sides with slivered almonds.

Decadent Apple Cake - 3 plus nuts

4. I topped with hazelnuts.

Decadent Apple Cake - 4 plus hazels

5. Then jazzed it up with a mint leaf or two.

Healthy party food

6. I also experimented with other toppings … get creative!!

Decadent Apple Cake - Finished 3

Healthy, creative, fun food for kids big and small.
The Art of Nutrition.

Fun Petit Fours – 2

Petit Fours – 2

I made Petit Fours yesterday from Watermelon and it got me thinking. What a perfect fun food, party plate, a selection of bite-sized Petit Fours filled with colour and natural vitamins. They look so enticing and would be as at home in an adult soiree as a kid’s party!

I decided to design some more today and used apple as the base. Apples – of the apple a day keeps the doctor away fame – are such an all-round fruit. Tasty, economical, available all year and packed with soluble fibre, Vit C, B-complex vitamins and anti-oxidants.

Recipe

– Apples – larger ones yield better squares

– Other fruit for filling and garnish

– I used Greek Yoghurt for “cream dollops”

Method

1. Cut squares from the apple (and should you wish other fruits for layers).

Petit Fours - Set up

2. Build layers using contrasting fruit for fillings.

3. Top with garnish for a fancy cake effect.

Healthy party food

Use any fruit that is available to create designs of your choice. Round, triangular or other shaped Petit Fours would look fabulous.

The Art of Nutrition 

Fun, healthy, creative, food for kids big and small.

Fun Petit Fours

Petit Fours

A fun food alternative to the Watermelon Cake are the smaller Petit Fours. If you are looking for more of a “bite-sized” dessert/party food then these are for you. They also lend themselves to other types of melon such as Honeydew or Canteloupe (Rockmelon) that have seeds on the insides and therefore cannot be cut into larger triangles.

Follow the basic steps for a Watermelon Cake but use little squares or triangles rather than the larger sections.

Healthy party food for kids

The Art of Nutrition

Fun, healthy, creative food for kids big and small..

Fun Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Cake

The ultimate substitution, swapping fresh fruit filled with vitamins and minerals for the standard party cake. Watermelon cake is delicious, light and refreshing. It is a great summer party food, especially when it’s hot and is very versatile. You can use any fruit for filling and its good fun to have people create their own individual slice. In fact, building your own cake is a fabulous fun food activity for all age groups.

When I serve at a party I will pre-cut the melon and then have bowls of other fruit to choose from to build a personalised slice, which doubles the fun & the delight.

Recipe

– Watermelon

– Other fruit

Method

1. Cut a whole watermelon into wedges (pre-cut quarter or eigth pieces from the market/store work perfectly).

2. Cut slices to use for the cake. These must be approx. the same size so take from the same section of the melon. Slices work best if approx. 2cms thick.

Waterm Cake - Waterm Cutting

3. The skin can be cut off or left on.

Waterm Cake - 3 slices

4. Place other fruit on the slice. A light fruit like banana/pear/apple works well as “icing”. For best effect have a slight overhang so the cake looks as though it is “oozing” its filling once put together.

Waterm Cake - 3 slices + banana

5. Layer as many other fruits inside as you wish. Contrasting colours give visual appeal and of course different fruits yield different vitamins and minerals.

Waterm Cake - Banana + kiwi

6. Add another slice of watermelon and repeat.

Waterm Cake - Banana + kiwi + top

7. Finish with toppings and it’s ready to eat.

Healthy party food for kids

8. And there are so many variations …..

Healthy party food for children

(If you are not partial to watermelon or would like smaller portions see “Petit Fours”.)

The Art of Nutrition

Fun,  healthy, creative food for kids big and small..