With five sons, there have been many challenges over the years getting them all to eat their greens, be healthy and enjoy food. And I am sure it won't come as a surprise to you to know that getting children to help in the kitchen is a brilliant first step to getting them connected with food and motivating them to eat more variety and healthily.
A little bit of history...
According to Sharon Butler of the Smithsonian Journeys Quarterly in 2017, "Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was the first artist in the modern era to think of the preparation and consumption of food as art. The avant-garde Futurist movement, formed by Marinetti and other artists in Milan in 1909, embraced the industrial age and all things mechanical—from automobiles and planes to manufacturing methods and city planning. They thought cooking and dining, so central to everyone’s day-to-day lives, should also be central to their farsighted, far-out ideals."
Nowadays, artists use foods to create their works of art rather than just using food as their subject. "Red" Hong Yi is a prime example, here's an article about her work, worth having a look at.
So, back to the here and now
I am sure it also won't come as a surprise to know that children love food when it looks bright, vibrant and fun! And they also love eating what they have prepared so, why not hop in the kitchen this weekend and get creative with your little ones? You never know where a little food art might get you!
Have a go yourself...
Here are a few ideas for inspiration but places like Pinterest will give you far more... With some ideas under your belt it won't take you long to get the ingredients ready for a little kitchen fun time.
Mashed potato head with potato fritter ears, chive whiskers, cucumber and olive eyes, cherry tomato nose and red pepper for the all important smile and voila! You have an edible cat face.
Now for avid bird watchers, how about an owl made with a beef burger head with radish and olive eyes, a red pepper beak, mashed potato body, sliced cucumber wings and a little lettuce for a fluffy tail.
Dessert is just as important to little ones! An easy desert island scene made with kiwi fruit, bananas and orange segments.
The hungry caterpillar!
Spinach leaves make the grass, green grapes and pear for the caterpillar body and a head made with a strawberry and chocolate matchmakers. The blazing sun is simply an orange slice with orange skin fronds.
For another sweet option, try pancakes stacked to begin your rabbit face, bananas for ears, blueberries for eyes, a strawberry nose and mouth and apple sticks for whiskers. A little chocolate ice cream for a bow tie?
This one is simply a case of using different colour fruits and arranging them in the shape of a rainbow.
Under the sea
A mix of fruit, salad, and cereal makes this an idea breakfast - watermelon fish with blueberry eyes, green pepper for sea weed and cornflakes for the sea bed.
Turmeric infused rice with a little red pepper for the sombrero, a beef burger face with olive eyes and moustache, kidney beans are perfect for the ears and nose and then a little sweetcorn, and leaves for his shoulders.
Hassle back potatoes make these very cute rabbits (or you could just used small baked potatoes), sage leaves for the ears, carrot noses and cloves for the eyes though obviously don't eat those!