February 2011: Edible Art

by Juliette Britton

‘F’ is for February….Fun….and Food!   Although February is the shortest month of the year, it seems to drag on for some people.  Maybe it is the long winter days, the wavering New Year’s Resolutions, or the fact that the groundhog hasn’t seen his shadow for quite some time!  It’s time to shake the winter blahs and put some fun into your February!    Enter the world of edible art!   Craft time is an excellent opportunity to introduce children to new foods.   Yes, let them play with their food!

Research indicates that children need to be exposed to a new food 15-20 times before it conclusive that their preferences are based on taste, not on unfamiliarity.  15 to 20 attempts can be quite frustrating for parents and kids; one fun way to introduce (or reintroduce) a food, is to present it in a new format: as art!   Edible art enables a child to construct a unique masterpiece utilizing fruits, vegetables, cheese, whole grains and lean proteins!

How it works:

1. Choose a few foods of your choice, make sure there is at least one food that you know your child will eat.

2. Depending on the age of your child, pre-cut the food or allow him/her to create their own shapes using a butter knife or cookie cutter.

3. Provide some support materials such as toothpicks, straws or skewers.  Some designs will need ‘glue’.  I find that nut butters and hummus are excellent adhesives.

4. Participate in the fun and encourage snacking as your little artist designs an edible masterpiece.

Need a little inspiration?  Check out these great edible pieces of art!

The Caterpillar Sandwich

Goofy Faces

The Love Bugs (featured in Family Fun)

Smiling Face Food

Want more fun recipes and art-inspiring recipes?  We recommend you take a look at:  http://www.beansproutscafe.com/beanappetit.html
Wishing you a fun and fabulous February!


Back copies of Healthy Kids Ideas Exchange are always available online.
Wholesome Heart blog also includes back copies of Simple Dinner Ideas.  See all the entries here!

Disclaimer:

This column is for information only, and no part of its contents should be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, recommendation or endorsement by the author. You should always ask your physician for his or her recommendation before starting any new health-related activity.

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