Plate art is nothing new. It’s just taking ingredients and turning them into a face or an animal or anything artistic on a plate. When I was a kid, plate art had a different name. It was called “ants on a log”. Celery, peanut butter, raisins. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of it. I’m not sure if my mom was not into other options or just really tired from being home with us all day.
It comes as no surprise to me that introducing plate art at meal time is a way to get the kiddos’ attention. It’s fun, interactive and begs to be pulled apart. Nearly any time I put a plate in front of my daughters that has been constructed into something (anything) they smile. Then take a big bite.
I know you think you know where this is going. That I’m going to tell you that I spend 30 minutes before dinner crafting the Mona Lisa with some spaghetti and broccoli. Hardly.
I apply the same philosophy to anything that I know will gain me full attention from my kids. Moderation. If I go in full force, the novelty wears off and we’re back to a rut at breakfast time. If I throw in an unexpected waffle butterfly,
One night, I had no intention of crafting anything. But as I prepped the plates I noticed an alarming number of green things on the menu. “Are they even going to touch this?” I wondered. Then it hit me. Turn it into a tree.
Maybe I’ll lose the potatoes on the bottom next time. I was told they looked a little…anatomical. Either way, there was no complaining and my daughters tried everything. I’ll worry about the biology lesson when they’re older.
Snack time is also a great time to play around. Think about the things you talk to your kids about every day. Like the traffic lights you just saw coming home from school
Or make something fun out of the apples you just picked from the farm. If you’re anything like us, you have about 50 extra apples lying around for just such an occasion.
Whatever you do, make it fun. Keep it simple. As the kids get older I let them help me and come up with their own ideas. Plate art is fun for many reasons, but I love it most because it helps teach my daughters that healthy food is anything but boring.