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Gettin’ Creative With Food – Kid Style

Okay, so I’m on a mission to live life creatively, and not all that creativity is going to manifest itself in masterpieces.

A little background…I am a long time vegetarian, my daughter is vegetarian, and she is raising her daughters as vegetarians, as well. We have a higher than average appreciation for eating healthy food. Yet it still can be hard at times to get the little ones (ages 6 and 3) to eat healthy food with the same sense of gusto that they do the not-so-good stuff. I mean, even when you’re baking from scratch and using only organic ingredients, carbs are carbs, and living on them (or for them!) is not a good habit to get into. Somewhere in between the yummy low sugar muffins and fresh fruit, you still need some protein and veggies!

So what’s a Gaga to do?

I saw a recipe in a kids magazine for these cute cookie snacks. Yeah, cookies. They were made by taking a vanilla wafer, slathering on frosting, topping it with a chunk of a twix bar, adding a squished marshmallow on each side of the bar for wings, and striping it with thinned frosting to make it look like a bee. It was darling! But feed it to my girls? Not a chance!

So Gaga gets to thinking…creatively, of course. How do I turn this fun idea into something I would feel good about feeding my girls?

So, I started by getting out the whole grain crackers. Hmmmmm, what can I use for frosting? The oldest doesn’t much like hummus, so I got out a can of white beans, mashed them up, added just a bit of virgin olive oil, a little garlic powder and some spike (a multi-spice/herb seasoning) and made a pate. I used that to “frost” the crackers. The youngest is nic named Bea, so I made bees for her crackers, cutting the bodies and wings out of yellow soy cheese slices, and used sliced olives to “stripe” the bees. The oldest likes to be called “lady bug” but I couldn’t find anything red to make the body out of, so opted to make her dragonflies, instead. I used a sliver of raw zucchini for the body, and more of the cheese for wings, and Gaga’s “critter bites” were born! They devoured them!

Then they took the leftovers, plus some slivered carrots and began creating their own little structures to eat.

Next time I’ll get some red bell peppers and design lady bugs, but this worked. Little did they know they were eating protein and veggies, and I didn’t have to beg them to eat.

Yeah, this creativity thing is pretty cool.

About tatterednworn

I am a woman who has committed to living a creative life.

10 responses »

  1. Oh how I wish my picky problem eater would go for that, lol. It looks like a lot of fun. He smells everything, and then touches it with his tongue it to see if he’ll like it. I keep telling him that he can’t tell anything that way because sometimes there’s really good stuff in the middle, but he’s not hearing it. But maybe the idea of building his own food…?

    • I think that’s what the girls liked most was eating their creations, although I have to say they gobbled up my “critters.” I think they just like it when I present things in a fun way! You might try a nut butter if the pate is too exotic for him, and you could always use peas or whatever veg he will consent to eat.

      Funny side story…the oldest HATED mushrooms. Picked them out of everything. Then I asked her to “try this, it’s made from baby bellas instead of mushrooms.” Of Course they were small portabello mushrooms, but just the new, cute name gave her the opportunity to try them all over again. Now she’ll tell you she HATES mushrooms, but she’ll eat baby bellas. Go figure!

  2. I love your ideas, they are such fun, for little girl’s parties too, I imagine.
    Makes me wish my three daughters were still at grammar school! Maybe my 17 year old will go for it, she has such an “outer child!”

    Happy flying! Kanchan

  3. Janet, I just read “my story” about you. I know where you’re coming from because I’m even older than you. Yes, 60+! Althought my mind still thinks very young, I’ve gotten on the bandwagon to get my creative side cracking and at the rate I’m going, there’s no slowing me down!

  4. wished my girl didn’t have such a hard palate to please….textures are just not her thing! great ideas from this, though. i think i can make something work!

    • But that’s where the creativity comes in, taking an idea you like, and tweaking it a bit to suit your needs! You might try peanut butter with vegetables she would eat. Peas and carrots would make great building materials! Good luck!

  5. You are an inspiration! I would have never thought of such a tasty and creative way to entertain and feed kids. I see several internet niches for you!

    • I’m telling you, Betsy, there’s a place for a vegan cookbook for kids. I know you don’t think you’re qualified, but we’ll taste test for you, I promise! You need another project, don’t you? Hahaha!


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