Who doesn’t want to have a little fun with their food? Especially if you have a picky eater at home, try adding a creative flair to the plate to boost a healthy meal’s fun factor. Our team of nutritionists has been having fun using cookie cutters to come up with creative, healthy ideas, but there are lots of easy ways to make healthy choices more appealing.
- Try using cookie cutters to make a two-toned sandwich, like the mitten sandwich above. This also helps teach kids about making at least half their grains whole grains.
- Serve foods in seasonal colors. For Valentine’s Day, play up red fruits and vegetables, for St. Patrick’s Day- all green, for the 4th of July- red, white, and blue.
- Create a “new” dish with your child and name it for him or her. Make a big deal of serving "Dawn's Spectacular Salad" or "Peter's ‘Pan-tastic’ Sweet Potatoes" for dinner.
- Use seasonal placemats and napkins to make the meal more festive.
- Create faces on the plate. For example, create a potato person by decorating half a baked potato with sliced cherry tomatoes, peas, and low-fat cheese to make a funny face.
- Use cookie cutters to create fun shapes out of low-fat cheese and whole-grain bread. Pair with fruits and veggies for a MyPlate snack plate. (See image below)
And, importantly, be a healthy role model! Let kids see you enjoying healthy foods and they’ll be excited to try them, too.
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Thank you for the great food idea
I was surprised to see a reference to potatoes (white) in making fun faces for plated foods for children. The WIC Program (USDA\FNS) had banned all white, red, purple, etc potatoes for the 3-4 years for WIC food vouchers but now they may be available soon!!