Do you have a picky eater? Or maybe eating the same o’, same o’? Well here is a solution to liven up any meal for your little ones, or not so little ones. It doesn’t take any extra money, just a little creativity, and a minuscule amount of time.
I started doing this on occasion because one time for lunch we were going to have peanut butter and jelly…again. I had already overdosed my children on this “staple” the summer before, and any mention of it brought groans. So I figured I would present it in a different, fun way. It turned out to be a hit and brought smiles of glee on my children’s faces.
Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we’ll start there. Here is how to add some pizazz to an ordinary breakfast of waffles and sliced fruit. First cook or toast waffles and slice up the fruit. Then slice the waffles into lengths about 1 1/2″ wide. Pour syrup into a ramekin or similar small bowl and place in the middle. Next, arrange the waffle slices around the syrup filled ramekin like rays coming off of the sun. Place the slices of fruit in between the “waffle rays.” You have instant food art – everyday “kid” cuisine.
Another variation with waffles is the “Waffle Volcano.” Slice two waffles into quarters so there are eight pieces total. Then stack the waffle squares in the middle of the plate. Place the fruit slices in a pattern or design, or even just piled all around the waffle tower. For extra fun you can add a pat of butter on top and then pour the syrup down the tower. Sometimes I will add a small piece of the fruit to the top so it sticks out. For design purposes, break out the chocolate syrup and make a squiggle around the edge of the plate. The “Waffle Volcano” erupted!
Let’s take the good old stand-by, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches. First, make the sandwiches. Then slice in half and then each half into thirds. You can do the “Leaning Tower of PB & J” by stacking the six pieces. Arrange the sides around it like the previous example with the waffles. Or if you are having salad, fruit, or even chips, serve in a ramekin, and place it in the middle of the plate. Then lean the pieces of the PB & J strips on the ramekin like several slides going around it. Voila! Everyday kid cuisine made easy, fast, and fun.
With my children, I have used the same food for the same meal and made different designs just for them. Creating any design usually only takes about one minute per plate. As busy parents, it is not necessary to spend too much time on designing and arranging the food. And the effort may be lost on your child if your he is very young or if you overdo it.
The basics of adding creativity to everyday kid cuisine is to think gourmet. Not necessarily the gourmet ingredients, but the art applied to gourmet food. Slice sandwiches in smaller slices, or in different shapes. Instead of placing food side-by-side on the plate, maybe line it up across the plate, or place some in the center and work your way outward. Utilize small sauce bowls, ramekins, or soup bowls to help contain foods that won’t hold shape. This can also be used as the center of your food art, a focal point. Dipping sauce or syrup can be applied in a design around victuals or maybe even a stripe or swirl across the corresponding food. Veggies, fruit, and other sides are great to use as a garnish and to place a piece atop the main dish for added eye appeal.
I hope your endeavor to add pizazz and creativity will bring the same success my family and I have enjoyed with everyday kid cuisine! Bon appetit!