Today I'll be sharing some fun and easy food art for babies and toddlers. Here at Eats Amazing, I'm all about having fun with food, so when Organix recently got in touch to ask if I was interested in sharing some of their fun finger food plates I was delighted to get involved. In a new survey from Organix, mums rated the top two things to encourage a positive attitude towards food as making mealtimes fun for your child (76%) and allowing your child to play with and experiment with their food (75%). Unlike in the old days when parents told their little ones off for playing with their food, modern mums see the positive benefits of encouraging little ones to play with their food and have fun:
- 86% feel it’s important for babies to handle and play with new foods before they taste it.
- 93% feel it’s important to let a baby play with and experiment with food.
- 93% recognise that the first year of a baby’s life is about fun - playing with food and developing skills.
Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix , says, “The introduction of finger foods can help to develop a little one’s sense of independence, and parents can encourage a positive attitude to food by making mealtimes fun for their child and allowing them to play with and experiment with their food. As well as encouraging self-feeding, independence and autonomy, finger foods come with lots of other benefits for little ones, like developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, and improving dexterity."
To help you encourage fun at meal times for your little ones, Organix have created a whole series of fun finger food plates to inspire you. I'm sharing two of them below, plus a couple that I created for my own boys too.
Caterpillar Food Art Plate
- 2 carrot and tomato rice cakes
- ¼ red pepper
- 4cm piece of celery
- ¼ cherry tomato
- 6 thin slices cucumber
- 8 nibs of sweetcorn
- 1 small salad leaf
Cut the red pepper into eight little squares, about 1cm square, plus two little triangles. Cut the celery into two long thin sticks for antenna.
Create your picture: Layer the cucumber slices in a caterpillar wiggle across the plate. Add a rice cake head and a rice cake sun. Add red pepper feet and eyes, a tomato smile, antenna and a leafy snack. Finally add sweet corn sun rays.
Rabbit Food Art Plate
- 2 Organix raspberry and blueberry rice cakes
- 1 large banana
- ¼ apple
- 1 strawberry
- 5 blueberries
Peel banana and cut in half. Mash one half into a puree, and cut two round discs off the other half. Then cut the remaining piece in half lengthwise from top to bottom.
Cut the apple into 6 very thin slices. Cut the tip off the bottom of the strawberry, and cut in half to create two little triangle pieces.
Create your picture: spread banana puree in a circle in middle of plate, add banana discs for eyes and long banana pieces for ears. Add blueberry eye pupils and bow tie, and some rice cake cheeks, then finish with a nose, mouth and apple whiskers.
Flower Food Art Plate
- 2 Organix tomato slices
- small handful sweetcorn nibs
- short length of cucumber
- 3 baby spinach leaves
- 2 Organix blackcurrant and apple stars
Cut the cucumber into thin sticks. Wash the spinach leaves.
Create your picture: lay the tomato slices on the plate and arrange the sweetcorn nibs around them to make the petals. Add the cucumber stalks and spinach leaves, then finish off with a blackcurrant and apple star in the centre of each flower.
Balloon Food Art Plate
- 2 cherry tomatoes
- red and green grapes
- ½ small carrot
- 1 Organix gingerbread man
Slice the tomatoes and grapes in half, cut the carrot into thin strips.
Create your picture: Lay the tomatoes and grapes onto the plate to form the bunch of ballons. Add the carrot 'strings' then finish off with the gingerbread man.
Both of my boys loved eating our fun food plate creations, Small Baby particularly enjoyed the balloon food plate, which he had a as a picnic snack in the garden earlier this week (my goodness, our lawn needs a cut!).
For lots more advice on finger foods and recipes do visit the Organix website. You can also find some great inspiration for different finger foods in the Organix Little Book of Weaning – you can sign up here to download your free copy.
Disclosure: This blog post was written in conjunction with the Organix fun finger food plate campaign. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own