Play with your food

I’m not going to lie and say that my 3.5 year old loves eating his veggies.  I hoped my kids wouldn’t be picky eaters, but somewhere between the ages of 18 to 24 months, Zain’s list of acceptable foods shrunk drastically.

He started back at preschool last week.  When I picked him up on the first day, he told me, “Mommy, my tummy is really hungry.”  Already having known he’d be hungry, I concocted a plan to have a plate of veggies ready for him when we got home.  That way he could munch on something healthy while I made him his lunch.  Tricky Clever mommy.

One day, I made a little face out of the veggies.  Nothing special, but he liked it.

Funny face

A funny looking face

The next day I stepped up my game a little

I stepped up my game a little the next day

Then I decided to get a little more sophisticated in my veggie display.

My mind was still on vacation

My mind was still on vacation

I thought of all the other things I could make using my mental list of Zain’s favorite things.

A sailboat

A sailboat

A rocketship

A rocketship

A train

A train

I know I’m not the first person to play with my food and make things like this, but I have been intentionally not looking up any similar veggie creations.  I’m having fun challenging myself to come up with my own way of making these fruit and veggie plates :).

Now when I pick up Zain from school, he immediately says, “What did you make me?” and when we get in the house, he runs to check out his plate waiting for him at the table.

Sure, it’s a lot of work to get him to eat his veggies, but it’s fun for both of us.  I mean I am planning to become a nutritionist…my kids need to eat their veggies! If you’re wondering if he eats it all, here is his approach – first, if there are blueberries (his favorite fruit), he inhales them, then he slowly disassembles the rest of the plate and eats most, if not all, of the rest while I make his main course for lunch.  He’s also eating veggies that he wouldn’t have touched before like mushrooms.  Now, he loves mushrooms!

Let’s see how long I can keep this up through the school year :).

It’s also a good deal for me because a lot of the veggie scraps left over from cutting out shapes end up in my salad.

Spinach and kale topped with veggie scraps

Spinach and kale topped with veggie scraps…works for me!

Keep an eye on my Instagram for more veggie plates for kids!


  1. says

    Super cute! Who wouldn’t eat that food art? So far my girls favorite foods are fruits and veggies (fingers crossed that doesn’t change) and candy (oops) but they would go crazy over that!
    The way I get my older one to eat stuff that she might not want to try is by letting her help me make it. The baby will eat ANYTHING :)

  2. says

    This is amazing! You’re very creative.
    Both of my kids went through a picky phase around the same age. I tell anyone who will listen to me to be very careful to NOT get into the habit of feeding the kids what they want so they’ll eat. We made that mistake with #1 and it was miserable to fix. Eventually we did, and she eats pretty much everything now, but not without a year’s worth of tears, tantrums and very stressful dinners.
    Jamie recently posted…Motor Vehicles -vs- RunnersMy Profile


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