Fun Food Little Fingers
time to get crafty, fun & healthy.
Rachel Evans is a mum of three, creative soul and lover of healthy eating.
When she found a creative outlet that also encouraged her kids to eat healthier - Fun food and little fingers was born.
Making positive associations with food is one of the best ways to encourage kids to make healthier and more adventurous food choices. We asked Rach to share a few of her favourite works of food art and to share a bit about herself, family life and meal times .
Who is in your family?
Our family consists of: My husband Rhys, myself Rachel, our two boys Marley (6) and Bodhi (2), our two girls Sienna (4) and Matilda (Great Dane x American bulldog), 7 chickens and lots of worms in our worm farm (I’ve heard Marley describing them as “dad’s pet worms”)
When did you start making food into art for your little ones?
I started creating them around a year ago, when my youngest was really starting to join in with the big kids’ eating. I got to a point where I was continuously making different snacks all day long for 3 kids with varying food preferences.
So I started making shared snack plates, including at least one thing that I knew each would eat. I think the food art started by accident when I put some watermelon on a plate and it looked like a butterfly - the kids loved it. They chatted about it, giggled about it and ate it all. So I decided to get a bit more creative with them. I enjoy making them as much as the kids like eating them.
It has become a real creative outlet for me and an invitation to creative play for the kids.
Have you noticed your kids eating habits change since you started making food fun?
Yes! I believe the fun element of the snack plates brings a positive attitude towards food, I’ve noticed there is a lot less “I don’t like that” now, rather they just leave what they don’t want to eat. Which is totally fine.
I have also noticed more experimentation with combining different foods and trying particular foods that they wouldn’t have eaten in the past. I think this is not only because they are seeing their siblings eating certain things, making them want to try it too, but also because of the exposure through sight and exposure through “having” to touch a food they might not usually go near to get to another food.
I’m also finding they are asking for something to eat less often. I will generally make the snack plates in the morning before we are about to head out somewhere (if I have a spare couple of minutes) or during “quiet time” for the older two when my youngest is having his nap, this seems to satisfy them between meals.
What’s your favourite piece you have made?
I think the flamingo is my favourite…. But I also really liked the turtle, peace sign and butterfly.
Go to weeknight family dinner?
Poke bowls. They are fun, colourful, quick and they are easy to alter for each person depending on their food preferences. They are also a good way to use leftover rice! My kids also love any “make-your-own” style dinners where I cook and prep the ingredients and put it all out for them to help themselves. This gives them a bit of control, experimentation and allows them to get creative with their food combinations too. Some “make-your-own” dinners we do are: tacos, BLTs (with extras like egg, avocado, cheese, cucumber), san choy bow and homemade mini burgers.
What's something that is always in your kids lunchbox on repeat?
Cucumber. It’s the one thing I know all 3 of my kids will happily eat. I also always make sure I add a little treat in their lunchboxes, sometimes a donut, homemade muffin or pancake or sometimes even just a couple of smarties. Anything that’s a little bit of fun for them.