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Go Ask Mom

Recipe: Edible art snacks

Posted March 29, 2012

This recipe doubles as a snack and an art project. I’ve made numerous variations of this interactive snack with children of all ages with yummy results. It’s a fun way to get kids to choose healthy options and can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like.

Who knew art could be so delicious … or eating veggies could be so fun!

Edible Art Snack

Choose one or two canvases and base layer options. Provide toppings that are appealing to your family … throwing in one or two items that may be new to your child. Let everyone create an original work of art. Enjoy your masterpieces!

Canvas ideas: slice of bread, bagel, pita, rice cake, large cracker, matzoh, tortilla, etc.

Base layer: nut or seed butter of choice, cream cheese, hummus, black bean spread, etc.

Ideas for design details:

  • Fresh fruits such as diced apple, pear, or strawberries; sliced banana; blueberries; grapes.
  • Dried fruits can include raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots or apples.
  • Veggies such as carrot rounds; strips of red, yellow and green pepper; cucumbers sliced into half circles; sliced celery; broccoli; spinach; sugar snap peas; and cherry tomatoes.
  • Nuts, including peanuts, almonds, and cashews, add protein and texture
  • Seeds, including sunflower; pumpkin; and white and black sesame, help kids create smaller details.
  • Dairy products such as cheese can be used to create various shapes. Peel string cheese to create hair or drizzle yogurt to make an abstract design.
  • Herbs, including parsley, basil and cilantro, add a burst of flavor and deep green color.

Notes:

Providing toppings that offer a variety of shapes, colors, textures, and flavors adds to the fun.

For instance, cherry tomato halves, grape halves, or sliced black olives are great for making eyes or wheels. Triangular pieces of cucumbers, peppers, apples, or cheese can be used to make ears, roofs, and much more. Let your imagination run wild. Kids will enjoy helping come up with ideas.

While some kids enjoy creating abstract art, others like a little more direction. Here are some ideas: Create a self, family, or pet portrait; design your first letter, name, or age; create your favorite shape, plant, animal, or insect; decorate your canvas with a colorful pattern (using a cracker or mini pita, kids could pretend they’re decorating Easter eggs).

This is fun to do at home, but even more fun to do outside as part of a picnic or party. Think of it as a healthier version of the ice cream sundae.

Older kids enjoy helping prepare the supplies as much as creating their masterpiece.

Holly Taylor is the Raleigh mom of one and part of the team behind Pullen Place Cafe & Catering at Raleigh's Pullen Park. Pullen Place features snacks and meals made in-house using seasonal and local ingredients.

On Saturday, as Pullen Park hosts its Easter egg hunt, Pullen Place will feature a special brunch menu and will be giving away a free drink and Pullen Park ride ticket to people who donate three items to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's Backpack Buddies program. Click here for details.

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