Babies and kids just love faces! Learning which part of your face is called the "nose" is quite a milestone in a small person's life.
I'm always looking for fun and creative ways to get children to eat and enjoy healthy food and what's more fun than making faces?!
It can take a bit of time to prepare a plate of vegies, and many parents do lack time, but the effort will be worth it. Even if you think your children will not eat everything on offer, they will still be building up a familiarity with new foods and will eventually chose to try something new.
Find a plate or tray and prepare lots of different coloured vegetables. These can be raw or cooked, whatever is the preferred choice for your family.
Add some sort of protein on the side such as sausages, meatballs, falafel balls, cheese squares, chicken drumsticks or lamb chops.
Then allow everyone to let their imaginations run wild.
Eyes; meatballs, radishes, baby tomatoes, corn, roast potatoes, cucumber circles...
Noses; carrot sticks, meatballs, celery sticks, broccoli floret, cucumber circle, corn...
Mouths; red pepper, sausages, carrot sticks, meatballs, peas...
Hair; grated carrot, grated beetroot, raw spinach, spiralised zucchini, spiralised carrot, lettuce leaves, parsley or anything else you or your child decides!
Are there lot of colours on the face that your child has chosen? If not, then ask them what colour is missing. Children will often chose "green", and when you ask them which green food would be best, they may surprise you with their answer. Broccoli is a common choice and when it is chosen, your child has just had the idea for themselves that it makes sense to put broccoli on their plate for dinner! Hoorah!
As the kids get older, you can add more and more details such as eyebrows, eyelashes, moustaches, beards, earrings, teeth, lips, nostrils or pupils.
Feelings can also be explored as you make happy, sad, confused or surprised faces.
Making dinner faces is a beautiful, creative, open-ended experience for the whole family. You could ask your children to prepare a plate of food for you (although I have found that adults love making faces too!). Mum, Dad, Grandparents, Carers, Uncles, Aunties and friends can all get involved. There is no right nor wrong way of doing this, there is just the possibility for much fun (and probably some mess...in which case take the picnic outside!)