When it comes to your kids and making sure they eat their vegetables, the classic “you get no dessert unless and until you've finished your veggies” is how many parents end up doing it. The problem is that dessert is often unhealthy and just mentioning this over veggies as a reward makes the veggies feel like punishment.
It reinforces they are yucky or why would parents barter in the first place. The other factor is that kids are smarter today than we were growing up (I’m 38) so we need better tactics. Sculpting the food for them is a great idea and it reprograms the “don’t play with your food” into “Play, eat, be merry!”
Kids tend to scream with pure delight at the sight of a platter full of sculpted foods like veggies served separately from the chicken or pork chops. It gives it a certain dessert glory but is still the same veggies dressed up.
The trick, of course, is to prepare food that looks and appears more appealing. Most kids like veggies but don’t like the smell or look of them- so they've given up before they even tried it! Food art is a fun and easy (easier than you think!) way to make eating fun and to get the kids to the table more quickly!
This art form is not very hard or time consuming- it just takes the right tools (easily acquired cheap at amazon, see some examples I've posted around the article) and the right know how- that can be achieved through cook books designed specifically to teach you as you do- sculpting foods (of all kinds not just veggies!).
It only takes a few quick minutes to cut things and move them into patterns on the plate. The only thing many find hard is wrapping their brain around the creative concepts- but the books give you the full how to do it. Do many of them once and you’re an expert at it! More complicated ones take more time to train the ol’ brain into it but none the less more time more glory in the finished food sculptures right?
The other benefit is the quality time it creates between parents and kids. They can’t wait to help with this! Just build one thing i.e. a Tetris game then show them how to make others, PAC MAN is easy.
Below I found a few ideas to help you get started. Again with the books you can do a lot more. It's not hard, it's just about finding the ideas and using them to create. In no time these ideas will stick and you will do this like second nature. The following examples are very low tech versions of the variety in those books. It’s a great deal of fun to see food turn into something even more appetizing!
Making A Face Is Ok At The Dinner Table
About 3 minutes, more if you get more detailed/elaborate with parts