We all know how important it is to get the little ones eating their fruit and vegetables - but it's easier said than done! We've come up with some fun ways to get the kids excited about eating fruit and veg!
We all know how important it is to get the little ones eating their fruit and vegetables – but it’s easier said than done!
We’ve come up with some fun ways to get the kids excited about eating what they may have refused in the past. We’re not saying you need to trick them and hide it in their food, you just need to inject a little fun into it!
Cute designs, shapes and faces will make fruit and vegetables seem like a fun option for lunch, dinner or a snack! Click through our 19 different designs…
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What: Fruit and yogurt is a delicious and healthy dessert or snack option. This tasty design not only looks pretty, it tastes good too.
How: Cut strawberries in half, peel and segment a tangerine or satsuma, cut pineapple into triangles and arrange in a rainbow shape with some grapes and blueberries. Add a dollop of yogurt in the centre to dip the fruits into.
Top tip: You can use any type of fruits to make a rainbow – as long as they’re colourful and bright.
What: What better way to get the kids exciting about a plate of veg than this little fella? The childhood book favourite is an easy design to try at home.
How: Slice a cucumber into thin slices and arrange on the plate. Cut slices of red pepper to make the ears and feet. Unwrap a Mini Babybel for the head and add slices of black olive and celery for the mouth. We added chopped green beans and sweetcorn to the plate to make the grass and sun. Top tip: You can make this design with fruit and replace the cucumber and pepper with slices of apple.
What: These strawberry mice could not be easier to make. The cute little faces make eating fruit much more fun.
How: Take whole strawberries and use a tiny slice of an apple for the nose and grape quarters for the ears. Slice some pineapples into triangles to make a cheesy (but fruity!) treat for the mice. Top tip: You can decorate most fruit to look like animals – you just need to give them a cute face!
What: Imagine the kids’ faces when they open their lunchboxes to find these happy little chaps! These rice balls can be decorated with lots of different faces and will make any salad or vegetables seem much more interesting.
How: Allow rice to soak in cold water for up to 1 hour before cooking (this will help make it sticky). Boil as usual, allow to cool then shape into a ball with your hands. Use black olives to make the panda faces – or any other ingredients you have to hand. Top tip: If your children don’t like olives you can use peppers or sweetcorn to decorate the rice instead.
What: Everyone loves the thought of relaxing on a desert island so this fruity dessert treat is one for all ages.
How: Arrange a slice of pineapple and a sea of blueberries on a plate. Half and slice a banana for the trunk and slice thin strips of kiwi fruit for the palm tree leaves. A few orange segments will bring plenty of sunshine.
Top tip: Not a fan of kiwi fruit? Replace with slices of green apple instead. You could also use orange segments instead of the pineapple.
What: A brown-bread sandwich, filled with vegetables is a healthy option for lunch – but how many kids will actually get excited about it? We bet this cute little cat will go down much better!
How: Make your sandwich as usual, cut off two triangles for the eats and remove the crusts for the whiskers. Cut the remaining sandwich into a circle and add slices of black olives for the eyes and mouth and a triangle of red pepper for the nose.Top tip: You can leave the olives off and simply carve the eyes and nose into the sandwich instead.
What: Who says kebabs have to be greasy? These vibrant fresh fruit and vegetable kebabs will beat a naughty doner any day of the week!
How: Cut your fruit and veg into fun shapes and sizes. We used small cookie cutters to get the stars and flowers. Grill the vegetables ones and serve as a side to dinner and have the fruit ones with a drizzle of yogurt for dessert. Top tip: You can grill vegetable kebabs on the BBQ for a fun summery twist – the fruit ones would be delicious after a few seconds on the grill too!
What: This sporty little number (with a healthy traffic light) will make those veggie sandwiches seem much more fun.
How: Cut your sandwich into a simple dome shape and cut out a segment for the window. Use slices of courgette and cherry tomato halves for the wheels and a few green beans for the road. To make the traffic light, fill celery with some low-fat cream cheese and top with 3 circles of coloured peppers – simple!
Top tip: You can fill celery with lots of different cheeses or spreads to make it more fun to eat.
What: Fishcakes are a healthy option for kids’ dinners as you can hide lots of veggies in the mix. You can also sneak more veggies onto the plate with this fun sea-life design.
How: Shape your fishcakes to look like a fish (a simple circle and triangle combination is enough). Slice thin strips of carrot and courgette and place atop some rice. We coloured the rice blue using a very clever trick: add bicarbonate of soda to the juice from a jar of red cabbage – hey presto, natural blue food colouring! Top tip: Use sweet potato rather than potato to make your fish cakes extra healthy. You can even top with brown breadcrumbs rather than white.
What: We know we tell kids not the play with their food but… this is just so much fun (and it’s healthy!)
How: Slice veggies (or fruits) into thin strips and assemble into a Jenga tower. Surround with a dip and whatever falls into the dip has to be eaten!
Top tip: You can make your own guacamole by blending avocado, tomatoes and lime juice.
What: This little rice bear must be celebrating – look at those colourful balloons!
How: The colourful balloons can be made with whatever vegetables you would like – we used red pepper, sweetcorn and guacamole. The rice bear can be shaped by hand – a few black olives will give his face lots of personality!
Top tip: Allow the rice to soak in cold water before boiling to make it easier to mould.
What: This light lunch treat may look like a pizza but it’s actually healthier than that. The base is a wholemeal tortilla and the light cheese topping is just a base for the fun vegetable face design.
How: Top a tortilla with a thin layer of tomato puree and a light sprinkling of cheese. Make the face using broccoli for the hair, cucumbers and black olives for the eyes, a cherry tomato for the nose and some slices of red pepper for the mouth. Top tip: You can make your own tomato sauce by blending or squishing down some cherry tomatoes.
What: This vegetable man takes his son everywhere he goes! This simple design is a fun snack for kids after school.
How: Fill sticks of celery with cream cheese for the body, cut strips of carrot and red pepper for the arms and legs and a slice of cucumber for the head. A few leaves from the celery for hair and some cherry tomatoes for the hands and feet finish off their looks perfectly. Top tip: You can replace the cream cheese with hummus for a different flavour.
What: This one is almost as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids! Get them involved in making a vegetable version of your own house – then sit back as they eat it all up!
How: Arrange strips of carrots, cubes of courgette and some sweetcorn and green beans to make your dream house. Top tip: A house design would work well atop some mashed potato, pasta or rice.
What: Hello there! These light lollies are not only refreshing – they have a fruity little face in them too!
How: Wedge blueberries, a red grape and 2 segments of orange into a ice lolly mould and pour over a clear liquid – we used lemon squash and fresh kiwi juice – and leave to freeze. Top tip: Keep the fruit in place with a cocktail stick whilst pouring in the liquid.
What: This happy chappy has got a new hairdo! Some noodles or spaghetti, with a little cream cheese, is the perfect base for this fun design.
How: Place the noodles at the top of the plate, make the eyes and ears with some courgettes and use cherry tomatoes and peppers for the rest of the face. Top tip: You can use these ingredients to make a face on some mashed potato or even a slice of toast.
What: Is it a boat, is it a veg? …. well, it’s both! This courgette boat is filled with goodness – and it looks pretty cool too!
How: Half and remove the centre of a large courgette. Fill with a cooked rice mix and bake until the courgette is soft. Peel a sail from the remaining courgette half and affix to the boat with a cocktail stick. Top tip: Some blue rice would make a fun base for this water-themed design.
What: A simple salad can be a boring lunch for kids. but they can be given a little character quite easily!
How: Hard boil an egg and allow to cool. Peel off the shell and cut in half. We used toasted sesame seeds for the eyes and a slice of yellow pepper for the beak. Top tip: Eggs are full of protein so will keep the kids fuller for longer.
What: We’re not sure why but we named this little guy Peter. A stuffed pepper can be a healthy and filling lunch – and if you give it a name and a face, it’s fun too!
How: Much like carving a pumpkin, you just need to remove the top, scoop out the middle and carve some eyes and a mouth. We filled the pepper with a rice and vegetable mix and baked. The cherry tomatoes for the teeth and black olives for the eyes give Peter plenty of personality! Top tip: Peppers can be stuffed with mince too and make a good substitution for a rice, pasta or potato side.