Play with Your Food

Show your kids how fun the kitchen can be with these simple edible creations. It's as easy as 1-2-3!

Everything in this slideshow

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Frances Janisch

Petal Pushers

Get your kids to eat more fruit by turning it into vitamin C-packed flowers!

1. Use a 2" scalloped cookie cutter to make petal shapes out of melon.

2. Use a 1 ?" cutter to make petal shapes out of kiwifruit.

3. Stack the kiwi on top of the melon and put a sliced red grape in the center.

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Monica Buck

Leprechaun Lunchbox

How lucky would your kid feel if he opened his lunch box on St. Patrick's Day and found a leprechaun, a rainbow, and gold inside?

1. Use a 3" biscuit cutter to make circles from two pieces of bread.

2. Attach shredded carrot with low-fat cream cheese to resemble hair and a beard. Use raisins for the eyes, reduced-fat cheddar cheese for the nose, and a sliced red pepper for the mouth.

3. Make a hat with a wedge of green bell pepper. Press a strip of grape fruit leather on top, and cut out more cheese for the buckle.

4. Layer strawberries, mandarin orange segments, pineapple, green-apple slices, and blueberries in a container. Don't forget to throw in a few gold coins!

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Frances Janisch

Bug Bites

Even a picky kid will flip over tomatoes and olives when they're used to make this cute creature.

Cut a cherry tomato in half. Place one half cut side down and partially slice so it's still intact at the top, as shown. Spread it apart and attach it to a cucumber slice or chunk with low-fat cream cheese. Place olive pieces on tomatoes with more cream cheese.

Place a pitted black olive horizontally against the tomato. Put on dots of cream cheese and olive pieces for the eyes.

Poke two small holes in the top of the olive. Insert chive stems. Add carrots under the tomato for legs.

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Frances Janisch

Corn Flowers

It's hard for little kids to handle a whole ear of corn, but eating scraped-off kernels isn't much fun. A sweet solution:

1. Slice a cooked ear horizontally into pieces that are four rows wide. The kernels will look like petals.

2. Push in a lollipop stick for the stem.

Talk about nutritious -- corn creams other veggies in its amount of heart-healthy antioxidant zeaxanthin.

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Monica Buck

Busy Beehive

Your favorite little honeybee will love helping prepare this pineapple hive.

To Make:

1. Stack pineapple rings, trimming rings so layers get smaller.
2. Partially cut two kumquats lengthwise; remove any seeds, close, and turn over. Make a slit on each side. Cut four small pieces from another kumquat. Push them into slits for wings.
3. Attach half a blueberry to front with cream cheese.

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Gemma Comas


As if kids don't already love chicken nuggets, some companies now make them in the shape of dinosaurs. Tell your child that many dinos ate veggies, then create this jungle scene so he'll chomp on his greens, too.

To Make:

1. Bake the chicken nuggets, following the directions on the package.

2. Steam the broccoli until softened. Shred or pick up a ready-made bag of green cabbage.

3. Set the stage by dabbing the bottom of the nuggets and broccoli with honey mustard and standing them up on a plate. Sprinkle on cabbage to look like grass.

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Paula Hible

March of the Penguins

Olives contain healthy fats and antioxidants. Turn them into Arctic animals, and they'll parade into your kid's mouth.

To Make:

1. Create the penguin's body and feet by slicing a V into the tip of a large pitted black olive and filling with low-fat cream cheese. Cut a V from a thin carrot "coin," saving the V for the penguin's beak. Add a dab of cream cheese to the carrot coin and stand the olive on top of it.

2. For the head, beak, and eyes, insert the carrot V into the opening of a smaller olive. Poke two tiny holes in the olive with a toothpick and fill with cream cheese. Set smaller olive atop larger olive as shown, using additional cream cheese if necessary to adhere.

3. For wings, cut two olive slices and secure with cream cheese to the sides of the large olive. Place penguins on a Parmesan-dusted tray.

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Monica Buck

Sail Away

Ahoy! This fruity treat is sure to make a splash with your kids.

To Make:

1. Cut piece of honeydew melon into the shape of a triangle.

2. Cut an orange into wedges.

3. Push one end of a small straw into the melon and the other into an orange wedge.

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Monica Buck

Tasty Toadstools

These tiny toadstools make a protein-rich snack.

To Make:

1. Peel hard-boiled eggs; slice a piece from the bottom so they'll stand.

2. Top each egg with half of a seeded cherry tomato.

3. Sprinkle tomato with feta cheese.

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Rita Maas

Talkin' Turkey

Your kids will gobble up this creative spin on ho-hum turkey sandwiches.

To Make:

1. Use a 2-3/4-inch-wide glass or cookie cutter to cut circles out of four pieces of whole wheat bread. (Save the trimmings.) Make two small sandwiches with roast turkey and cheese or cranberry sauce. Stack them on top of each other on a plate.

2. Insert 2-1/2-inch strips of colorful sweet peppers under the turkey sandwich so they stick out like feathers.

3. Cut a small rectangular piece from the leftover bread for the turkey's face and attach with mayo. For eyes, cut out small circles of cheese using a straw and place chopped raisins on top, attaching all with mayo. Slice cheese for the beak and red pepper for the gobbler, and attach with mayo.

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Monica Buck

Diploma Wrap

Whether your little one is graduating from kindergarten or joining the clean-plate club, mark the occasion with this edible diploma.

To Make:

1. Top a rectangular piece of flatbread with turkey, cheese, and veggies.

2. Shred a long strand of carrot.

3. Roll up and tie, using carrot as the ribbon.

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Iain Bagwell

Build a Snowman

No matter the season, your kids will have a blast whipping up this jolly snack. Let them chill with a snowman and a glass of milk.

To Make:

1. Start with the stick figure: Snip off the pointy ends from wooden skewers. On each, thread one large marshmallow (for body) and half of another marshmallow (for head).

2. Design a face: Use a dab of white tube frosting to attach sprinkles for the nose, eyes, and buttons, and a dark-chocolate candy melt or mini peanut butter cup for the hat.

3. Keep 'em warm: Tie on a red licorice lace for a scarf.

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Greg Scheidemann

More Fun Finger Foods

Show your kids that healthy veggies can be fun, too! These cool ideas for supper and snacktime will have them asking for seconds.

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