Introduction: Play With Your Veggies...and Eat Them Too!
At least five servings of vegetables and fruits every day…that directive can be challenging, especially if you are responsible for getting that produce into your kids. This art project makes vegetables tempting fun for all ages.
Step 1: Gather a Variety of Vegetables - Eat a Rainbow and Create a Good Palette (and a Good Palate)
Select produce in several colors and textures to provide ample fodder for creativity (and a variety of nutrients.) This is a good opportunity to introduce new vegetables. Some ideas: jicama, sugar snap peas, fennel, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, watermelon radishes, and sprouts.
Step 2: Cut the Veggies Into Various Shapes; Peels, Stems, Leaves and Seeds Are Interesting
Wash the veggies, peel if desired then cut into various shapes and sizes. For example, cucumbers can be cut into rounds, sticks and cubes. Include edible peels, stems, leaves and seeds for additional shapes and textures.
To facilitate passing, place each vegetable in its own bowl. For a small group, you can just arrange everything on a platter. Older artists will appreciate individual cutting boards and paring knives for detailed work.
Step 3: Lunch or Dinner? Make It a Finger Food Meal
This project can be expanded into a meal by incorporating finger foods from other food groups. Protein rich options such as cheese cubes, hard-boiled eggs, colorful beans and mini sausages work well. Cooked pasta, steamed baby potatoes, Japanese rice crackers and small slices of bread are good carbohydrate options.
Step 4: Give Each Person a Plate and Set Them Free
Dinner plates are a generous sized canvas. Salad and dessert plates can be used for smaller compositions or appetites. Nibbling while working is encouraged!
Step 5: Before You Dig In, Have an Art Show…a Feast for the Eyes
When everyone is done, have an art show. Take a moment to walk around and appreciate all the compositions. For those hesitant to devour their creations, taking pictures of each piece can help them feel better about digging in.
Step 6: Eat Your Veggie Creations!
Several studies have validated the wisdom of the adage, "We eat with our eyes first". The beauty in these vegetable works of art is that it makes them taste better!