~ Your kids will love this project – it’s so much fun to create edible art! No-bake veggie pizzas are a fresh, exciting lunch or snack! You can even pack all the ingredients in their lunch boxes, bento-box-style – a much healthier take on Lunchables! (Psssst … and a great way to get kids to eat more vegetables!) ~
When you were little, did your mommy always sternly tell you not to “play with your food”?
Hmmmmm. Well, we’re totally throwing that out the window today! (Sorry!)
Getting gloriously messy-goopy-sloppy with food might not be gold-star manners at a schwanky restaurant or Aunt Mabel’s spiffy Sunday supper … but it’s one of the very, very best ways to get kiddos excited about trying new eating adventures (aka veggies)!
We can vouch for this firsthand.
Remember our posts about how to help picky little eaters grow up to be less, well … picky? And remember in our second post in that series, about getting the kids involved, when we suggested ways to let your kiddos (even the littlest guys!) help in the kitchen? Uh-huh.
Well, here’s a prime example of how to do just that!
Make veggie pizzas (or wraps … depending on how you fold and slice ’em) designed as people or monsters or pirates or unicorns … or whatever!
Kids think this is super fun! They love the freedom to make hilarious veggie faces in the most creative, ridiculous ways they can imagine! Lunch just met up with the best messy art project ever – what kid can resist that?!?
It’s the perfect way to introduce them to the shapes, textures and flavors of new vegetables in a totally non-stressful, no-pressure way.
(It’s also a brilliant way to clean out the veggie crisper or use up some of the bounty from a wildly successful trip to the farmers’ market. Yay!)
We realize that we for sure weren’t the first people to come up with this clever, oh-so-fun hook to sweep kids into the thrill of eating veggies. (Who knows what enterprising mom originally dreamt this up? But we really want to meet her!!)
So here’s why we’re publishing this for you today. (Besides the fact that it’s mid-summer, and the kiddos might be getting a tad b-o-r-e-d, totally ready for some exciting, new project ideas!) Actually, this is the post we needed and couldn’t find. And since we couldn’t find it, we decided to write it ourselves!
You see, back in the spring, we were invited to work with a wonderful group of little third-grade Girl Scouts, to help them earn their “Snacks” badge. We had a lot of learning, creating and snacking to jam into one quick after-school meeting. So we knew we’d need a couple handy visual aids to jump-start the girls’ creative thinking quickly … and convince them that a few sprigs of broccoli and some carrot shreds could be magically transformed into an awesome – and delicious! – snackable work of art!
We figured it’d be no problem to find some great example photos. We’d just bookmark a couple of pics on the Internet, or find a few samples among the shelves (shelves!) of Shelley’s kids’ cookbooks. So obvious. Easy-peasy. But we were totally dismayed to find almost no good examples at all! Huh. Unexpected.
So, today we have all the inspiration you and your little foodie-Picassos need.
From a snowman … to a vampire … to (ummmmmm????) some stuff we don’t really have a name for …
These are the ideas that our own little artists created for us (and you!) one super-fun day last week. We all had a blast together … and a great lunch!
It’s the perfect project for a mommy-and-me afternoon, a playgroup gathering, or a (healthy!) preschool party snack.
You can even package up some ingredients into a way-cool lunchbox kit so your little artist can enjoy the best “Lunchable” ever (while their school buds drool in envy).
There are no rules here … only suggestions! Use whatever veggies you have on hand!
Two must-haves, though: alfalfa sprouts and jumbo olives. Really!
Alfalfa sprouts were the surprise-hit ingredient at our Girl Scout meeting. Most of the girls had never even heard of alfalfa sprouts, but they were by far the most popular of all the veggies (since they make perfect hair … for pretty red-pepper hair bows!).
And huge black olives? Well, that’s obvious! You’re just never too old for olive finger puppets!
So don’t be afraid to get a little messy, friends! Have fun with your food, and your kiddos will, too!
We’d Love to Hear From You!
We really value your feedback and love to answer your questions and hear how our recipes worked for you! Just head on down to the comment box located at the very bottom of this post. E-mail addresses are never published, and last names are optional. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Oh, and don’t forget … to stay even more connected and make sure you don’t miss a thing, you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out our awesome recipe boards on Pinterest. You can also be the first to know about our latest posts by simply entering your e-mail in the box at the top right corner of our page!
Looking for More Fun Recipe Ideas for Kids? Check Out Our:
- Ants on a Log 2.0
- Mini Deep Dish Pizzas + Dessert
- No-Bake Fruit “Pizzas”
- Strawberry-Peanut Butter Quesadillas
- Mmmmmm … and all of our super-popular Snack Bites
- Whole-grain tortilla
- Whole-wheat pita
- Whole-wheat flat bread
- Reduced-fat cream cheese (your favorite flavor)
- Non-fat Greek yogurt dip (such as French onion or Jalapeño and Salsa)
- Cottage Cheese
- Fresh veggies such as: colorful peppers (diced, slivered or cut into shapes), halved grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, carrot sticks or shreds, small broccoli florets, celery sticks, peas, sliced mushrooms, pitted black olives, and alfalfa sprouts
- Shredded reduced-fat cheese
- To assemble, start by spreading the “crust” with one or more types of “sauce.”
- Add desired toppings to make a fun face.
- To serve, cut into wedges like a pizza, roll up like a burrito or wrap, or fold like a quesadilla.