Mother and Baby

How to turn your little one's dinner into a wondrous work of art

Section: Toddler

Need help getting your little one interested in what's on their plate? According to research commisioned by Heinz Tomato Ketchup No Added Sugar & Salt, 42% of parents find family mealtimes stressful (hands up if you've had a bowl of Weetabix smushed into your hair) and a whopping 85% of parents find themselves saying 'no' at least a few times, throughout.  

Here's something they will say yes to. (Oh and probably 'can I have some more, please mummy!' as these meal ideas look sensational!)

The fun food plates created by Grace Hall of the Eats Amazing blog will engage your little one with imaginative designs, whilst giving them a range of tastes, textures and shapes to explore. 

Sounds (and tastes!) good to us. 

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1) Fabulously Fishy Boats

Ingredients (for 1 fun meal): 

2 battered haddock goujons
1 portion of frozen mixed peas and sweetcorn
1/4 medium carrot
Heinz Tomato Ketchup with No Added Sugar and Salt
1 slice Gouda cheese
2 bamboo skewers (15cm long)

Instructions:
  • Cook the haddock goujons, following pack instructions, then leave to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook the peas and sweetcorn, following pack instructions.
  • Slice the carrot into thick rounds, then cut the carrot rounds into stars. You can do this using mini star shaped cutter or just cut them out freehand with a small sharp knife. Lightly steam the carrot stars.
  • Drain the peas and sweetcorn. Pick out 4 of the sweetcorn kernels and place to one side. Arrange the rest on the front of the plate, covering roughly one third.
  • Draw wriggly lines to represent waves on the rest of the plate, using Heinz Tomato Ketchup with No Added Sugar and Salt.
  • Finally, build your edible sails.  Cut the slice of cheese in half diagonally to create two triangle ‘sails’.  Carefully push a bamboo skewer through one corner, then slide a sweetcorn kernel onto the skewer to help hold it in place. Push the skewer through the opposite corner of the cheese to make the sail and secure it in place with another sweetcorn kernel. Repeat to make a second cheese sail.
  • When you are ready to serve the meal, push a cheese sail into the top of each goujon. When adding the sails, make sure the goujons aren’t too hot as otherwise the cheese sails may melt and fall off!
  • Carefully place the fishy boats on the plate, over the ketchup waves and serve immediately.

Credit: Eats Amazing
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2) Doggy Hot Dogs

Ingredients (for 1 fun meal): 

1 good quality sausage
1/4 cucumber
1 medium carrot
1/4 red pepper
1 hot dog bread bun
Heinz Tomato Ketchup with No Added Sugar and Salt
Heinz Mild Yellow Mustard

Instructions:
  • Cook the sausage, following pack instructions.
  • While the sausage is cooking, prepare doggy bun;
  • Cut two small circles for eyes from the thinnest end of the cucumber. Slice off a sheet of skin from the cucumber and from it cut an oval for the nose and two tiny circles to add to the cucumber eyes.
  • Peel the carrot, then cut a 5cm piece from the thicker end of the carrot. Slice it lengthways, cutting two slices for the ears. Round off one end of each ‘ear’ slice. You can use a mini circle cutter to do this or cut them free-hand with a small sharp knife.
  • Cut a long thin triangle of carrot for the tail.
  • Cut a slice around 2cm wide from the red pepper and round off the end for the tongue.
  • Cut the leftover vegetable pieces into sticks, ready to serve on the side.
  • Cut the bun in half horizontally. Once the sausage is cooked, place it on the bottom piece of the bun and drizzle with Heinz Tomato Ketchup with No Added Sugar and Salt and Heinz Mild Yellow Mustard.
  • Put the top piece of bun over the sausage and add the cucumber and carrot dog features, 'gluing' them in place with dabs of ketchup if needed. Draw on a mouth with the ketchup and push the pepper tongue into the end of the bun to finish the doggy face.
  • Transfer the hot dog to a plate along with the crunchy vegetable sticks and serve immediately.

Credit: Eats Amazing
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3) Cute Caterpillar Mini Chicken Kebabs

Ingredients (makes 8 mini kebabs): 

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp garlic granules
2 chicken breasts
8 bamboo skewers (15cm long)

To serve (for 1 fun meal): 

2 lettuce leaves
3 thick slices cucumber
4 cherry tomatoes
Heinz Tomato Ketchup with No Added Sugar and Salt
2 x googly eye bento picks

Instructions:
  • Place the olive oil, lemon juice, honey and garlic granules into a bowl and whisk until completely combined.
  • Cut the chicken into small pieces, roughly 1cm in size.  Place the chicken pieces in the bowl with the marinade and stir with a spoon until completely coverd in the marinade.
  • Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour.  Meanwhile, soak the bamboo skewers in water.
  • When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove the skewers from the water. Push the chicken pieces onto the skewers, evenly dividing the chicken between the eight skewers. Leave 1-2cm clear at the end of each skewer, ready to hold the tomato head once cooked.
  • Brush the kebabs with any leftover marinade, then grill for around 10 minutes until cooked through, turning once.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rest of the meal; Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and place on a plate.
  • Cut two of the cherry tomatoes in half using a small sharp knife, cutting in a zig-zag pattern around the tomatoes to create pretty tomato flowers.
  • Cut the cucumber slices into flowers using a mini flower shaped cutter (or cut out freehand with a small sharp knife). Add circles of cucumber skin to the centres of the flowers for extra decoration if wanted.
  • Add the vegetable flowers to the plate, placing them on top of the lettuce.
  • Using Heinz Tomato Ketchup with No Added Sugar and Salt, draw a flower onto the plate.
  • Push a googly eye pick into each of the two remaining cherry tomatoes, then carefully push them onto the ends of two of the cooked chicken kebabs to create the caterpillars.
  • Place two of the caterpillar kebabs on the plate and serve immediately.
Credit: Eat Amazing

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