Who said you can’t play with your food?!
OK, while we don’t want the kids throwing their food around the room, there are all sorts of ways in which children can ‘play nicely’ with tropical fruits to get them interested and familiarised, and, ultimately, inspired to eat more.
Here are some of the La Dona team’s top tips for having fun with pineapples, limes, avocados, mangoes, and coconuts!
Experiment With Food Art
Try making food art with tropical fruits to really pique your kids’ interest, especially if they’re not familiar with any of the fruits.
Make a face out of a slice of pineapple by adding some eyes (grapes), a nose (cube of mango), mouth (wedge of lime) and hair (strips of mango).
Sliced pineapple rings can be turned into bees or butterflies by piping some lines of melted chocolate over the top.
What about a hedgehog mango? Cut the mango in two, score the flesh within the two halves diagonally both ways to make a criss-cross pattern, then turn over and push the skin upwards to make your scored chunks ‘pop out’. Add some fruit eyes and a nose, and Voilà!
Find some fun party food ideas for Halloween, Christmas or birthdays. A pineapple could be carved into a scary or silly face as an alternative to a pumpkin. Or how about some spooky lime (jelly) slime? You could even draw faces onto coconuts!
Mini baubles can be hung onto the crown of a pineapple for a table-top Christmas tree. Dried lime slices could be used with cranberries to create natural, festive holiday garlands too!
You could even make a show-stopping pirate ship out of a pineapple, or boats out of halved coconuts for a party.
Pinterest has so many food art ideas from the simple to the elaborate!
Try Different Presentations
Short on time? Why not explore easy but different presentations of pineapples, limes, avocados, mangoes and coconuts.
Sometimes a child can be put off a fruit by how it’s presented. Some kids prefer certain fruits to be chopped in a certain way. Yes, it can be as simple as that!
If your child is happy with a number of presentations, you could ask which one they would like each time you eat the fruit to keep it interesting.
Some tropical fruits can be used as exciting and fun serving platters. Carve out the flesh of a pineapple, chop the fruit and place back into the empty shell. It makes a stunning display, especially for parties, that will certainly catch the children’s eye.
You could even set up a tropical fruit tasting session for your child! Give them a piece of paper with images of a pineapple, lime, avocado, mango and coconut. Let them try each fruit in succession, ask them if they liked it, and let them draw a smiley face or a sad face depending on their experience.
Next time, create a tasting sheet for the different presentations of tropicals to find out which presentation makes each tropical fruit appealing to your child.
Potatoes and apples are traditionally used as natural printing stamps with paint. But how about using limes for a change?
Simply cut the lime in half, dip into paint and press onto the paper. Limes make beautiful patterns thanks to their interesting internal segments. Plus it gets kids used to the feel of a lime, its smell and how it looks inside.
The crown of a pineapple could be used as a natural paintbrush too! Simply cut off the top and go!
Most importantly, have fun!
– The La Dona Family