Food Art for Kids and My Inferiority Complex

updated Sep 30, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When I was little, “happy meal” meant food in the shape of a face. My parents weren’t fans of fast food and, with four kids, it wasn’t even a bargain. Banana slices with peanut butter for eyes, an apple wedge for the mouth and broken crackers and cheese for all the other features. It was fun! These days, the game has changed. I’m no artist, and my food faces are pretty lame compared to what the internet has to offer.

Though I’m a little more advanced at food sculpture than my parents, Pinterest is killing me. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t achieve that level of artistry. Fortunately for me, my children aren’t on Pinterest. Yet.

Just the other day, I made them the afternoon snack shown at the top of this post. Monsieur Le Snack looks a little sheepish, possibly because he feels inferior. His look is loosely modeled on my husband as a boy. Alex had a mess of red curls, wore Peter Pan collars and had a tongue that looked like prosciutto (actually, just the first thing). In spite of my lack of artistry, the children were amused, and ate the heck out of my red-eared, embarrassed happy meal.

I think the boys appreciate the effort, even if my skill is lacking. My snack man was met with smiles that mirrored his own. (I swear, Monsieur Le Snack really does look kind of like my husband!) I refuse to stop making happy meals, because it’s fun. My children will have to embrace goofy guys with shredded carrot hair and moldy looking, heart-shaped eggs.

Do you style your plates like an artist? What’s the goofiest thing you’ve ever done to food? And, by the way, why do we only do this for children?

(Images: Anne Postic)