Mukimono Art: Children's Dishes You Can Eat with Your Eyes
Mukimono art is an ancient art that may help you increase the number of fruits and vegetables that your children consume.
Art at mealtime? What’s that? Learn how you can apply and take advantage of Mukimono art to create children’s dishes that little ones will love.
Mukimono art is of Japanese origin. It’s a technique of carving fruits and vegetables used in food decorations. But you can try it at home as well. Using this method, you can invent nutritious and colorful children’s dishes that children will be excited to eat.
With these kinds of ideas, you can increase the daily portions of fruits and vegetables in your family’s diet in a relaxed and fun way. In this regard, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends five daily servings of these foods.
Make plans with your family to prepare children’s dishes with Mukimono art
It’s important for children to participate in the entire preparation process. This includes purchasing the fruits and vegetables, and washing them as well. Talk to your kids about the benefits of eating healthy and tell them how they can grow their own produce at home too.
Once you have everything ready, prepare the dishes with your children, applying the techniques of Mukimono art. These include peeling, cutting, shaping the pieces, and presenting them in an original and different way.
To do so, you’ll have to gather the necessary tools, like knives, molds, scoops, as well as the fruits and vegetables you want to prepare.
The secret of the colors
Science has provided proof that a dish with a variety of colors has a high nutritional value and multiple health benefits. As a guide, here’s a list of the most commonly used fruits and vegetables to make incredible combinations:
- Red: Strawberries, watermelons, cherries, red peppers, tomatoes, red apples
- Green: Leafy vegetables, cucumbers, avocados, peas, broccoli, kiwis
- Orange: Pumpkins, carrots, squash, oranges
- Yellow: Lemons, melons, corn, pineapples
- Blue and purple: Blueberries, grapes, blackberries, plums, eggplants, purple cabbage
- White: Legumes, onions, cauliflower, pears, bananas, celery
Mukimono art in children’s dishes
Here are some very easy-to-make preparations that contain completely natural, nutritious and healthy ingredients.
Recipes with fruits
- Colorful rabbit: Watermelon, cantaloupe and/or honeydew melon, mixed berries
To make this preparation, you’ll use a watermelon as your base. First, pierce it with a knife, leaving two long ears in the silhouette. Empty the interior using a watermelon scoop, making little balls. Scoop out the insides of cantaloupe and/or honeydew as well.
Place all of the balls inside the hollow watermelon and add the berries. You’ll have the most colorful fruit salad!
- Fruit kebabs, lollipops, ice cream: Watermelon, strawberries, apples, pears, pineapples, kiwis
With circular molds, cut fruit slices and place them on top of a skewer stick, interspersing different colors and textures. It’s important to follow a color pattern to include variety. For example, white: a slice of apple; red: 1 strawberry; yellow: a slice of pineapple, green: 1 slice of kiwi.
You can also cut watermelon triangles, squares of carved apples, pineapples stars, and insert popsicle sticks into them. Put them in the freezer for a while and you’ll have your own homemade fruitsicles.
- Porcupine: Pear, green grapes, blackberries
Peel a very firm pear and cut a slice lengthwise so that it lays flat. Stick green grapes into the fruit with toothpicks, which will be the thorns of the little animal. In the narrow part of the pear, place the nose and eyes with small blackberries.
Recipes with vegetables
Multicolored vase: Carrots, cucumbers
Cut flowers and hearts out of the carrots and cucumbers using sturdy metal cookie cutters. Put them on long sticks and place them in a vase instead of a salad bowl.
Vegetable sticks: Carrots, celery
To make this decoration, cut the carrots and the ends of the celery stalks into thin sticks and place them in a jar. That way, children can grab them with their hands to eat them instead of eating a salad.
You can add a container with homemade mayonnaise to spread the ends and make them more delicious.
Sheep in the field: Cauliflower, potatoes, lettuce.
Boil small potatoes and cauliflower. Allow everything to cool and then spray with lemon. Then, separate the cauliflower into round bunches the size of a tennis ball.
Cut a flat base and place on a plate on a bed of lettuce; that will be the sheep’s body. Use a toothpick to attach a small potato to represent the head and mark its eyes and mouth.
Fruit and vegetable carving: Apples, watermelons, pumpkins
Slicing fruit to make faces or animals will make it look more tempting. You can even carve the outside of the watermelon with playful motifs or carve out a pumpkin for Halloween – it’ll be great fun!
In short, the secret of Mukimono art is having enough imagination to combine textures, shapes, and colors in a way that’s attractive to children’s eyes.
The idea of these children’s dishes is to provoke an irresistible desire in little ones to eat them just by looking at them. What are you waiting for to put this technique into practice?