My daughter, Sam, is a born starlet. She loves the camera. If it's pointed at her, she will instantly strike a pose. That girl knows her angles...she's THREE! But, that starlet attitude comes with a starlet belly. Sam is a picky, picky eater. Sam would eat but it's usually just the basic for her; white rice and some sort of meat (pork, chicken, beef). For a food lover, this is my worst nightmare.
As a Vietnamese immigrant, I grew up on all these wonderful dishes my mom would cook; bánh xèo (savory crepes), canh mồng tơi (spinach and shrimp soup), bún riêu (rice vermicelli soup) just to name a few. I wanted my Sam to love these dishes as much as I love these dishes. She never wanted to try any other dishes I made so it became my mission to expand her very tiny horizon.
After trying several different methods to try to get Sam to eat more than her rice dish, I figured out her food needed to be presented in a way to fit her starlet tendencies. One of the first food art I plated for Sam is what I call Pasta Girl Bowl.
A very simple Chicken Alfredo dish that only took me 15 minutes to cook. Instead of cutting the chicken breast to pieces, I cut a flat piece to form the base of the face. I used roasted seaweed to cut out the eyes and mouth and wheat bread to shape the rim of the bowl. I would have used garlic bread but I didn't have any left.
When I put the plate in front of Sam, that smile on her face made my day. "Momma! It's a girl like me!" She then proceeded to devour the dish. I didn't know if I should be proud or scared that she took out Pasta Girl so quickly. It was totally worth the extra time to plate the food because Sam did not once fuss about eating all her food.
I also made a plate for my son, Sawyer. Unlike Sam, Sawyer will eat just about anything, but I couldn't resist making his own plate of Pasta Boy Bowl.
And thus, Plate Art for Kids was born.