Last summer I gave myself a project that wasn’t for work or for pleasure, and to be honest it wasn’t really all that necessary. In a moment of craziness I decided to create proper old-fashioned photo albums with the 7000+ digital photos stored somewhere on my hard drive.
It’s funny because I hear of more and more people transferring videos and VHS cassettes to DVD, in order to create an electronic library of memories, yet I’m headed in the opposite direction. I want hard copies of the best images I have, stored in an album that can be pulled out when needed or wanted. I’m hoping the books of photos will encourage us to take more walks down memory lane, and I like the idea of our family huddled over the pictures in tandem, instead of scrolling through them independently with our faces buried in a screen.
While I was culling my photos for printing, I came across an exorbitant number of food pictures. Naturally. What I started to notice was several themes within the photos, grouping that are probably worth sharing together.
The first images that caught my eye were the ones from the parties I’ve worked on in the past two years. I’m particularly proud of the ways I’ve made fruit and veggies look fun and festive for the kids, a challenge for most of us on a good day. I mean, how you do you really make a carrot look fun? It turns out to be easier than you might expect. My intention isn’t to tell you that serving a plain platter of veggie sticks is wrong, but rather I’m hoping some of these ideas might inspire you when it comes to your next kiddie celebration.
1. Make People, Faces and Objects: You can only imagine how excited the kids were to see these Monster faces on a platter. Consider shaping your vegetables into a face or body that suits the theme of the party like I did with this vegetable skeleton for Halloween. Alternatively, make an object, like this carrot that was crafted from… carrots!
2. Use Colour to Your Advantage: Most fruits and vegetables are naturally pigmented a rainbow of colours and that can really work in your favour when planning a party. For a sports event I used the colours of the Olympic rings as inspiration for a fruit platter, and did the same with the rainbow fruit cups and colourful crudité, which were additions to an art-themed birthday party.
3. Use a Creative Serving Vessel: These ordinary carrot sticks and pea pods take on a new life when the dip is served in fun vessel. In this case, I used a trophy for a hockey party I was working on and filled it with ranch dip, and a watermelon bowl to serve assorted fruits at a Hawaiian-themed celebration.
4. Serve on a Stick: Salad on a stick is a fun way to jazz up everyday vegetables like carrots and cucumber. Pair them with a popular dipping sauce and you’ll be surprised just how quickly these disappear.
5. Single Serving Sizes: Anything served in miniature works well for the kids. These individual posts of hummus and veggies are perfect for a garden themed party, not to mention any baby or wedding shower you might be planning.
6. Use Cookie Cutters: My two-year old niece is fascinated with eating anything that’s been cut into a fun shape. Do the same with your favourite fruits, customizing them to match the theme of the party, like I did with these spring-inspired pineapple and chicken kebobs.
7. Dip in Chocolate: Need I say more? Colourful sprinkles, sticks and chocolate can transform almost any fruit into a frozen treat that rivals most store-bought products.
8. Make the Dip the Focus: This igloo cheese ball I made for a penguin party is the perfect example of how the dip can take centre stage at your next event. The veggies you serve with it are just a vehicle for devouring the fun dressing you’ve created.
Now it's your turn. Do you find it diffucult to get creative when serving fruits and vegetables at a kid's party? And how about those photos? Are you storing them electonically or printing them off, like I am?