Food Styling: to Help your Picky Toddler Eat More Healthy

By Erika Barrera, University of Arizona ISPP dietetic intern

Are you having trouble finding ways to have your toddler eat healthy? Well, food styling may be just for you and your kiddo!

 

A toddler’s diet can be unpredictable…Every day their appetite and opinion on certain foods change, making it hard to provide your child with a balanced diet. But have no worries! There are ways around this challenge.

 

Children have such imaginative minds and tend to be more interested in how things look, for if their meal or snack does not look appealing your child may not be too thrilled to eat it. With this, having your toddler more involved with preparing and cooking meals and snacks is a great way for them to be more interested in trying various foods. In regard to this, food styling is a way of having your toddler more involved in the kitchen!

 

So, what is food styling? Food styling consists of styling a meal or snack that is appealing to the eye. The decoration, the color, the size, and even the texture of the food is enhanced or styled together so that it can stimulate appetite and create emotion toward the food. The media and restaurants use this technique to increase sales and customers, and you, as a mom, can use this technique in your kitchen to have your family eat healthier!

 

Here are some ideas for implementing food styling in your kitchen:

 

Fruit Flower

Strawberries, bananas, blackberries, apples, whole wheat pancake with orange marmalade

 

 

 

 Under the Sea

Whole wheat bread with peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries

 

 

Bunny Rabbit and Chickadees

Hard-boiled eggs, carrots, and green onions

 

Crab Got Your Tongue!

Whole wheat waffle, strawberries, bananas, apples, and blueberries

 

 Brown Bear

Whole wheat pancakes with hazelnut spread, bananas, and dark chocolate chips

 

Sandwich Monster

Whole wheat bread, deli chicken breast meat, swiss cheese, olives

 

 

 

You say the creative gene doesn’t run in your family? Try fruit, vegetable, and cheese cube kabobs, spelling out your child’s name on the plate, or simply layer out the rainbow with fruit and vegetables in a clear cup. What is great about food styling is that you and your family can be as creative as desired and can make all sorts of food combinations that the family enjoys!

 

For more fun and interesting articles be sure to check out the Fill Your Plate blog!

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