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Photos: Kelly Caruso.

Creative Ways To Make Meals Magical

Delight your kids with these cheerful meals.

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Each of these dishes were curated by Kelly Caruso, a pediatric occupational therapist who specializes in treating children with feeding deficits. Caruso, who’s also a mother to a three-year-old daughter, says that making food a fun experience for children is wildly important.

“When parents or caregivers first present food, always try to remember to present it in different shapes and forms. This will help prevent children becoming picky eaters,” she explains. And with kids of all ages, allow them to become a part of the food making experience. “It’s a great way to spend time in the kitchen making magical memories,” Caruso says.

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Butterfly Quesadilla

You Will Need:

Directions:

  1. Cut out a butterfly shape on two tortillas using food scissors.
  2. Mix ½ teaspoon of olive oil with 2 drops of food coloring for each color of your choice (we used 4 different colors). Paint the first color around the edges of the butterfly, then paint the center portion a different color.
  3. Sprinkle cheese between the two tortillas and add any filling of your choice (this is a great way to add in new vegetables for your kids).
  4. Place the tortilla painted side down on the skillet and cook the quesadilla on the stove until crispy.
  5. Use a circle cookie cutter to make small tortilla circles, then paint with olive oil and food coloring. Again, place them on the stove to cook.
  6. Cut cucumbers into small slices that resemble grass.
  7. Place the butterfly quesadilla on a plate, then add small circle shapes to the wings and finish with a sprinkle in the center.
  8. Add sour cream and white sprinkles to the plate, to resemble clouds.
  9. Add blueberries and pretzels to garnish.

Flower Toast

Photo: Kelly Caruso

You Will Need:

Directions:

  1. Toast three slices of bread.
  2. Use the flower cookie cutter to cut out three shapes.
  3. Place a small drop of food paint in the center of each shape, then add sprinkles.
  4. Use food paint or seedless jam to decorate the flower petals.
  5. Cut the kiwi into small strips and assemble into a stem.
  6. Add a handful of granola to resemble soil.

Rainbow Yogurt

Photo: Kelly Caruso

You Will Need:

Directions:

  1. Place 2 tablespoons of yogurt into each sandwich bag. Add 1 to 2 drops of food coloring to each bag. Squeeze the bags gently to mix the food coloring with the yogurt.
  2. Seal the bags. Cut the tip of one bottom corner of a bag diagonally. Pipe yogurt onto wax paper; repeat with other colors to form a rainbow. Freeze it overnight.
  3. Once the rainbow is frozen, blend a frozen banana, yogurt, and a few drops of blue food coloring in a blender. Place in a bowl.
  4. Add a rainbow on top, whip cream for clouds, and edible star sprinkles.

Need more mealtime inspiration? Follow Kelly on Instagram at @Kellcaruso.

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