“Eat a Story for Lunch,” Ensign, Feb. 1977, 64
Nourishing meals can be more appealing to finicky youngsters and more fun for everyone when you serve them with a bit of imaginative artistry. You can make scenes and figures out of food!
Lunches provide especially suitable working materials. With a knife or cookie-cutter, you can trim slices of cheese or bread to any shape. Cottage cheese, made bright and lively with food coloring, can be molded with a spoon or fingers into anything from clouds and ocean waves to Big Bird or Cookie Monster. Raisins, nuts, and pieces of raw vegetables and fruits become the details of faces, structures, or living things: for example, leafy celery sprints make fine trees—or tail feathers.
Assemble the various food items on the plate as elements of a picture. Then preface the meal with a simple story which your story-lunch illustrates. Children will enjoy gobbling up the scenery and characters: what more fitting way to protect the fair princess than to devour the dragon?
Do your children resist drinking as much milk every day as they should? Then let them change the color of each glassful with drops of food coloring. Encourage them to experiment with different combinations of the primary colors: What will be the result? Does the order in which they add the drops make any difference in determining the color obtained? Do blue and yellow always make green? Also, invent names for your creations: pink could be a fair imitation of yak milk, and dinosaur milk must surely be purple!
With story-lunches as a teaching tool, you and your young ones will enjoy each other as well as the meal. And why shouldn’t food be fun! Sharon Dequer, Monrovia, California