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"The Ominous Blueberry" © Molly Anderson-Childers
Projects : Creative Food Fun : Fun with Food: Art You Can Eat!

Fruit Salad Smileys & Creative Writing

Fun with Food: Art You Can Eat!

By Molly J. Anderson-Childers

Hey, gang! What’s for dinner tonight? If it’s something boring (meatloaf, pot-roast, leftover Chinese food) or just plain gross (like Brussels’ sprouts-yuck!), you need more fun in your diet! Today, I’d like to share a project that is 100% snack-able! Follow me into the kitchen for some fun with food…

Prep and Set-Up

Before doing anything with food, stop — and wash your hands with soap and warm water. Wipe down the counter-top you’ll be working on, so you have a clean place to work. Read the recipe, and make sure you have the required kitchen equipment and food to complete the project. Elementary-aged kids and younger definitely need adult help with this one. If you need help, please ask a parent, older brother or sister, or a friend’s mom. I encourage substitutions, experiments, creative improvisations, and huge sloppy messes! Please write and tell me all about your culinary adventures at and feel free to send pictures of the edible art you’ve created!

A Cautionary Note: If you are planning to make a huge sloppy mess in your mother’s kitchen, ASK HER PERMISSION FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t learn the hard way, like I did! Moms tend to freak out when you get peanut butter all over the ceiling... So be prepared to clean up after yourself, too. This means washing dishes and wiping the counter-top, and putting away leftovers in the fridge.

Safety comes first in this kitchen. Always ask for adult help and supervision when using sharp knives, kitchen appliances, or the stove. Until you are an experienced chef, you should have a little training and help.


Fruit-Salad Smileys


  • 1 Pint fresh blueberries
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 6 small containers yogurt, any flavor*
  • One dozen large, ripe strawberries
  • 2 Cups granola, nuts, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, or toasted coconut
  • 1 large apple

*If you don’t like yogurt, substitute pudding, whipped cream, ice cream, ice milk, etc.


  • 6 Plates
  • 6 Spoons
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 sharp knife
  • Measuring cups

Yield: Feeds six hungry kids — or one teenage boy! Double or triple the recipe for a party!


Rinse apple and berries; set aside. Spoon yogurt onto center of plate and spread in an even round shape. This is the canvas for your masterpiece of berries and bananas! Place two blueberries about two inches apart in the center of the plate. Surround them with rings of carefully placed blueberries to make big blue eyes. Slice the green tops off of the strawberries and discard. Place it carefully about halfway between the eyes and the bottom of the face, using it as the nose. Peel bananas, then cut in half lengthwise, to create two smiles! Place the cut edge up, then use slivered almonds or pine nuts, to create teeth. A sliced strawberry can give the effect of a bright red tongue, lips, or rosy cheeks. Core an apple, then slice in half. Cut into 12 thin slices. Use them to create cheekbones, eyebrows, or lips.

And now... Drum roll, please... the finishing touches! Granola or toasted coconut, cereal, or nuts and toasted grains can create interesting hairstyles, beards, eyelashes, jewelry, and other interesting details. Go wild and make smiley faces for everyone in your family, or do a self-portrait in fruit and granola. Admire your good work, take a photo or two, and then… dig in! Next time, experiment with different ingredients and let me know what you like best! Here’s an interesting idea… make your favorite animal faces, celebrity portraits, or designs — and send me pictures. Maybe we can publish them online here at Creativity Portal Playground, to show other interested kids what you can do! You can also use food to inspire you to create different artwork… Sketch or paint blueberries, photograph your creations and create a photo-collage, or sculpt a strawberry with your favorite clay!

Eat Your Words!!!

Hot, Tasty Creative Writing Projects

Using nuts, berries or dried fruit, create letters that spell out words from a haiku, joke, or a special birthday message for a friend. You can also allow the ingredients themselves to become an inspiration for a poem or story. Try to write from the point of view of your favorite fruits and veggies... A story about a day in the life of an apple or a pear might be interesting! You can also create your own haiku or free-verse poetry using words found in the kitchen. Look around for interesting words and create a list of them written on recipe cards. Open the fridge, look in the cabinets, and be sure to check out the spice rack for juicy, fresh words like: saffron, cinnamon, frozen fresh, wild salmon, sweet peas, and pickled okra! Add random words to your list: the, a, and, his, loud, cried, chopped, quietly, boiling, and simmered. Then, throw in some words to express emotions: rage, joy, love, angst. Cut them out, then rearrange them until you have found a poem.

Room For Dessert?

I wanted to end this article on a sweet note. As a writer, artist, teacher, and professional Muse, I know that young artists often do not get the encouragement and support they need to create. I urge you to follow your heart, and create whatever, whenever and wherever you are inspired to. It doesn’t matter if no one else understands. It doesn’t matter if your ideas are wild, weird, or scary, or interesting to no one but you. I encourage you to write, draw, paint, and create big messy projects every chance you get! Blaze away with red ink and tell your story anyway! •

© 2006 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.

Please respect the creator's copyright by not duplicating this material on your Web site, blog, or print publication without the author's permission.

About the Author | More by Molly Anderson-Childers
Molly J. Anderson-Childers is a wildly creative soul living in Durango, CO. She is a writer, artist, and creative arts instructor. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fort Lewis College with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and successfully completed their Elementary Teacher Education Program. Her work has appeared in various publications, including The Durango Telegraph, Southwest Colorado Arts Perspective, Images, Voice Be Heard, The Four Corners Business Journal and On the Wings of Poetry. To contact Ms. Childers, please email her at: stealingplums[at] or send a snail mail to P.O. Box 4281, Durango, CO 81302-4281.