“Sushi” made out of Wonder Bread and Bologna. Halloween cupcakes with eyeballs and spooky gummy worms. Jello made to look like Lego. Hot dogs wrapped in dough formed to look like little Dachshunds.
You know what I’m talking about. Pinterest is like the Mecca of Cute Kid Food. It’s everywhere.
Why do I hate this stuff? Well… #1…
#2 – I hate the implication that I’m less a caring mother because I sent my kid to school with real food that looks like food. I made my bread, and the granola bar, and grew the spinach in his spinach and chicken pasta. Why is that less awesome than making a hot “dog?”
#3 – You’re teaching your kids to be picky, cutting crusts off things and making cute little portion sizes in mini silicone muffin cups. If little Johnny won’t eat his veggies unless they look like flowers… well, have fun doing that forever. Which leads me to…
#4 – OH MY GOD, THE WASTE. Cute bento boxes. The bane of my universe. All I can think about when I look at these cute little cookie-cuttered objects is how much of the food is (probably) being wasted, and North America has a real problem with food waste. To be fair, I know all bento is not created equal. HOWEVER, when I see bento box food bloggers are coming out with posts like French toast casseroles made with bread scraps and how to make quiche with the slices of ham that have been hit by the Cute Swiss Cheese Fairy, where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire.
#5 – Do you have any idea what you’re feeding your kids? Okay, when you’re playing ninja with your vegetables, there’s an upside to that (they’re eating vegetables, hopefully). But the other items in your food art…. these are time bombs. They’re frequently made using all store-bought highly manufactured convenience items like crescent doughs, pre-sliced lunch meats and candy. They’re full of sugar, salt, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, bleaching agents, possibly harmful food dyes, and a whole lot of other unfun stuff.
If you’re going to spend a lot of time making kid food, make real food. Your kid will probably thank you for it someday.