Kids breakfast ideas - pear-cupine


The beauty of this little guy is his simplicity – and the fact that he’s very hands-on for toddlers. We used matchsticks rather than toothpicks to avoid turning little fingers into pin cushions!

What you will need:

  • a ripe beurre bosc (brown) pear (try to pick one with a reasonably pointy ‘end’)
  • half a rockmelon
  • two currants
  • a sultana
  • lots of matchsticks

1. Cut the underside of the pear so you have a flat surface on the bottom.
2. Using a matchstick, push the currants into the pear to make the eyes.
3. Push a sultana onto the stalk to make the nose (you might have to cut the stalk down a bit if it’s too long).
4. Cut your rockmelon into triangles and attach them to your pear using the matchsticks.

Octopus’s garden

Breakfast ideas for kids - Octopus's Garden

One of Crackers’ favourite songs is The Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles. I’d been thinking about doing something with a marine theme for a while and a chance starfruit finding at the supermarket sealed the deal. The beauty of this theme is that you can make it whatever you want, using whatever happens to be in season. As long as you have the star of the show – the octopus – you’re set. The best part is this little guy is made out of dried apricots, which never go out of season!

What you will need:
Obviously you can tweak this however you like, but we used:

  • a plate or serving platter with a solid colour for the background (blue, white or green would work well here)
  • octopus: dried apricot (cut into strips for the legs), cream cheese and currants for eyes
  • submarine: banana and sultanas
  • clownfish: rockmelon, cream cheese for stripes, cream cheese and currant for eye, blueberry bubbles
  • ‘triangle’ fish (no idea what these are actually called): rockmelon, cream cheese, currant
  • mandarin fish (now I’m really getting technical with my fishy names): mandarin, rockmelon for fins and tail, cream cheese and currant for eye, blueberry bubbles
  • seaweed: kiwi fruit
  • starfish: starfruit
  • sand: rockmelon

Making Octopus's Garden



Baked avocado and egg mouse



Last week, a friend gave me the idea of baking an egg inside a halved avocado. The novelty valued appealed to me. However, I knew it was going to take something a bit extra to get Crackers (my kitchen apprentice) on board, so I decided we’d turn it into a mouse. Move over avocado mousse, make way for avo mouse…

What you will need:

  • one ripe but still firm avocado
  • an egg
  • a dash each of paprika, salt and pepper
  • a sprinkling of parmesan cheese
  • a slice of cheese
  • a halved black olive
  • two currants
  • one piece of fruit leather
  • small block of cheese
  • baking dish

1. Heat oven to 220°C.
2. Cut avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop out a bit of the flesh to create a larger hollow for the egg.
3. Lightly beat egg and add seasonings.
4. Lay avocado half in a baking dish, resting it on the other half (turned upside-down) to keep it level.
5. Pour egg mix into the hollow of the avocado and sprinkle with parmesan.
6. Bake in oven for around 15 mins or until egg looks cooked.
7. Cut two small circles out of the cheese for eyes and top with currants. Cut ears and tail out of the fruit leather.
8. Once avocado has cooled slightly, peel off the skin and cut the egg back to level off the top. Turn the avocado upside-down and decorate with the facial features and tail.
9. Get your apprentice chef to bite a bit out of the block of cheese so it looks like the mouse has had a nibble at it (apprentice chefs may need some supervision at this point to make sure they don’t devour the whole block!).

Beat egg    Facial features    ready for baking copy

Ham steak Peppa Pig


Peppa Pig - breakfast ideas for kidsWhen I was a kid, ham steaks with pineapple and cheese for dinner were a rare treat. So when I saw them on special recently at the supermarket I felt a nostalgic urge to buy them. Alas, it seems my kids were not touched by the same sense of occasion that used to overcome me on ‘ham steaks night’ and so I was left with two out of a packet of three steaks uneaten.

Knowing that half the battle in getting kids to eat is how you spin the story, I decided to repackage one of them as ‘Peppa Pig’. (The macabre irony of making a cheery replica of Peppa with one of her fallen kin was not lost on me but I’m banking that it flew under my 3 year-old’s radar.)

Unsurprisingly, the humble ham steak was received with much more enthusiasm in its reincarnated form as Peppa Pig.

What you will need:

  •  one ham steak
  • a frypan
  • a sharp knife
  • a slice of salami
  • a slice of cheese
  • two currants
  • a sliver of olive
  • barbecue or tomato sauce
  • a chopstick or similar to ‘paint’ sauce on with
  • baking paper
  • a texta

1. To get something vaguely resembling the wacky shape that is Peppa Pig’s head, draw it onto some baking paper until you have a version you’re happy with. Use a knife to trace around this template on the ham steak.
2. Take the cheese and cut some some small circles out for the base of the eyes. Place a small currant on top of each of the circles. Next, cut some boots out of the cheese.
3. Cut across the bottom of a slice of the salami to make Peppa’s dress.
4. Lightly fry the ham steak head, taking care not to burn it (you want it to be just lightly browned so you can still see the facial features).
5. Lay the dress and boots out on a plate.
6. Once the ham steaks have cooled a little, put the eyes in place. Then, using a chopstick and some barbecue or tomato sauce, draw the outline of the nose and Peppa’s rosy cheek. Finish the face off with a thin sliver of olive for the mouth.
7. Cut a couple of thin strips off the ham steak for Peppa’s arms.

Peppa Pig - breakfast ideas for kids    Peppa Pig - breakfast ideas for kids