Healthy Food Can Be Fun: Bill & Claire Wurtzel’s Artistic Approach to Eating

BookendsCindy: Apparently Bill Wurtzel never heard that you weren’t supposed to play with your food . . . or he is just a rebel at heart. What started as a way to amuse his wife has turned into art and a couple of books. The latest is Funny Food Made Easy (2016) and it encourages creative fun with healthy ingredients that will leave you smiling as wide as the egg and toast man with pea fingers on the front cover. Funny Food Made Easy by Bill & Claire WurtzelHave some cottage cheese or some oatmeal and a few other ingredients? You are in business. A giraffe made from bananas? Easy peasy. Even a few orange slices and a couple of raisins arranged quickly on a round plate makes a fun face. Birds, trains, skeletons, and monkeys are all possible with a paring knife, some fruit and veggies, and other on-hand ingredients. It’s amazing to see what he can do just with an egg slicer and some hard boiled eggs.

The Wurtzels advise being open to inspiration and substitution. They provide directions and tips, but there is no wrong way to create. Do snap a photo before you eat, though! With schools letting out before you know it, parents and caregivers will be looking for activities. This book will provide hours of browsing fun and the permission to play with your food. Enjoy!

Lynn: Talk about a whole new direction in “plating” food! I haven’t yet shown this to the focus group as I’ve been saving it for summer, but I already know this is going to be a hit with them. Not only is this going to provide hours of fun, it is going to be a true help in the what-to-feed-our-picky-eaters department! With the twins, now 12, the biggest issue is having enough food for them to inhale, but one of the others will only allow about four things to pass his lips.

What an awesome way to get children to try new foods.

From a practical standpoint, too, this book is terrific! First, it is divided into sections titled Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, and Nutrition. There are hundreds of wonderful examples in each section to either copy or to spark inspiration. The ingredients are listed below each example. The ingredients are not only common and easy to get, they are also very nutritious and just the sort of thing you want kids to be eating. Some might be a bit exotic or new to a kid’s taste range but what an awesome way to get children to try new foods. As Bill and Claire say, “If kids make it, they’ll eat it.”

The chapter on Nutrition is very nicely done and practical advice is also scattered throughout the book along with fun quotes about artistic creativity. And boy is this fun food creative! I’d made banana caterpillars for the boys, but I never came close to a Shakespeare made of pears and raisins or an Eggbert made of English muffin, egg salad, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and lettuce. Bill even plays with leftovers in ways that will delight kids and maybe even get kids to eat them. I’m starting my grocery list now!




About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

Post a Comment