Birthdays mean cake and ice cream, right? And maybe a piñata full of candy? Sometimes birthdays can mean one big sugar rush. To get the next birthday in your house off to a healthy start, try this creative concept that guarantees the day will start with a giggle and may even launch a new tradition in your house.
At our house we spoil the birthday boy or girl, even if it’s mom or dad. We start the day by bringing breakfast in bed to the honoree so they can blow out some candles and make a wish before their feet even hit the floor. Breakfast ranges from Belgian waffles with whipped cream for the youngest to a veggie omelet for our vegetarian son. But everyone’s favorite part of the meal is a silly, edible portrait that we create using the birthday person’s favorite fruits: The Fruit Face.
Serving someone breakfast in bed means waking up early, especially if the birthday falls on a weekday when everyone needs to get ready for work and school. Schedule enough time to cook a favorite breakfast, create the fruit face and also leave room to actually eat the meal you have carefully prepared. Shop for all the ingredients ahead of time and take care to buy a variety of favorite fruits that you may not usually stock. Think about using fruits that offer a variety of shapes and colors, such as kiwi, star fruit, pineapple and raspberries. Each fruit face can feature 5-10 fruits (and occasionally vegetables) and takes thought and lots of imagination. Everyone can have input in the creation, but you may find that one of you is a particularly gifted fruit-face designer.
Start with a large round platter as a canvas and then let your imagination run wild. Cut the fruit into chunks, strips, stars or other shapes to become the features of the face. A face might include strips of cantaloupe for hair, kiwi eyes fringed with strawberry leaf eyelashes, apple slice-ears with a raspberry earring and a banana button nose. Some faces feature fangs, hair ribbons, bow ties, mustaches or perhaps a Carmen Miranda-style pineapple top hat. The sillier, the better. The only rule is that all the features need to be made of fruit.
Why Try It
Our family has created about 75 fruit faces over the past 15 years and we try never to repeat a design. We use new fruits, add fruit accessories and create plates full of expression. It can be a challenge to be original and creative early in the morning and equally challenging to complete the work before the birthday boy or girl wakes up. But the smile on their faces when they see a crazy face on a plate is worth the effort. Creating a fruit face can become a way to show the birthday celebrant that you put thought and time into making something just for them. Don’t be surprised when your kids will eagerly pluck a grape “eye” off the platter and pop it in their mouths. The fruit faces guarantee that every birthday starts with a smile and of course, encourage everyone to eat a combination of healthy fruits along with their Belgian waffles.