Monstrous Fun with Fruits and Vegetables
By Bridget Noel Welch Kamke
Halloween is a time when we are inundated with sweet junk food, but we can have fun with foods that are good for us too by making monsters out of vegetables and fruits! It’s a fun activity for parents and kids alike.
It is a good idea to prepare the fruits or vegetables in advance. Clean and cut veggies or fruits into shapes that would be fun to work with. Include round, flat, long, large, small pieces and more for use in various parts of monsters.
For easiest monster creation, make them on plates. For smaller children, there is no need to fasten parts together and build three dimensionally when a fun monster or scary face can be formed on the dish. Working three dimensionally is definitely an option, and is encouraged for more dexterous artists like older children and adults.
Use your imagination. This is ants on a log taken to another level. Take a look at this short video for inspiration: www.eastwood.nsw.edu.au/kinderclips/?p=2820.
Here are some ideas of what to use and how:
- Strips of bell peppers, carrot or celery for limbs, smiles, whiskers, antennae
- Broccoli floret, red cabbage or parsley for hair
- Carrot coins, blueberries, grapes, cherries and peas for eyes, nose
- Celery leaf or lettuce for fins, hair, wings
- Red cabbage for facial parts like eyebrows, ears
- Cucumber, potato, zucchini, apple, pear or squash slices for body or face
- Strawberries and Radish for smaller body parts, like heads
- Funny shaped tomatoes or peppers can be the monsters themselves; just add a face
- Use toothpicks for connecting or stabilizing
- Seeds can be used as eyes or teeth
- Grapes and cherries may become heads, hands, or feet
Incorporate parts you normally cut off during prep, like the hairy twisted bottom of a beet, which can make a great snout. Stems of fruits may also become parts of the monster.
Make it colorful with berries, bananas, watermelon, mango, cantaloupe, honeydew, and kiwi. Think about textures as well when selecting produce. How can you use a kiwi’s hairy skin, for instance?
Do this with a few families and have everyone bring some produce. Organize and keep track of who is bringing what when they RSVP and you can make sure to have variety to work with. Have fun, and let your imagination run wild!