Make a Masterpiece

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Here’s a fun way to turn the side dish at your next meal into arts & crafts! Not only will this cooking project engage children’s artistic side, but you might just get them to try a new food, too.

To start, I sliced a variety of veggies and fruits (yes, you can roast fruit), resulting in a hodgepodge of rutabaga, beets, apple, pear, and oranges. I tried to cut each item into different shapes, like triangular rutabaga pieces, semi-circle beets, circular orange slices, and apple wedges.

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I then set everything out for Veronika alongside a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and encouraged her to arrange the items however she wanted. She looked so proud as she chose where to place each piece of food.

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She especially loved the beets because they made her fingers pink!

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I demonstrated how some of the items could be arranged almost like images from a kaleidoscope (oranges surrounded by apple wedges were pretty, for example), but mostly I left the design up to her. She talked about the shapes as she worked; meanwhile ‘rutabaga’ and ‘beets’ were new vocab for her and she quickly latched on to these new words.

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When her design was finished, I drizzled with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkled with a dash of salt, then roasted at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.

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The resulting mix made a perfect side dish to a winter meal! You can try this with any number of root veggies or fruits, and see what combination your little artists like best.

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