FOOD ART TIPS FROM THE EX­PERT:ERT:

Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Parenthood -

1. Ev­ery­thing you need is al­ready at hand in your own kitchen. ‘Food art should al­ways be prac­ti­cal. You don’t need any fancy equip­ment,’ ad­vises Lee, who sim­ply uses the likes of par­ing knives, kitchen scis­sors and bowls of var­i­ous sizes to shape her in­gre­di­ents.

2. Fast, not fas­tid­i­ous. Per­fec­tion­ism will get you nowhere. ‘A lot of par­ents who haven’t made food art think they have to wake up at 4am to start cooking,’ says Lee. Con­trary to popular be­lief, you don’t have to lose sleep over your kids’ meals. ‘Ja­panese mums pre­pare bento boxes with very sim­ple de­signs. It’s all very prac­ti­cal. Af­ter all, your kids are go­ing to eat ev­ery­thing!’

3. Cook healthy and swap in­gre­di­ents where pos­si­ble. Pre­par­ing your fam­ily’s meals means hav­ing the free­dom to in­cor­po­rate lots of fruits and veg­eta­bles in their diet. Be­sides reg­u­larly in­clud­ing greens in her food art, Lee avoids us­ing ar­ti­fi­cial food dye by swap­ping around in­gre­di­ents. ‘My art doesn’t per­fectly re­sem­ble the char­ac­ters I’m try­ing to de­pict. For in­stance, I used cab­bage for Cin­derella’s dress even though it’s blue in the car­toon.’

4. Ex­per­i­ment be­yond solid food. Plas­tic squeeze bot­tles come in handy for em­bel­lish­ing with sauces or liq­uids. Lee is fond of writ­ing words and phrases in her sig­na­ture ‘soup art’ (re­fer to the bum­ble bee plat­ter) – a sim­ple tech­nique that reaps de­light­ful re­sults.

Check out her food art on Instagram, @leesaman­tha, or her web­site, www.leesaman­tha.com.

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