Everything goes on a cracker

What: Strawberries on cheese-and-crackers

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Mummy, it’s bigger than my mouth.

How: Kid 5 invented this. They like crackers, they like cheese and particularly the soft kind that comes with chives, and they like strawberries – the bigger the better. The only “how” here that’s at all difficult is how we got one to last long enough to get a photo. Food construction For The Win! The curious bit about this is that Kid 5 hates mixing food. But they ate their mixed constructions quite happily. So it was a tentative foray into the idea of what happens when you combine flavours and textures in one mouthful. Maybe we should have watched the beginning of Ratatouille next!

Extras: When this happened, it was just food experimentation, plain and simple, with the big box of strawberries Grandma had got from a local farm plus our usual collection of cheese-and-crackers left over from morning tea with some visitors. A wider range of ingredients could get some more serious building going on with more focused ideas about shapes and meaning and imagination. It also seems like I missed an opportunity to build on this spontaneous kid-generated activity by doing more play with food flavours and textures, and hopefully sneak in a few “mixed” dishes into our meal routines. I have very few of those – no winter soups or casseroles, because anything mixed is “yucky”. Another direction to go is that there are carved-strawberry-and-topping hor d’eouvres and kids’ finger food that you can make, so we could build on the basic idea and make something more complicated or fancy-looking. Kid 5 at this stage was using very basic kids’ kitchen knives (paring and smaller) to cut softer things like strawberries, watermelon, cucumber, banana and mushroom, so we could have gone with a cutting exercise of some sort. Wasn’t going to happen on this day though – the important bit was that the strawberry was as big as possible!