It's OK to Play with Your Food

SHOW: Giada at Home EPISODE: Cooking with Kid

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2014 Television Food Netword All rights reserved

Jackie Alpers, 2014 Television Food Netword All rights reserved

When whimsical dishes like these are on the menu, playing with your food is not only allowed, it's encouraged. The fun factor will get even the pickiest eaters excited to make these recipes — and eat them! Fortunately for the rest of the family, these meals and snacks are also mighty tasty.

Spaghetti NestsBocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella) stand in for birds’ eggs in Giada De Laurentiis’ adorable spaghetti dish. Use tongs to swirl the cooked spaghetti, then transfer it to a pan to bake until firm enough to hold the “eggs.” Have the kids help nestle them into place.

SHOW: The Pioneer Woman EPISODE: Paige and Friend

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2014 Television Food Netword All rights reserved

Jackie Alpers, 2014 Television Food Netword All rights reserved

Prairie Sushi

Here’s “sushi” you can pack in a lunchbox. Ree Drummond builds turkey and cream cheese wraps in soft flour tortillas, adds cucumber and carrot for crunch, then cuts them into bite-sized “rolls.” Eat 'em with chopsticks to enhance the faux-sushi experience.

SHOW: Giada at Home EPISODE: Oodles of Noodles

Photo by: Jackie Alpers ©2014 Television Food Netword All rights reserved

Jackie Alpers, 2014 Television Food Netword All rights reserved

Chow Mein Cookies

These crunchy no-bake cookies are a cinch to make: Just coat store-bought chow mein noodles, almonds and dried fruit in rich, melted chocolate. Kids can help scoop the mixture with an ice cream scoop or spoon. Once they harden, the cookie clusters keep well in an airtight container — perfect for toting along to an early fall picnic.

Check out more fun and playful recipes to cook with kids.

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