Getting a kid to sit at the table and eat can be a challenge, at least when ice cream isn’t the main course. But meals can be fun! With a food face plate, kids get a buddy to share lunch with… until they eat him.

DIY Food Face Plate: Create nutritious and beautiful meals for kids, use them as prompts to introduce food art to your family or give as handmade gifts to new parents!

It was some years ago: my friend and I were sitting in a coffee shop, and while she was still enjoying her dessert, I was already at the point of lamenting the demise of my chocolate cake. While we chatted, I started playing with the leftover sauce on my plate and, using a spoon, created a picture of a chocolate apple tree. It certainly wasn’t the masterpiece of my life, but if I measured my art by the pleasure it gave me, that little painting would rank pretty high!

Making food art always seemed like a lot of fun to me. I think its transitory nature appealed to me. It was easy not to take it very seriously and to enjoy the process instead: shaping a caterpillar with grapes, cutting stars out of a cheese brick and painting a cake. “It’s all going to be eaten, right? So if it doesn’t turn out, not a big deal!”

You won’t find me arranging impressive platters every day or even every week, but when I feel like playing with food, I find that it’s most fun not to wait for a special occasion and instead add a little festivity to a common day. A month or so ago, I felt like introducing Budster to the joy of creative food and made pictures on his plates for about three days in a row. Without any doubt, he got a kick out of “eating the smile” and “munching the moon”, and our snacks turned into little adventures!

Food Face Plate: Use them as prompts to introduce food art to kids. So easy to create beautiful and nutritious meals with these fun and cheap DIY plates!

Apparently, playing with food is also good for picky eaters. Budster doesn’t have problems with trying new foods, but he has some dislikes, and he’s a lot more likely to give a try to a carrot if it’s a nose of a snowman.

Admittedly, it did take me about twice as long to prepare his snack, and that’s when the idea of having a food art prompt wheezed through my mind first. Then, at the toy store, I saw this plate. That was just what I needed! Of course, instead of buying it, I decided to make my own version because it seemed fun and thrifty.

Food Face Plate: Use them as prompts to introduce food art to kids. So easy to create beautiful and nutritious meals with thess fun and cheap DIY plates!

How to Make a Food Face Plate

First, I thought of making a place mat with a face on it, then buying a transparent glass plate to put on top. This is still an idea you can use: print the design and slide it underneath a plate. But I decided to go further and draw the design on the back of the plate.

I picked up two transparent glass plates at IKEA for $0.99 each. I really liked that I could buy them individually instead of getting a full set, and the price was very fair.

Cheap IKEA plates are about to be turned into food face plates!

As for the markers, I had a few left from different projects in the past that I wanted to try. Here is my swatch!

What kind of marker will work best on the glass surface?

I tried a sharpie marker, an oil-based paint marker and a glass paint outliner.

A sharpie marker leaves a slightly faded line and washes off very easily. While it isn’t good for any permanent solutions, it may be fun if you want to have a little food decorating experiment and let kids draw their own prompts on the plate, then wash them off and have your plates back to normal.

An oil-based paint marker is the easiest to operate, and if you wash plates with a soft rag, it stays for a while. After about a week of daily use, however, the paint started chipping a little. But then again, maybe after a week, your kids would like to move onto a new design! To remove the paint marker off the plate completely, I used an abrasive sponge.

Now, a glass paint outliner is meant for painting on glass, so overall, it is the best option. It’s a little trickier to operate at first, so you may want to give it a try on a piece of paper. You could also squeeze some out and use it with a brush if it seems more comfortable. After you put the design onto the plate, you need to bake it in the oven at 160 degrees C for 40 minutes. It holds very well afterwards!

First, I drew my designs with a pencil, then photographed them and created clear outlines in Photoshop. Finally, I printed them again so that they would fit on my plates.

Sketching the designs for food face plates.

Food Face Plate Designs

You can download the designs here or by clicking on the picture above. You can see that I created two faces thinking that it would be fun to have different templates on two plates. But after all was done, I realized that I liked the cheeky monkey on the left more and ended up putting this design on both of my plates. You’re welcome to use either or both! It’ll make me feel better if someone makes use of the more serious face on the right.

It’s very important to draw on the outside of the plate! While all the paints are marked non-toxic, none of them are food-grade, and therefore I wouldn’t risk using them on the inside of the plate. Because glass distorts the image a little, I cut the drawing out and taped it to the plate first. That’s how it looked: the plate is lying with its bottom up, and the picture is taped on the inside.

Food Face Plate: Use them as prompts to introduce food art to kids. So easy to create beautiful and nutritious meals with these fun and cheap DIY plates!

Following the lines, I repeated the design on two plates, then turned them around and – voilà!

Food Face Plate: Use them as prompts to introduce food art to kids. So easy to create beautiful and nutritious meals with these fun and cheap DIY plates!

Making Food Art

Now, that was fun! From that moment on, creating beautiful meals took no additional time at all.

Food Face Plate: Use them as prompts to introduce food art to kids. So easy to create beautiful and nutritious meals with these fun and cheap DIY plates!

Creating a variety of hairstyles was my favourite part, but other times I would also cover the eyes and the mouth. The face got a very different look then!

Food Face Plate: Use them as prompts to introduce food art to kids. So easy to create beautiful and nutritious meals with these fun and cheap DIY plates!

After we had a few dinners with our new food pals, I made an interesting observation: creating a little picture made our food not only more aesthetically appealing, but also more nutritious. When I looked at the food I served as a picture, I wanted to make it more colourful and interesting, and what’s more vibrant than fruits and vegetables? So I naturally added some of them to every meal.

Of course, we also made a few gorgeous fruit platters. I gave Budster cutout fruits, and he made some faces too before munching them up.

Food Face Plate: Use them as prompts to introduce food art to kids. So easy to create beautiful and nutritious meals with these fun and cheap DIY plates!

Have a fun meal!

If you want to stay updated on new stories from Adventure in a Box, consider subscribing to our FacebookPinterestTwitter or Instagram pages. The design for making food face plates can be found in the section with free printables.

DIY Food Face Plate: Create nutritious and beautiful meals for kids, use them as prompts to introduce food art to your family or give as handmade gifts to new parents!

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