9 Ideas for Children’s In-Flight MealsOctober 30, 2014 by Mary Covert
Studies have shown that meals that are colorful and arranged into fun shapes are more appealing to children. With this in mind, an ordinary meal can become an adventure in dining for a child. Use fruit and vegetables to create shapes and enhance plate presentation. Adding lots of colors will ensure the meal will be a hit!
All you need is a little imagination, and you can turn just about any children’s meal into a delightful presentation. If you have been searching for new ideas to add to your in-flight catering services, here are tips to create tried and true favorites that appeal to children.
- Snack Butterflies – Put snacks in plastic storage baggies and add a colorful pipe cleaner in order to create a butterfly. Try cereal, trail mix, nuts or other healthy options that come in small sizes.
- Kiddy Caprese-a-pillar – (shown above) Use tomatoes and balls of mozzarella to make a caterpillar. Complete with eyes and mouth cut from an olive slice.
- Colorful containers – Use multicolor baking cups to portion snacks in a box. For example, use blue and green baking cups inside of a blue container. Fill each cup with a different part of the snack, such as crackers, apple slices, cheese cubes and raisins.
Breakfast for Children
- Sunshine Pancakes – All you need is a pancake, a few sliced strawberries and about ten blueberries. Place the pancake in the center of the plate. Arrange sliced strawberries around the edge of the pancake to look like sun rays. Then arrange blueberries to create a happy face. Optional: place a coin-shaped slice of banana behind each blueberry “eye.”
- Pinwheel Sandwich Flowers – Create a scene of sunshine and flowers by using pinwheel sandwich slices, an orange wheel slice, celery sticks and celery slices. Arrange pinwheels in two rows in the center of the plate, alternating the pinwheels. Next, place celery sticks below the pinwheels to create the flower stems and celery slices below the celery sticks to create a lawn. Finish by placing an orange wheel slice at the top of the plate to create a sun.
- Sandwich Owl – To make this owl and tree combination you will need a sandwich of your passenger’s choice, slices of cucumber or pickle, a small cheese wedge, an olive and baby carrots. Slice the corners of the sandwich at an angle and the space to form wings. Use cucumber slices, an olive cut in half and a wedge of cheese to make the face. Next, add cucumber slices (or pickle slices) and baby carrots to create a tree. If your passenger prefers, use pretzel sticks instead of baby carrots.
- Fruity Chew-Chew – This is a simple and creative way to present a variety of fruit to your younger passengers. Cut three cubes of watermelon, four square slices of watermelon, dice a peach and cut ten grapes in half. For bigger children, join the three watermelon cubes and one square slice with toothpicks (do not use toothpicks for smaller children). Place the other three square slices on top of the cubes. Add two “wheels” (half of a grape) to each side of the four train compartments. Add remaining grape halves to top of the second cubed watermelon. Add diced peaches on top of the last and first cubes. Place peach stem into the square slice to serve as a smokestack (only for bigger children).
Additional Favorite Children’s Foods
- Saus-apus – Transform sausages or hot dogs into sea creatures in a couple of quick preparations steps. All you need are a few sausages or hot dogs, pretzel sticks (for bigger children) or a toothpick and condiments. Cut a hot dog or sausage in half and score the cut side into eight sections. The sections will curl when heated and will be the octopus tentacles. Use a toothpick (for younger children) or break pretzel sticks into pieces to makes eyes and a mouth. These cute little octopus creatures can be placed on a bowl of mac n’ cheese, an ocean of mustard and ketchup, or served with vegetables and dipping sauce.
- Mouse Potato – Turn a baked potato into a mouse. Use sliced radishes or carrots to make the ears, raisins/peas for eyes, cherry tomato for a nose, scallions for a tail and chives for whiskers.
I hope you have found this inspirational and will try some fun children’s meal presentations. Check back with us for more ideas, and make sure to share photos of your creations with us.
If you have any questions about this article or about in-flight catering, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.