Lisa Mesbur is the best kind of mom. She’s creative, loving and approves of playing with food.
Last year, when trying to figure out how to get her picky 8-year-old to eat different things, Mesbur found herself turning to an old passion: art.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the individuality of faces and have been doodling them for years, but it wasn’t until last summer that I found myself making my picky 8-year-old a food face for lunch,” she said.
The thing is, these food faces aren’t the regular silly, happy, ordinary ones — you know, banana slices for eyes, some blueberries positioned in a U-shape for a mouth. Instead, Mesbur’s veggie visages are intricate works with a weird and wonderful quality about them. They’re kind of creepy… in a good way. Almost Picassoesque. “Pretty much the food version of the faces I like to draw,” Mesbur explained.
Originally, she was uploading her works of art to a personal Instagram page, but when friends started fawning over her creations, she decided to dedicate an account strictly to the food faces, aptly called The Many Faces of Lunch.
What we love most about these food faces is that Mesbur isn’t going out and buying obscure ingredients to make these meals. Some foodies make elaborate designs, but this mom points out they usually aren’t “edible or sustainable for a busy working parent.” She uses simple ingredients, ones that she already has.
“I only have a couple of rules: it has to be fast to make (five mins to prepare or less), it has to be “ordinary” food that we already have in the house, and it has to be stuff my kid will eat,” she said.
The other bonus that blossomed from this creative plating is that her kiddo is now more adventurous at mealtime. “My picky eater of a son ALWAYS finishes everything on his plate when I make him a food face,” said Mesbur. “Not only [does] my kid eat his whole lunch in 10 minutes flat, but I also inadvertently discovered a super-easy and creative outlet for myself.”
That said, he is still an 8-year-old. And most 8-year-olds we know have a limit for what they’re willing to taste. “I’ve slipped him some stuff he wouldn’t eat before — pomegranate seeds, raisins — and he’s polished it off without a murmur,” she told us. “Well, that’s not quite true — he gagged when I used yellow zucchini ribbons! But I should have anticipated that.”
Whether her kid likes everything on his plate or not, one thing’s for sure: he’s got one talented mom.