What happens when you combine the creativity of a jazz musician, the passion of a committed educator, and their desire to make healthy food fun, creative, and playful?  You get Bill and Claire Wurtzel’s new book: Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts.  It is based on their NYC educational workshops on making healthy food fun for children.

Encouraging and empowering kids to use their imagination to eat healthier, the Wurtzel’s new book is a clever and visually engaging book both kids and parents will love.  It is filled with easy, accessible, and doable healthy breakfast ideas, but you will not find recipes in this book.  Instead, each page is a fun and artistically inspired photo of a plated breakfast that any person could re-create at home.

As I looked through the pages of this book with my 3 year old son, he kept on laughing at each photo exclaiming, “funnnnnnny fooooood, funny faces!”  It was a great feeling to see my son so entertained and engaged with the pictures.

What I love most about this book is the way the Wurtzels help kids eat healthier and make food appealing at the same time.  There is no trickery here by hiding ingredients in dishes.  Instead, the Wurtzels make dishes kids want to make and eat because it is plated in a fun and whimsical way.  With the help of this book parents can get their kids excited about making and eating breakfast with ingredients that are probably already in their kitchen. 

In celebration of the Funny Food book release next week, PBS Parents in partnership with Welcome Books is giving away three copies of this book.

To be eligible to win, leave a comment below telling a creative way you like to serve breakfast. The contest is open to US residents who are 18 years and older. One entry per person. Entries must be submitted by March 25, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and notified by email.

To learn more about the Wurtzel’s and their new book, Funny Food, please visit them at http://funnyfood.us .  To order the book from Amazon, here is the link.

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55 Responses to “Making Healthy Breakfasts Fun with Funny Food”

  1. Rachel Johnson

    As I was scrolling down looking at the pictures of the funny food. My first thought should have been oh my gosh my kids would love this (which they would), but what I found myself thing was not only would this be fun for the whole family (7) it looks healthy for this dieting momma! What a great idea

  2. E Sutter

    My kids love to help in the kitchen, my daughter’s favorite breakfast to prepare is chocolate chip pancakes. Her younger siblings love to eat the pancakes she makes.

  3. Brandy Mailloux

    I created pancakes to look like Mickey Mouse. I decorated them with whipped topping, and chocolate chips.

  4. D Utne

    I like to do fun shapes with pancakes. Also fun flavors such as banana, other fruits, and chocolate. I also try to do faces on their sandwiches if they take those to school for breakfast. I really think this book would help me be more creative and help with my kids getting bored of the things Mamma has been doing.

  5. michele

    Funny Food does look like a fun book to have. Their creativity makes me think of how the Japanese present their foods. What an imagination these two authors/musicians have.
    For valentines day we made chocolate heart pancakes. Everyone loved putting powdered sugar and strawberries on them. Their yummy on their own too.

    • michele

      Also… We’ve made toad in the whole before. I’m thinking it would be fun to see if we could create a actual toad with the bread and sausage. 🙂

  6. norma

    I love to be creative with breakfast food. I make pancakes ina ll different colors and shaped liked different things depending on the holiday. Would love to have this book thanks so much.

  7. Heather

    I use cookie cutters to make my kids sandwiches for lunch. This book is amazing! So many great creative ways to incorporate healhy food for my growing kids.

  8. Lauren

    We love making our pancakes different shapes & colors, making a fruit rainbow or decorating a piece of toast with colored milk.

  9. Jamie NP

    Making different shapes out of pancake batter is about as creative as it gets in my kitchen in the morning. Would love some new ideas to make the kids happy to get up and to the b-fast table with a smile!

  10. Kirsten W'ski

    Mickey Mouse pancakes are what’s in with my boys right now. These ideas are great!

  11. Robin F

    My daughter is still too young to take advantage of “Funny Foods,” but I gave my brother-in-law one of the Williams Sonoma Star Wars pancake molds for his Star Wars crazy kids.

  12. Debbie

    About the only example I can think of for breakfast foods is when I made a pancake in the shape of a 4 on her 4th birthday. I guess I need this book in my life. Thanks for the opportunity!

  13. Heather Hoover-Shaw

    These ideas are better than mine, so I am hoping to win a copy of the book! The most creative (if you can call it that) breakfast thing we do is to do breakfast for supper, or sometimes we will have a theme day from a different nationality (like “French” day, or “Mexican” day) and eat something that is typical of that culture’s menu.

  14. Christina Fulton

    We are vegetarians so we often get creative with our veggies and eggs. Funny faces and a smoothie on the side

  15. Lisa

    We make extreme pancakes!!! Different shapes, designs and colors!!!


    My favorite is just to do ‘topsy turvy day.’ We have dinner for breakfast and start the day eating veggies and protein. Then at dinner time breakfast is often more healthy because I have more time to prepare. We also do cookie cutters for sandwiches, wacky pancake shapes, food coloring for holidays, meatloaf ‘cupcakes’ with mashed potato ‘icing,’ and anything else we can come up with to make our days/meals fun.

  17. Chelsea

    For Thanksgiving, we make a make round pancakes decorated as turkeys with bananas for the feathers and chocolate chips for eyes and beak. It starts one of the best days of the year with a big smile from the kids (and adults)!

  18. Elizabeth

    I once made a brunch involving scrambled egg faces; sweet pepper mouth/hair, carrot nose, turkey bacon eyes, on a scrambled egg. With a side of mouse radishes. 🙂 take radish, cut two thin slices off of leaf end, remove leafy, make two notches in the top root side forward, place sliced radish in notches. Add 2 raisins for eyes, and after delegating the green, stick in sliced end. Voila, tiny radish mouse. My kids loved it! Ate every bite.

  19. tigerfish

    In presenting more veggies (natural colors!) on a breakfast plate and any kid’s meal accompanied with a educational note-card about what they are eating.

  20. Maureen Turner

    To get my daughter to eat eggs – I make them sunnyside up and put raisins as eyes, nose & mouth – she thinks it’s so hilarious she gobbles it all up!

  21. Jamie

    We like to make faces with our food. Sometimes we take toast triangles and make ears with mini muffins for eyes and bacon mouth. Or I give my girls some items and let their creativity go to work!! This book will help children everywhere put their creativity to work!! What an AWESOME idea!!

  22. Kara

    Great ideas for my 3 year old who loves breakfast – thanks

  23. Natalie

    I put food into different shapes or make a simple smiley face. I need more ideas though.

  24. Kellie Hogg

    I feel woefully lacking in creativity now. About the most creative thing we do for breakfast is crazy shapes and colours with our pancakes. Every once in awhile we do coloured milk on the cereal. I need help. 🙂

  25. Melissa

    We love making shaped pancakes, Mickey mouse, butterflies, hearts, Star Wars characters. We always put something in the pancakes too, like choc chips, bananas, nuts, blueberries!

  26. Jackie J.

    I love how creative these are!

    The best thing we have going for us to get out 1 & 2 year olds to eat their breakfast is making animal sounds and then saying “take a big ‘animal we just said’ bite”

  27. Lizzie

    I love to make landscapes with eggs and fruit: kiwi trees, blueberry seas, orange suns, strawberry cardinals, etc.

  28. Erica B.

    Faces are super easy to make from all breakfast foods if you include smaller fruits (blueberries, etc…) and some of the abnormally shaped ones (bananas, star fruit) I often do that and don’t announce what image I made on the plate and then let the kids guess or just see if they notice.

  29. Christina

    I like to make color-themed breakfasts. Red around Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s, etc. we also like to coat bananas in pancake batter and make “banana pancakes.

  30. Carla

    Wow, reading through the comments, sounds like there are already creative morning people. We’re too lazy to make pancakes. But I use cookie and bread cutters to make shapes of toast, waffles.. My son likes waffles in the shape of a fish. You have to use your imagination to think it looks like a fish, but he likes ’em. We would LOVE the book. 🙂

  31. Denise

    We offten get creative when it comes to pancakes and cupcakes. I will often do a cone cut out in the center of the cupcake and use it as a hat. So, the space that is left in the cupcake is filled with ice cream or whip cream of a crazy color. We just use what ever we have in the house to decorate the pancakes or cupcakes.

  32. EFW

    Jungle breakfast–hang the food–cereal, milk, fruit, etc.–outside in the trees! (an old Girl Scout camp favorite)

  33. Holly Shivel

    My toddler is a picky eater so I have to present everything to him in a very pretty way. His breakfast is often a banana smile with strawberry eyes. Sometimes, if he’s feeling adventerous we’ll add a roll for a nose. 🙂

  34. Kathleen

    I like to serve yogurt parfaits in fancy wine glasses. The kids love that.

  35. Lorna

    I’ve discovered in feeding 5 picky eaters that presentation can make or break a meal! I like to involve my children in the cooking/creating process as much as possible and present their meals in fun ways. One of their favorite things is to choose a book -say, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and create a menu around it!

  36. Jody

    it is not healthy but chocolate chip pancakes with a smiley face are always a big hit. Hopefully this book will inspire healthier options!

  37. IttyBittyFoodies Mama

    This is super cute. I did one in November with pears, pomegranates, tangerines and nuts and created a turkey for Thanksgiving. The kids could not wait to eat it!

  38. LightheartedLocavore

    Funny Food really hits the sweet spot when it comes to balancing what’s on your plate and making healthy food come alive for kids. Making faces out of food — it’s contagious!!!

  39. Teal

    We make our sweet potato pancakes into letters. Personalized breakfast!

  40. Thien-Kim

    Sadly I have no creative breakfast ideas. Though if I serve breakfast with bacon, they’ll gobble it up!

  41. Janice

    i put food into shapes too – but nothing as cool as these!

  42. Joel

    i put little toppings on the waffles… anything to make it special.

  43. Alli

    I use cookie cutters on bread, make plain old fruit into kabobs, smoothies, salsa, etc. and make lots of mini things-muffins, sammies, etc.

  44. maliesa

    I sometimes make the french toast in 3 different colors using food coloring. You can also cut them out into different shapes and even color the whipped cream with food coloring and sprinkles on top. Its hard enough cooking Step-Daughters interested. We always seem to have the most fun together creating different breakfasts together. This book would help tremendously. Thanks, Stay Happy

  45. Kelly Guest

    Bagel Faces are fun: use a whole grain bagel, top with cream cheese; cut up carrots, green pepper, grape tomatoes, olives and cucumbers for the facial features and add sprouts for the hair.