Play With Your Food: @tiny_human_big_appetite Does!
Striking up playful designs and culinary delights for tiny humans (and those young at heart), one Bay Meadows neighbor has us all inspired to play with our food! Meet 𝐈-𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠, a member of our neighborhood since 2015 and the force behind @tiny_human_big_appetite on Instagram. If you are thinking about playing with your food, I-Ching recommends starting with the type of food that you are most familiar with. “The easiest for me is working with noodles or pasta because they are my son’s favorite. I know I can’t go wrong with these. Using food such as vegetables for coloring is the most difficult because the colors can turn out differently each time. However, it is not only a healthy way to make food fun, it’s also a great way to conduct your own little science experiment.”
Pictured above: rainbow fried rice (inspired by @heather.happykidskitchen & @eattherainbow_kids) with 2 color carrots; peas; corns. I-Ching added the pan seared salmon (recipe by @white.blank.space ) and a bit of air fried bacon, the sunflower is made out of egg, straight neck squash, shiitake mushroom, and tri-colored quinoa (@traderjoes )
Read more about how this creative culinary collection began:
What led you to begin creating the adorable ‘play with food’ posts and sharing your creations with others?
When my 3-year-old went to pre-school last fall, he had a really hard time adjusting to the environment and refused to eat anything at school. In hopes of brightening his school days and helping him adjust, I started to sketch out the meal ideas and had him involved in picking the main dishes. I’ve found out that it not only helps him to eat better, it also has become one of my creative outlets.
Prior to full-time care of her tiny human, I-Ching worked as a senior designer with 15+ years of experience in the clothing design industry for girls anywhere from age 2 to 12 designing for well-known brands such as Calvin Klein, Old Navy, and Crazy 8 (a Gymboree offshoot brand).
“Salty hair, don’t care” is my personal favorite thus far.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I like looking at illustrations, recipes, photos, children’s books, and sometimes movies. Everything can be leveraged as my inspiration.
“In the Enchanted Forest of Monarch Butterflies” features Japanese curry underneath the “butterfly”, while the butterfly is made of mostly multi-colored carrots and black rice.
Any food trends you are seeing this year?
We are definitely in a challenging situation with shelter-in-place. There is an extraordinary amount of people baking and cooking for their family and themselves, and people are coming up with delicious food ideas with whatever they have in the pantry.
Being creative and maximizing the potential of food ingredients go really well with a pre-SIP trend — reducing food waste. And to that ideal, I always make certain that I provide an equal amount of protein, fiber, and carbohydrate in the meals especially when I make food art. I usually plan ahead and do pencil sketches before the actual creation; I also make sure that we can leverage the same ingredients pre- or post-preparation for other dishes.
Experience Midurban life. Bay Meadows is a family-friendly neighborhood with lots of open space to enjoy all-year long. Whether it’s growing your own vegetables in an organic community garden, playing a game of pick-up basketball after work, team building over bocce in the beer garden, picnicking with family on warm summer nights or with a run around the park, there’s no shortage of green space to explore. Check out life out and about at Bay Meadows by following us on Instagram.