Have you ever seen the movie,  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? It  inspired wonderful memories and lots of food fun in my house.

My mind goes back in time. Skipping off the bus, I run to our front door, throw my arms around my mom and recount my first days of kindergarten.

Sharing about everything from new friends and experiences to disagreements on the playground, I remember those precious times with my mom as I gushed through a whole slew of first world problems that needed solving.

Yet what I remember most were those times spent in the kitchen over a shared snack. She always had something ready for me and each day we shared life together in the kitchen around fun foods. It wasn’t just about the food either; it was about slowing down enough to really connect.

Sharing food together has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?

Our kitchen today is the center of our home and I want it to be a place where our children are always drawn. Since they were little, we’ve been sharing creativity right in the hub of our home: the place where the magic happens.

As moms, sometimes we think it’s going to take hours to create magic on the plate and with our crazy schedules, no one has time for that.

Sometimes, it only takes an extra minute of creative inspiration to make their meal memorable and you just wouldn’t believe the huge returns you’ll receive on those few minutes. My kids still talk about some of the creative food experiments we’ve done. You can even personalize all your marshmallows for your next big outdoor Smore’s party.

I’ll never forget the first time I decided to create our  Smiley Face Pancakes. Some people spend money on specialty smiley face pancake griddles, but you don’t have to be fancy. This is as simple as taking a small ice cream scoop and adding two scoops for each eye and a tiny one for the nose. (We used ice cream, but whip cream and yogurt would work well too.) Dot with chocolate syrup and you have brought instant smiles. Now of course, you can whip up homemade feather pancakes or buttermilk pancakes, but for these, I used store bought, which is why it took only one minute.

Since then, our girls have been introduced to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and its one of their favorites because foodimals come to life.

Yes, Foodimals are taking over and we’ve been having so much fun thinking of creative ways to add special touches to our seemingly every day foods.

Our favorite Foodimal  has been inspired by our recent times spent outside on the porch.

Isn’t our butterfly adorable?

Surprise your kids this morning and make their day. She’s so easy to make.

  1. Bake pancakes as directed on the recipe or package.
  2. To serve, cut pancakes through the center.
  3. Place curved sides together to resemble a butterfly and place a sausage in the center.
  4. Use jelly or chocolate syrup to create the antennae.
  5. You can dot the pancake “wings” with jelly if you’d like to decorate her further,

Here are some other fun ideas that we’ve done over the years. I hope these will get your creative juices flowing.

My sweet girl and I had fun with our Sea Faring Lunch. Click over for more details. (And wow, she’s grown.)

Christmas Eve Mice recipe idea Christmas Chocolate Mice (Sweet Treat Recipe for anytime of the year)

Check out the directions on how to make my Chocolate Mice. They are perfect for the upcoming holidays.

The movie’s facebook page has some great Foodimal fun ideas like this HipPOTATOEmus .

and this adorable Kiwi Bird.

My friend, Connie and her kids made these olive penguins and a cheese ball igloo. 

Did those get your creative juices flowing? I sure hope so.

What fun foods can you create for your children today?

(If you’ve made anything like this before, I’d love to hear about it and if you have a picture, send it on through and I’ll add it to this post.)

Won’t you join me in the kitchen? Grab your children and make their day.

*I was thrilled to work on this post for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which was sponsored by Sony. All opinions and ideas are my own. Check out my movie review of the first one.