Mom Creates Incredible Works of Art Out of Her Kids' Meals (PHOTOS)

Mom Creates Incredible Works of Art Out of Her Kids' Meals (PHOTOS)

tinkerbell food art samantha lee

It all started because Samantha Lee was just trying to convince her toddler-age daughter to eat her meals. So what did she do to entice her to take a bite? She whipped up food art so fanciful and fantastic, no kid (or adult for that matter!) could resist.

"I was never interested in food art until I started a family and realized that cooking for my family at home was better than eating outside, as I could control the ingredients and adjust the flavours according to my family’s specific taste," says Samantha, who lives in Malaysia.

She also wanted her daughters to eat healthy -- without too much coaxing on her end. "So I started making food art at the end of 2008 when I was heavily pregnant with my second child."

In spite of how elaborate these meals may look, "they take almost the same time as cooking a normal meal for your family -- about an hour from cooking to plate," she says. "My kids eat what I eat; I cook the same food for all of us. But I only plate it well for my kids, not for myself. That said, they will still eat anything, even if it isn’t food art. The dishes I create for them has actually made them more adventurous, and less fussy with any food they are served."

In 2011, Samantha started posting her dishes online ... and they quickly took off, gaining more than 682,000 followers on Instagram and 91,000 fans on Facebook. News outlets started spreading her images worldwide, giving her international recognition in two year's time. Currently a book showcasing her techniques is slated to be published the end of this summer so that more moms can follow in her footsteps.

"I never expected that my hobby would become my career," she admits. As for why her food art has struck such a chord, Samantha says simply, "Because it's colorful, cute and fun for kids to eat. For me specially, I like to inject a bit of humor and storytelling into the pieces I create. I think maybe that appeals to people's hearts and tummies!"

Check out her and her daughter's favorite meals below.

We can't decide what's a sneakier way to get kids to eat their greens: #2 or #3?


Image via leesamantha/Instagram

  • Cinderella


    Image via leesamantha/Instagram

    "We just watched the movie Cinderella, and my daughters loved it -- especially her dress," says Samantha. "So I decided to make it for them to make them happy!"

    She found that an omelette makes the perfect princess hairdo, lettuce a fittingly flowy dress. By mixing a bit of ketchup with rice, Samantha also gave Cinderella a rosy complexion.

    Her daughters' reaction: "My kids easily recognized her and with big smiles on their faces, they started retelling the movie to me and reenacting their favorite parts." 

  • I Only Have EYE for You


    Image via leesamantha/Instagram

    Decorate a bowl of green asparagus soup with cheese teeth, tortilla ears, and a rice-and-egg eye, and you've got Mike Wazowski from Monster's Inc.! What kid could resist eating that up?

    "They were quite impressed with the fact that the eye of Mike was made out of rice!" Samantha says. "My daughters said 'Mummy, this was really easy for you, but it really looks like Mike!'"

  • Snack-a-saurus


    Image via leesamantha/Instagram

    What better way to convince your kid to eat greens than to turn them into a dinosaur-infested jungle? "They really liked the idea of a toasted tortilla as the dinosaur," says Samanta. "They said he was yummy!" 

    More from The Stir: 6 Mistakes Moms Make With Picky Eaters

  • Tinkerbell


    Image via leesamantha/Instagram

    Samantha decorated this omelet hairdo with Worcestershire sauce, then finished the plate off with carrot stars and a fried spaghetti wand. "My girls loved Tinkerbell," she recalls. "Especially her hair bun!"

  • Peppa Pig


    Image via leesamantha/Instagram

    Bread topped with ham makes for a fitting Peppa Pig. But for Samantha's daughters, the puddle was the best part.

    "My kids loved how the puddle was made of cheese!" Samantha says.

    More from The Stir: Moms Share the Weirdest Things Their Picky Kids Won't Eat (PHOTOS)

picky eaters

More Slideshows