Getting your kids to eat isn’t always easy. You can’t be afraid to get creative to get the job done. Laleh Mohmedi has certainly excelled in that category.
The mom of two first started making her fantastic food art when her son, Jacob, was just 2½ years old. What started as a fun activity to try quickly became a wonderful way for mother and son to bond over a love of food.
Laleh began making these fantastic creations in May 2015. She started by taking her son’s spelt pancakes and turning them into a lion. From there, the two started a tradition of making meals together. Jacob would throw different characters at his mom.
While they made their meals, she’d take the opportunity to talk to her son about the different healthy foods they were making. Nearly five years and one addition to the family later, the mother and son are still at it. Laleh chatted with us about the experience.
Laleh Mohmedi started making food art when she was a mom to one toddler, Jacob, back in May 2015. He was surprised to see his mom turn his spelt pancakes into a lion. He then challenged his mom to make some more food art.
“I turned my son’s spelt pancakes into a lion for a bit of fun,” Laleh explained. “Although it looked nothing like a lion, he absolutely loved it, and it progressed from there. Every few days we would ask me to make a character that he had seen from a book, movie, or toy.”
Jacob was excited then, as he is today, to see the food creations on his plate. “To be honest, Jacob’s reaction from the lion spelt pancake to the more detailed ones I make now has not changed,” Laleh said. “He loves them all the same!”
It was the beginning of Jacob’s Food Diaries, a project that they’ve been sharing with fans on social media since 2015. Jacob is now 7 years old. He’s been joined by a little sister, 2-year-old Charlie.
“As he is getting older now, he now encourages me and motivates me for the commissioned projects,” Laleh explains. Jacob is still super enthusiastic. “I always ask for his opinion on my creations that I make for projects, and he is just so positive about them!”
Since the very beginning, Jacob has helped mom out in the kitchen. “When I started making the creations, I would have Jacob (2½ years old at the time) help me in the kitchen,” Laleh explained.
“My creations are made out of healthy, fresh produce, and this would allow me the opportunity to discuss the ingredients that we were using.” She provided a really fun example involving kale.
“We would talk about kale, and I would tell him that it was a superfood,” she recalled. “He would then ask, ‘Why is it a superfood?’ and I would respond with, ‘Because superheroes love them!’ He would just LOVE that!”
Healthy eating has become a family affair. The kids both enjoy the creativity they get to express in the kitchen with their mom. “These days Jacob gets creative with me in the kitchen, and my little girl Charlie has taken quite an interest in the creations,” Laleh said.
In a previous interview with Popsugar, Laleh discussed some of Jacob’s favorite ways to contribute. “He definitely has to get involved — and by involved I mean sit on the kitchen bench and ask me what I am doing about 100 times!” she said. “He sits there with his chopping board and plastic knife cutting — or trying to — pieces of fruit and vegetables.”
She also told Today Tonight about the criteria for the food she makes. “There’s no preservatives, no refined sugar,” she said. “I color all my food with vegetables or blue spirulina and activated charcoal, and I don’t use salt unless it’s already in the cheese.”
Despite the fact they’ve been at this some time, they still struggle from time to time. One look at those creations and you can understand there’s a lot of work that goes into them. “I wouldn’t say it was hard; there were challenges like how to make certain things, but as I practiced, it got easier and easier,” she explained.
“I’ve got easy ones that I make, and then I’ve got the sculptured ones, which are tributes to celebrities,” Laleh continued. They are truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen. “The hardest ones are the mash potato sculptures I do. They’re not for eating; they’re just purely for art and a bit of fun.”
Laleh has said that she thinks that connecting in the kitchen has been great for her relationship with Jacob. She wishes her own parents had tried such a thing. In fact, she hopes that they’ll inspire other parents and kids to get creative.
Having received over 1 million likes last year, Laleh hopes for more wonderful food adventures to come. She certainly shows no signs of slowing down. It’s keeping her kids engaged that is the fun and continuous challenge making it all worthwhile.