Playing With Your Food:Kids Learn About Good Nutrition and Have Fun Doing It!By Dave WoodsStacey Clair likes to have fun with her food.\u201cWe do fun stuff on a regular basis,\u201d the operations director for Northwest Arkansas Village Inn said. \u201cWhen we serve kids pancakes sometimes they are in the shape of our mascot Bucky the Bear.\u201dOn a recent evening, Official Kids Mag brought a handful of hungry kids together at Village Inn in Fayetteville to sample a variety of hearty pancakes and try their hands at getting artistic with their dinner. The crew at Village Inn put together a couple of tables of sliced and diced fruits, grains and edible decorating supplies and challenged the kids to have fun, eat healthy and decorate their pancakes.\u201cToday I wanted to use the kids creativity to see what they would come up with using everything we have in our kitchen,\u201d she explained. \u201cWe have fruits and grains and different kinds of healthy alternatives with the pancakes. We use our multigrain pancakes instead of regular pancakes and use sugar free syrup.\u201dCooking, Stacey explained, is her passion.\u201cI love to cook,\u201d she said. \u201cWhen kids don\u2019t like things I cook it forces you to go back to the kitchen and be more creative and find something else. I\u2019ve got kids who are picky eaters in my family. It\u2019s kind of like my own cooking challenge to go into the kitchen and find something that they will eat.\u201dStacey said kids always surprise her with their take on new foods and with their willingness to try new things.\u201cI was surprised,\u201d she said of our pancake eating cadre\u2019s chagrin at sugar free syrup. \u201cThey weren\u2019t into it in the beginning. When they tried it a lot of them liked the multigrain pancakes and sugar free syrup better.\u201dWhile cooking and decorating your food is a good time, eating healthy and following a good diet is important, too.\u201cCooking is fun and there is no limit to the creativity you can express,\u201d Stacey said. \u201cIt can truly be an art form. Food can fuel your brain and give you more energy and make is easier to study.\u201dWell said, Stacey. Well said. Tips\u201cOne of the things to try to express to kids is to eat the colors of the rainbow. If you eat the colors of the rainbow that usually is good for getting all different types of nutrients and vitamins.\u201d\u2013 Stacey Clair, Village Inn Q & An Jackson P, 5, Willowbrook Elementary OKM: Did you like it today? Jackson: I loved it. OKM: What did you love about? Jackson: That I got to decorate them OKM: What was your favorite to decorate? The fruit or theeyeballs? Jackson: The icing. OKM: What else? Did you learn anything about good nutrition? Jackson: I guess I did. It\u2019s good to eat. OKM: Do you like fruit? Jackson: Yes OKM: Will you eat fruit with your pancakes at home now? Jackson: Yes, I will.n Alex R, 8, Greenland OKM: What did you think about today. Was it fun? Alex: Yes. OKM: What did you like? Decorating the pancakes? Alex: Yes. OKM: Do you eat pancakes a lot? Alex: Sometimes. Not too much OKM: What do you want your friends to know about eatinghealthy pancakes? Alex: They should. OKM: It\u2019s good to eat healthy? Alex: Yes.n Annabel R, 9, Greenland OKM: Do you like school? Annabel: Yeah. OKM: What do you like about school? Annabel: Math. OKM: What do you like about pancakes? Annabel: Eating them. OKM: Did you learn anything today? Annabel: Yeah. I like fruit. OKM: What about sugar? Annabel: You don\u2019t need sugar in the syrup. OKM: What was your favorite part of today? Annabel: Decorating them. OKM: The icing is really popular.n Angelina G, 11, McNair Middle School OKM: What did you think about today? Angelina: It was yummy and fun. OKM: Have you ever played with pancakes before? Angelina: No I didn\u2019t know you could. It was fun. OKM: What did you think; will you do it at home? Angelina: Yeah, I think so. OKM: What was your favorite part about decorating them? Angelina: The eyeballs, I guess? Maybe. I liked the fruit. OKM: What do you want your friends at school to knowabout eating healthy pancakes? Angelina: That it\u2019s good.n Emma G, 10, Farmington Middle School OKM: What do you think about what you did today? Emma: It was fun. OKM: What was fun about it? Emma: That we got to decorate. OKM: What was your favorite part about decorating? Emma: Using the cookie cutters. OKM: You mean pancake cutters Emma: I guess so? I got to use the cutters and shape thepancakes. Try some fruit.n McKenzie, 11, Farmington Middle School OKM: You seemed to have a good time. Was it a good time? McKenzie: Yes OKM: What did you like? McKenzie: I liked how we got to decorate the pancakes. OKM: Did you use fruit with yours? McKenzie: Yes I did. OKM: What do you want your friends at school know aboutsugar free syrup? McKenzie: It was good. OKM: What did you learn about pancakes? McKenzie: They can be healthy.n Yulianna R, 5, Greenland OKM: Did you like the pancakes? What did youlike about that? Yulianna: Decorating and eating them with eyeballs. OKM: You ate an eyeball? Ewww. Were the eyeballs sweet? Yulianna: Yep. OKM: What was your favorite part? Yulianna: The icing.RecipesPancake TacosPrep time: 5 minutesReady in: 15 minutesIngredients:\u2022 4 small cooked buttermilk pancakes, cooled to room\u00a0 \u00a0 temperature\u2022 1 (4 ounce) container strawberry yogurt\u2022 1\/2 cup fresh fruit (such as sliced strawberries, blueberries\u00a0 \u00a0 and raspberries)Directions:Place pancakes on plate; fold up sides of each like a taco. Spoonabout 2 tablespoons yogurt into each pancake taco. Top withfruit. Serve immediately.