Getting children to eat healthy meals with plenty of fruit and veg can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.

But a single dad from Salisbury has found a way to encourage his four-year-old daughter to eat pretty much anything by thinking outside the box.

Michael Weeks, 37, has been mastering the art of food presentation by using his food to create artistic displays that would appeal to his daughter Sylvia.

These feature anything from Peppa Pig and Frozen to a McDonald’s happy meal.

Salisbury Journal: Michael Weeks with his daughter SylviaMichael Weeks with his daughter Sylvia

“When my daughter was two and a half I started playing around with her food to keep my mind busy and have a bit of fun,” he said.

“I’d just become a single parent and there was a period where we’d get a lot of takeaways to the point that my daughter would request chicken nuggets everyday so I thought ‘how can I make sure that she eats a balanced meal while involving her in the making?’”

“I don’t know where it came from, I’d never done anything like that before,” he added.

“It’s surprising what children do to their parents.”

His most famous display, featuring turkey dinosaurs and erupting volcanoes made of beans and mash, has gone viral after being recently reposted on Facebook. It’s been shared more than 7,000 times.

Salisbury Journal:

“It’s just gone absolutely crazy,” said Michael, who works as a process leader at Chemring Countermeasures.

“When I started there was a period where I wasn’t working so I’d do one every day as a surprise for when she’d come back from nursery. Then as my life got back on track, it was one or two a week and then it gradually eased off and now it’s every now and then.”

But as he started when his daughter was still very young, the father-of-one has succeeded in making sure her diet is as varied as possible.

“She’s very willing to explore different foods and that’s because she had so much of it from an early age,” he said.

He would recommend it to other parents and is encouraging them to try similar things to encourage their children to eat things they normally wouldn’t.

“Particularly during lockdown it’s something simple and fun and it brings a laugh around the table.”

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