Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How to: Baby painting with 100% natural edible finger paint recipe

For father's day I wanted to have Baby paint her daddy a picture. As she is only 9 months and puts everything in her mouth I figured it would be a good idea to make her some edible paint.

I googled how to make edible finger paint and found a wonderful page which made a good paste which tastes disgusting and gave me a good idea of what to do with it. To me it seemed smart to have a yucky taste as I really didn't want Baby to try and like it. However the recipe did use chemical food coloring and I am not a big fan of those. I already knew how to make food, which has a base of fat (like butter), naturally yellow, with curcuma/turmeric/curcumin powder. It's yellow powder made from the root of the curcumin and you can find it at your local supermarket in the spice rack. However I really didn't know how to make the rest of the colors.

I used a page which I cannot find anymore, figures... But it had two ways of making natural food coloring, by juicing or boiling. This great article basically says the same and more:


It also links to this blog which has lots of diy natural food dyes.

I made the finger paint substance first and colored it later, as the recipes suggest. This however left me with very drab colors because I just couldn't add enough natural food coloring without ruining the paint. Therefore this recipe combines the two. The only downside is that it makes quite a lot of each color.
Do take into account that these colors are always going to be quite pastel.

The red in my picture was made with berries and completely disappeared when Baby painted with it, so I recommend beets.

All colors are true except the purple which I made with wilton food coloring.

100% natural edible finger paint, especially great for babies

Colors and corresponding juices:

- Pink/red: beet juice (can come from a can of beets) or you can pulverize raspberries in a blender and strain out the liquid. 

- Green: Spinach juice or just spinach pureed with water UPDATE: I would use wheat grass powder for this now, it's very vibrant even in small quantities and the plus side: it tastes grassy and not particularly good.

- Orange: carrot juice

- Purple: Cook a red cabbage until the water is very dark or use grape juice.

- Blue: Cook a red cabbage until the water is very dark and then stir in baking soda, a little at a time until the water turns a pretty blue hue or pulverize black or blueberries and strain the liquid.

- Yellow: turmeric powder, found in the spice section of the supermarket, (this works great but I have found that it darkens over time)

You can also make brown by straining a few black tea bags, or coffee, or adding cocoa powder to water. But I DO NOT recommend this for babies. It will contain a whole lot of caffeine and you don't want your baby eating that.

1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cup juice for the color you need, see above
Unflavored gelatin, check the package to see how much you need
1/4 cup cold water

Mix together gelatin and water and set aside.
Cook cornstarch mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it boils. It’ll become thick as you’re stirring.
Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin mixture.
Pour into smaller containers and let cool.

I bought a canvas board and taped the letter of Baby's name on it. I dropped dabs of different colors around the board and put her on it. She then had a blast painting it. I turned the board a few times so she got all sides. I had a little baby pool standing by to put her in afterward because she painted herself too :)
When the paint was dry I pulled the letters off making it a very pretty picture for her daddy on daddy's day.

I'm not sure if it will keep because of the natural food coloring but right now it's doing ok. I think it turned a little darker over the course of 4 weeks. It might be better to make a good picture of it just after it's made so you have that if it does go bad.

UPDATE: 6 months later and it is still ok. I'm looking at the real painting right now and just comparing with the picture above: I think it is slowly fading probably due to sunlight. That seems logical to me so I stand by what I say above, make a picture!
Also my niece has told me numerous times that she thinks it is ugly, lol :) Luckily I don't.

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