Building My Healthy Hut

Every year at my workplace, we have a gingerbread house contest. I have never entered, primarily because we have some hardcore artistic people and I find it rather intimidating. I also really wasn’t into building a candy creation. After all, I am a dietitian and you can probably guess how I view gobs of candy and frosting.

So this year, I decided to exercise a little creative self expression and challenge myself to build a non-candy house. I came up with the idea of the “Healthy Hut” and for my first effort, I’m pleased. I especially like the grounds. Complete with a bike path, hiking trail and a raised bed with real living vegetables, it’s my dream house!

healthy hut front

I did learn a few things in the process:

  • Pasta is not a great material  to work with. It easily cracks and breaks. At this writing, I’m not sure if my signs and bike trail are still in tact. I’ve had to do quite a bit of repair work.
  • I intended to use only flour/water paste to hold it all together but that was not sufficient. So I did use the frosting in the kit, which is really more like sugary super glue.
  • My parsley tree needs constant re-hydrating. I  will have to replace it a few times during the three week contest.

The materials I used included brown rice for my lawn (dyed green with food coloring), kamut grains for the hiking trail, cinnamon sticks for the tree trunk and sign posts, lasagne noodles (see above and just don’t), dried kiwi, apricots, dried cranberries and almonds (crushed and whole). I used a small paintbrush and green food coloring to create my signs.

The raised vegetable bed was started 2 weeks before under my grow lights. I used seed starting mix and so far, I have broccoli sprouts, arugula sprouts and basil growing. I can safely say that I’m the only one in the contest who needs to regularly water their garden!

Here is the aerial view:

healthy hut aerial

I’m not really in it to win it. But I know I have one vote. Last week, the sweetest little girl patient of mine told me about the “really cool” gingerbread house in the lobby that she just voted for. Yep, you guessed it – she passed over the candy houses and voted for mine. I was beaming.

Happy, healthy holidays!!


  • Love your Health Hut; he perfect spin-off of a gingerbread house for a dietitian to make. Having a real garden is brilliant! I hope you won the contest!


    • Thank you Bridget! I did not win (or even place) but it did generate a lot of interest among our families in the waiting room. It was hard to compete with the candy laden houses but I had a lot of fun doing it and I like to think it was educational :).


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