Kids Dinner Ideas
How to get your kids to eat their dinner (or at least have fun trying)
It's been said that "families who eat together, stay together." But while dinner is a
super time to bond with kids, supper-time isn't always super to them. Finicky kids
fidget with their food and will do just about anything to avoid eating their veggies! In
short, they bore easily with dinner.
If you're looking for fun ways to eat dinner with your kids, then "ham" it up and
consider these dinner enhancing suggestions:
- Put food on his face! He's got food on his face, but it's no big disgrace with the
Fred Food Face plate, pictured above. The Fred Food Plate gives kids a chance
to play with food and exercise creativity simultaneously. So bring on the mash
potatoes and peas, swirl some pasta into a beard! The possibilities are
endless. Made of ceramic, this plate isn't for toddlers who may have a food
fight, but it may be just the thing to get your kids to eat their dinner.
- Soup it up. Now he can be a super hero and eat his veggie soup, with the
Souper Hero action spoon, upper left! More fun ways to play with food: eat
spaghetti with kid-friendly chopsticks, right.
- Feed your Kindle. With more than 120 Fun Kids recipes such as: Peanut Butter
Caterpillars, Snake Hot Dogs, Teddy Bear Carousel, Boogers on a Stick, Brains
on the Half Skull, Monster Mush and more, you'll have fun eating with your kids,
but you've got to feed your Kindle first. Just $2.99, you can get cooking today
on fun foods for your kids. Kindle Books include wireless delivery, you can read
your book on your Kindle within a minute of placing your order.
- Treat kids like special invited guests to the dinner table! Here's food for thought
on ways you can make dinner more inviting to kids:
- Set a kid friendly table with a grouping of your child's favorite toys. Decorate
the table differently each night for a week. Try to represent each child
with your theme starting with a cluster of toys or hobbies as a
centerpiece. For your LEGO fanatic child, build a LEGO bud vase and
napkin holder along with a food tray. For a horse crazy kid, create a
paddock of Breyer horses and use bandannas for napkins. End the week
with a candy inspired table from our candy party. For example, use a
candy bracelet as a napkin holder. In fact, every night can feel like a
party! Take inspiration from our Game Night party and make place cards
from scrabble tiles or wrap everything in aluminum foil for a robot party.
Or get small plastic bugs and place them strategically on the table with
your camping cups and plates.
- Switch it up! Rearrange where the family sits traditionally each night. It's
amazing how kids react to the change. You might also eat dinner on the
floor, like a picnic, or take the food outside in the backyard. And like Taco
Bell says, "Think outside the bun." Take cues from our backwards party
and eat under the table! And while you're at it, why not reverse the
burger or hot dog so that the bun is on the inside? Your family may think
you're crazy, but it will certainly make dinnertime more entertaining.
- Open a "restaurant." Invite kids to a home cooked dinner restaurant-
style. Start by announcing: "Smith, party of four, your table is ready."
After helping kids to their seats, give yourself a pretend name and
introduce yourself as the waiter/waitress for the evening. Print and
present a prefix menu with a few simple choices, including an appetizer,
soup or salad, drink options, along with their meal and dessert of course!
As a "wine steward" you can offer kids grape juice or sparkling cider.
Remove plates and ask, "Can I get you anything else." And they'll
respond with "The bill" of course! Then present them with a bill and a
mint, and some monopoly money for authenticity. They'll remember this
stunt for years to come.
- Make a tiny meal. Here's a way to get them to ask for second helpings:
make the tiniest meal possible. Get out the tea party sets and your
smallest plates and glasses, and invite Dad to the kiddie table for tiny
portions of food. You can use beverage napkins and cut straws, serve
slider hamburgers and make mini smoothies. See our tiny party ideas for
- Make a guessing game of "What will Johnny eat next: his peas or
carrots?" You might also try flipping a coin for which bite comes next.
- Close your eyes and say: "I bet if I close my eyes you'll make something
on your plate disappear like magic." Kids will love to make food disappear.
- Google kids food jokes and have fun with word play at dinner. Trust us,
you'll go "crackers." Check the banana kid at the bottom of the page for
our favorite knock-knock joke. Id you have a hot dog joke, you'll relish in
- Have kids help pick or prepare their dinner. It's really true that kids who
participate in meal time choices are more likely to eat what they pick. So why
haven't you tried this tactic yet?
Resources to get your kids to eat their dinner
- Give them time in! Here's a sure-fire way to encourage finicky eaters: if they
don't eat their dinner, they don't get any treats. "Set the timer," says eHow
member Margo Dill in her article: How to get children to eat their dinner.
- If all else fails, put Ketchup on it! Get more tips for picky eaters from
dinnerplanner.com including a recipe that sneaks pumpkins into the spaghetti
sauce. It's an idea that won't squash their appetite!
Orange you glad
I didn't say
(C) Copyright 2009-2012 by M.C. Nygard. All rights reserved. Updated 8.30.12
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