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How to Get Creative With Mealtime

How to Get Creative With Mealtime

All month long, we are tapping into creativity, bringing you ideas, tips, recipes, and activities that inspire imagination and add a little bit of artistry to everyday life. 

And mealtime is no exception. According to nutrition experts, “New ways of presenting foods, including different shapes, colours, containers, and serving utensils, can encourage children to eat new foods.” 

Here are five creative ideas and tips you can try to make mealtime more fun!

Eating in Color 

pink toddler silicone plate with yogurt granola cereal and fruit

📸 @ninasvegandiary

A Cornell study found that littles need more color and options on their plates than we do,  “Children are most attracted to food plates with seven different items and six different colors. Adults, on the other hand, tend to prefer only three items.” 

Want your little to try mashed cauliflower or a new pasta? Use juice, veggies, or fruit to create natural food coloring and invite littles to help you create fun pink (from beets) or purple (from blueberries) bites and name them something cool. Who wants mashed potatoes when you can have pink princess or green (from spinach) power pasta?

Another fun way to teach littles about color while sneaking in vitamins is by eating in shades. Maybe you try Red Mondays or Green Tuesdays to pack in phytonutrients while letting LOs choose a mix of healthful foods in the color group to try!

Need more room for variety on your little’s plate? Our newest 5-section Grip Dish is designed for just that! 

 smiling toddler eating out of lavender divided plate in matching bib

📸 @chicbargainlife

Need more room for variety on your little’s plate? Our newest 5-section Grip Dish is designed for just that! 

Play With Shape to Create Familiar Designs and Faces 

fun-shaped ideas for toddler food in divided plates

📸 @athomewithastghik , @lifeofbluandolive

Use cookie cutters, cups, or molds to turn food into art your little will love. The Cornell study found that children also respond better to meals with designs centered at the front of the plate — suggesting, “such designs as placing bacon in the shape of a smile along the lower part of a plate or arranging peas in a heart shape.”

Change the Name of the Game

toddler eating out of unicorn plate

Littles know when you’re trying to get them to do something, or in this case, eat something new. Dr. Organic Mommy recommends speaking their language. “The language you use to present food is important. Your excitement will influence your child's perspective on the food. I.e., instead of calling this "borscht,” this is "Pink Unicorn” 🦄 Soup that all the fairies and gnomes of the forest secretly make & they shared their recipe with me!”

Smash up some avocados for some otherworldly Alien Toast!

Give ‘em Something With Flavor to Dip Bites In

parsley dipping sauce in heart dish with salmon in divided toddler plate

📸 @white.blank.space

Struggling to get your little one to eat the rainbow? Dips might be the trick! A study by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that offering dips with familiar herb and spice flavors “can increase tasting and thereby promote liking, acceptance, and consumption of vegetables, including vegetables, previously rejected or disliked.” 

Try this toddler-approved parsley sauce!

Make Mealtime a Themed Adventure

 toy story themed meal in alien toddler plate

📸 @minnievanmom

Celebrate holidays or your child’s favorite characters by turning a typical lunch into a nutritious activity. Make everything on the plate a part of a story or theme they love. From Toy Story’s Alien to Dino plates, we offer a variety of fun shaped silicone toddler dishes for imaginative meals that inspire adventurous eaters!

 dinosaur toddler plate with fun-shaped food

📸  @hannahfromcalifornia 

No need to be a master chef, your kids will love that you tried! Check out Part Two of our creativity series, where we share some imaginative recipes.

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