A mix of fun food, such as pizza, and fun activities, such as adding your own toppings to pizza, turn any meal with your children into good times. Bright colors, fun shapes, dips and sauces all encourage even picky eaters to try new foods and have fun at dinner. When you involve your children in preparing dinner and ask them to create weekly, seasonal centerpieces, you can increase the fun-factor even more.
Its hard to make summer more fun than it already is, but fun foods and barbecues heighten the pleasure. Corn on the cob for a side dish and watermelon for dessert need no further embellishment, while vegetables and meats take on a festive feel when you thread them on skewers and cook them on a barbecue or in a grill pan on the stove-top. Sandwiches for dinner on hot days are more fun when you use waffles instead of sandwich bread.
Foods for Fall
Warming fall dishes seem more fun when you serve them in individual portions and allow your children to customize toppings -- think of individual ramekins of macaroni and cheese or chili with cheese and chips for topping. Other fun ways to transform meals include shaping meatballs into footballs, with seams made with strips of cheese, or transforming pizza into doughy pizza sticks or roll-ups and providing a marinara dipping sauce.
Hearty Winter Meals
Individually customized dishes happen easily with hearty winter soups and stews. Provide crunchy Goldfish crackers, shredded cheese and chopped olives for your children to add -- the same toppings work for baked potatoes. Wintertime favorites to eat with your hands, such as sloppy joes, are fun in and of themselves. Or make any child-friendly dish fun with decorations, such as using a checkered tablecloth, and red, green and white homemade flag centerpieces when you serve spaghetti.
Baby vegetables are plentiful in the spring and are just plain fun to eat. In the springtime, serve your children baby vegetables such as carrots, radishes and green beans with a dipping sauce made from a creamy salad dressing. Or use the vegetables in an Asian stir-fry and create a themed dinner by providing chopsticks and a Chinese lantern centerpiece. Alongside the stir-fry, serve edamame beans in their shells for your children to eat with their fingers.
- Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media