1. The Switcheroo. Simple. Serve Breakfast for Dinner, big pancakes, bacon, eggs, the works, something about eating breakfast foods when it is dark feels fun and rebellious.
2. The Indoor Picnic. Have a dinner picnic in the living room! Lay out a big blanket, serve hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, corn on the cob, anything you might bring on a real picnic. Roast marshmallows on the stove or fireplace and make smores for a real camp feel.
3. The Food Critic. Every Thursday (or any day of the week, just make sure it is consistent) try a brand new recipe, the rule is everyone has to try and eat it, but they also get to rate and vote on it, if the majority likes it, you will put it into the rotation, if not, you won’t make it again. Letting your kids for one night a week act as mini food critics will help make them become excited to try new things, and make them feel like they have some control over what they are being served.
4. The Three Food List. Growing up my mom let us write down 3 foods that we truly did not like those and only those foods, if served were the only exceptions that we didn’t have to eat off our plate. My three foods were carrots, olives and quiche. Once a year we could change the list. When we used to say, ‘we don’t like this’ my mom would reply, well put it on your list next year, for now you have to eat it.
5. The Name Cards. If you have a big family, laminate name cards for the place settings, my friend with five daughters said it was always a fight over who would sit next to her or her husband at dinner time, wanting to be fair, they had each girl color her name card, they laminated them, and whoever set the table for dinner (each girl was assigned a day of the week) that person could decide where everyone would sit by placing the name cards at the plates. This stopped all of the arguing as each girl had an equal turn.