Fun with Food

Here are some ideas for kid-themed dinners (think Star Wars and Little House on the Prairie) and snacks that don’t exactly come in packages. But don’t limit yourself to just what’s here — be creative and come up with ideas that will resonate with your kid(s). And if you do, let us know & send a photo too, we’d love to hear about it!

Dinosaur Sandwiches

Soon after adopting my daughter at age 5 she went through the obligatory dinosaur stage, wanting to read about them, play with them, and draw them. Hmm, I thought, maybe she would eat them? She was having difficulty transitioning to all the new foods outside of an institutional setting, so I was willing to try anything. For lunch one day we made dinosaurs with triangle pieces of bread for the bodies, meatballs for heads (both preferred foods), carrots for legs, snow peas for tails and necks, and cheese triangles for the bony plates (all new foods). The dinosaur ended up looking like a cross between a stegosaurus and a brontosaurus (yes, yes, I know apatosaurus is the correct name. I had to suffer through that dinosaur stage). I’d like to say that my daughter gobbled down the carrots, snow peas, and cheese, but of course it’s not always that simple. She did, however, have a nibble of each and she decided carrots were not so bad after all.

Contributed by: Mishelle in Fountain Hills, AZ

Star Wars Dinner

My seven year old son loves Star Wars (as many kids this age do). He reads the Star Wars books, plays with the Star Wars toys, and watches the movies. One of our television channels was advertising a Star Wars marathon where they would air one Star Wars movie a week on a Saturday night, starting with Episode I. My son was extremely excited about watching the marathon so for our meal that first Saturday night I decided to capitalize on this excitement and make a Star Wars themed dinner. I basically did a quick google search to see what kinds of Star Wars meals people had already concocted and I made my own creations by giving a Star Wars name to an otherwise normal dish. Below, I have described the dish I devised or I have provided the link to the website where I found the recipe.

Entree: Naboo Nuggets

Vegetable: Tattoine Greens – I made a simple salad with very thin slivers of carrots and red peppers laid across the top of Romaine lettuce.

Vegetable: Anakin’s Broccolins – I steamed broccoli and added butter, salt, and grated parmesan.

Side Dish: Padme Pilaf – I made pilaf and called it Padme Pilaf!

Dessert: Dark Side Sundaes – I made an ice cream sundae with chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, chocolate whipped cream (I added chocolate sauce to heavy cream and whipped it with beaters), and chocolate sprinkles.

That day, I told my son the names of the dishes we would have for dinner. He was so excited to find out what the dishes were, especially Tattooine Greens. He spent the day guessing what they were based on the names. He would not eat salad before this dinner, but when I presented him with Tattooine Greens, he ate the whole thing and now will eat salad! The dinner made the evening very special and got my son to try foods he had not eaten before.

Contributed by: Amy in Vancouver B.C.

“Little House on the Prairie” Dinner

When my daughter was immersed in the “Little House” series, and still unwilling to try too many new foods, she asked if we could have a dinner like Laura and Mary eat. I jumped at the chance. In the “Little House” book she was reading at the time, Pa had brought home some prairie hens and Ma always seemed to have cornmeal on hand, so we came up with the idea to have creamed chicken and peas over cornbread. My daughter helped me cook it (which always tends to have the effect of making her more willing to eat the meal) and after dinner she declared that it was her favorite meal ever. We’ve had it on several occasions since, including her ninth birthday dinner (you know, that meal where the child gets to pick anything in the world they want to eat?).

Contributed by: Mishelle in Fountain Hills, AZ

Do you have a “Fun with Food” meal or snack idea that you would like to share? Use the Contact Us form and be sure and include a photo if you have one.

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