Monday, August 06, 2007

Surprise Lunches

When I have a little one who is just not interested in food at midday, I fix a Surprise Lunch. Similar to Japanese bento in concept (the concept being that a child will eat food that is cute), but easier to prepare, Surprise Lunches always work. Start by sending the child out of the room to cover their eyes, and don't let them peek until the plate is in front of them.


Use tiny dishes if you have them--I've recently been picking up little restaurant butter dishes at the thrift store; they're perfect. For food, I rarely use anything special or different from the child's usual food. Here Daisy's lunch is a peanut butter sandwich cut up, a few pretzels, a few cherries, and oh joy, four chocolate chips right on the plate. A tiny bowl of yogurt in the center of the plate, for dipping fruit, is nice too.



But look at the symmetry and the design: what toddler wouldn't want to eat that!

(Food styling credit to Giles today, as well as the usual photography.)

8 comments:

Our Family of Five said...

Very clever. She's adorable by the way.

Mrs. MK said...

Such a good idea!!

Davene said...

That is a GREAT idea! I have a 2 year-old who is going through a picky eater phase. The challenge for me becomes helping him realize that he needs to eat what he's served and he doesn't get to place an order as if this is a restaurant, while at the same time not turning every mealtime into a battle of wills. Having a 5 year-old who has gone through that phase and is on the other side definitely helps to give me perspective--"this too shall pass." But I appreciate your idea so much, and I plan to try it soon. Thanks!

Lauren Christine said...

What a wonderful idea! I will tuck this away for future reference :)

Karolee said...

Thank you for the reminder. I used to provide fun lunches like that for my older children but it has been many, many years since I've raised a toddler and my old and addled brain has forgotten tricks like that. She'll love her lunch today.

Joy said...

he he...this has to be one of my favorite mommy tricks. But Giles' photos do much better justice than I could ever do. ;D

Jennifer said...

My two year old would love that! Of course he eats everything you had on that plate...any idea how to get him to eat vegetables :)

Anonymous said...

I used this idea and my children loved it! I cut the sandwich into four triangles to use as butterfly wings. Then placed raisins in a line for the body. Very easy.

Except they started making request. Can you turn popcorn into a jelly fish? :-)

Thank you for the post.

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