I have a toddler, and it's a constant struggle to keep his focus on food throughout any given meal. Anyone who has witnessed a 2-year-old at the dinner table can attest to the up-and-down experience that leaves parents trying all sorts of tricks to make food more entertaining. We it food into fun characters, serve it on interesting plates and alter the menu on a daily basis.
My latest effort to keep food fun for the little guy has worked wonders for his mealtime attention span. I've started changing up where we eat on occasion, declaring picnic time for the family for random lunches. I take our usual fare outside to a table and set it in semi-formal plates and bowls. Real dishes send the message that I'm taking this eating business seriously – no playing “tag” or “Duck, Duck, Goose” until we've gotten some real sustenance.
Something about changing up our routine and altering the setting helps make him more aware of his behavior. He's conscientious about table manners throughout our picnic experiences, and almost always finishes every bite. He especially enjoys when I make him a platter of finger foods such as raisins, Halos, cheese and crackers.
How do you keep food fun for your children?