The pound shop muffin tray hack for picky eaters
Fed up of feeding the kids? Need some really quick ideas that work for super fussy eaters? We have an idea you should try.
Quick Easy Dinner Ideas for Fussy Kids
One of THE most stressful things about having kids is feeding them. Whether it is the ‘simple’ act of making dinner each night or the faff of lunchboxes, there’s a lot to do, think about and prepare. We explore ways to make this a whole lot easier - read our top 5 tips for success!
The stress can kick in before any meal - but particularly when you happen to run out of the one thing they really want, or when you buy in bulk the thing they loved last week but won’t touch this week - bananas, I’m talking about you!
This is made even harder when you have picky eaters or kids who have strong preferences about food. For anyone who has taken their kids to a restaurant only to order some chips or tomato pasta despite there being fantastic choices on offer - we hear you.
We won’t tell you how or what to feed your kids however we do want to share this muffin tray hack which is so quick, so simple, requires next to no prep and can encourage even the fussiest of eaters to try something new.
By using a muffin tray (ours cost one pound from a well known budget high street retailer) instead of a bowl plate and putting food out in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, your kids can experiment with different types of food in a way they might not normally at a regular meal time. For those kids who don’t like foods to touch on the plate, this can work really well. And you tailor your food choices to whatever you have in the fridge, freezer or cupboard.
Here are our top 5 tips for making food look fun and interesting
1. Different shapes and sizes
Try to vary the size and shapes of the food you decide to pop on your tray. For example, if your kids like cucumber, you could cut it up into tiny cubes or give them a chunk to knaw away at. Cheese is another one that can be easily cut into strips, cubes or even grated. Cutting a cereal bar of your choice into bite size pieces is quick and effective and can be dressed up as dessert.
2. Colour combinations
It can be fun and appetizing to look at colourful food on a plate, even if your kids have a limited enthusiasm for fruit or vegetables. Even just one or two things from the fruit bowl or vegetable drawer can really spruce up a muffin tray dinner - we’re big fans of blueberries, sweetcorn and carrot slices as they’re so quick and easy. Try to space colours out on the tray so that any beige food doesn’t look too bland.
3. Sweet and savoury
Your kids may be more amenable to eating what is on the muffin tray if they see a food that they may consider a treat on there. We’ve sliced up chocolate rolls and popped them next to rice cakes with cream cheese and both have been devoured without any questions about why. Kids can also start with the food they really desire most, which may well be that digestive biscuit or small pile of popcorn, before moving onto something savoury like a sliced up sausage or boiled egg. I was surprised when my super picky eater ate a small piece of brie after a cube of chocolate - it was worth chancing it!
4. Hard and soft
Another tip is to try to vary the textures of the food you put on the tray. For us, this often means putting down crisps or crackers which are nice and crunchy as well as soft things like fruit, cooked vegetables or a pot of yoghurt. Another good crunchy option is cereal which can be quickly served in a muffin tray without milk. Shreddies, Cheerios and similar cereals with bite size pieces that can be easily picked up work a treat, we’ve found.
5. Something new
This one might not be for the super picky eaters out there but we always try to put something new on muffin tray meals, knowing full well it may be discarded. Some examples of this have been sliced olives, cannellini beans, a different type of breadstick or cracker or vegetable or fruit they’ve not tried before. Yes it is risky but we think it is worth chancing once in a while. You’ll only ever give them a small amount and one day, they might surprise you!
And the best part about a muffin tray dinner - no cutlery and almost zero washing up. WIN.