Making Meals Memorable

As the mom of three young children, I learned quickly that I needed to make mealtime fun if I wanted to see clean plates!  A few years ago, I discovered a website called “Muffin Tin Monday.”  Intrigued, I looked into it and loved the idea – this mom was choosing a theme and designing her kids’ lunches around it.  And not only that, but she was serving their food in the cups of a muffin tin.  It was visually appealing to the kids, as well as broken into more manageable portions.  At the time, my boys were 4 and almost 2 (they’re now 6 ½, 4 ½ and have a 1-year old baby sister).  

I started out simple, but the boys loved it!  Here’s a picture of our very first meal (ignore the laundry in the background…)  

It was nothing fancy, just Pop Tarts, cereal and French toast sticks with syrup.  But, as you can tell from their faces, they loved it! (And I earned plenty of “cool mom” points too!)

After a few months, I exhausted the meal ideas found on the “Muffin Tin Monday” blog.  However, since my boys were used to these meals, instead of ending the new tradition, I decided to spread my wings and start creating my own themed meals.  I started using the themed meals concept once a week, not always serving our lunch in a proper muffin tin or coming up with an elaborate theme (especially not in the beginning!), but always trying to put a little more thought into making the meal fun. 

As you’ll see over the coming weeks, we’ve evolved since then into meals like this one… 

Circus Themed Meal

I’ll also show you some of the “tools” I use and things I like to keep on hand with which to pull a themed meal together quickly.  Remember, it doesn’t take much to make your meals memorable!

Leah Zanolla

About Leah Zanolla

Leah grew up in a little farming town in Illinois, right on the Mississippi River. Her Chicago-born husband, David, left the city for her, and they're now raising their three children (Jacob, Jonah and Lydia) just 12 miles from her hometown. Some of Leah's favorite ways to spend time are going to Disney World, shopping, watching movies with her husband and doing crafts with her kids. Oh, and it's a pretty rare day that she doesn't sneak at least a little chocolate in!

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