Small kids appreciate things that make them feel larger, from tiny playhouse doorways to miniature portions at dinner. Especially small portions.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember just how little food preschoolers require to meet their nutritional needs. When my four kids were very young I liked to break up the routine by letting them eat from tea party-sized dishes. Teeny tiny ones. They loved the novelty of serving themselves seconds.
But no matter the plate size, my daughter didn’t like her foods touching each other. An invisible speck of potato on a green bean meant she couldn’t bear to put either one in her mouth. So I came up with what I thought was a novel idea. Every now and then I gave each of them meals served in a six-cup muffin tin. It might have a few walnuts, halved grapes, several cubes of cheese, a slice of apple, three miniature rice cakes, and chunks of steamed carrot. None of the foods in their separate compartments touched, and better yet, the kids were so delighted that I was able to introduce greater variety.
I thought I’d made up the muffin tin meal concept but it turns out lots of parents do the same thing. Well not quite the same. They’re much more clever. Check out Muffin Tin Mondays for inspiration.