Deconstructing Dinner: A Trick to Non-Picky Eaters

Is your toddler or kid a picky eater? Man, that can be tough. David and I are fortunate that God blessed us with two very easy eaters. We've obviously got to be picky when it comes to HDawg's food allergies, but, allergies aside, they'll eat pretty much anything you put in front of them.

I think a lot of that is what you feed them- don't give them options, just give them what you're eating. Whether it's a got a heavy flavor or it's green or it's different... that's their dinner, too. We don't cook H and L their own dishes nor do we cater to their preferences (usually). David and I certainly love to surprise them with typical kid friendly meals they love- mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etc- but also want them to eat and be excited about the same "regular people" food we enjoy.

Also, I find that it's almost as important to pay attention to how you feed them. One of our favorite meals around our house is Mexican rice bowls. We layer our bowls with romaine lettuce, Mexican flavored brown rice, ground turkey cooked in Mexican seasonings, black or refried beans, salsa, shredded cheese, avocado slices, corn, sliced tomato, diced onions, sour cream, chopped jalepenos (for the adults)... the list of toppings is endless. (and now we're having that for dinner because my mouth is watering! insert taco emoji here!) But I'll bet that if we just handed the kids a bowl full of these delicious ingredients, they'd be less excited to eat it. Instead, we deconstruct the kids' dinner for them- separate the ingredients into little piles on their plates so they can not only see what they're eating item by item, but they feel like they have a choice about which items they are eating and what they eat first.  It's all about control when it comes to the little ones, right? Have you ever seen the "muffin tin snack tray" craze? Same theory! For us, deconstructing dinner is really win win! They're happy they have a lot of choices (in their mind) about dinner, we're happy they're eating the same thing as us.

A huge helper in deconstructing your dinner for the kids is a divided plate. Our favorites are these platters from Boon. Instead of just a divided plate with two sections for the food to go, this platter has FOUR little sections for us to fill up with the different dinner ingredients. But don't you get annoyed at having to hand wash specialty kids plates? Mmm yeah, whose got time for that?! These Boon platters (and most other Boon products) are top-rack dishwasher safe! SCORE. And Boon recently released a new product- the Span dishwasher net- that covers your tiny kid products on the top rack of the dishwasher so that the cups or lids don't flip and fill with gross water. Such a game changer, am I right?

And if you're like me and you have to basically pre-wash your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher (we have such a crappy dishwasher... the dishwasher in our next house will be like a top of the line $20,000 dishwasher if that's even a thing, mark my word!) or for those dishes that must be hand washed, Boon also just released the Forb Mini, a soap releasing dish brush. Convenient and cute, that's my kind of thing.

We are such a fan of Boon products- we've been using their grass drying rack for years now, it's a daily staple at our house! These are really good quality products that are designed with kids in mind and, just as importantly, with parents in mind, too. I'm glad someone out there realized that a) specialty plates with little sections and fun features are important to my kids' eating habits but b) I don't have time (or energy!) to handwash those speciality plates! Now thanks to the Span and the Forb (which you can pick up at your local Target or online, here and here for $9.99 each!), the cleaning process is made even easier. Thanks, Boon, someone's been paying attention!

Thanks to Boon for partnering with me on this post!

Psst! Like my white subway tile you see in the background of some of these photos? That's not real tile! It's peel and stick! No joke. Find out more in this post.


  1. My daughter just turned one and I try to make our meal times just how you described yours! I love BOON products, but have yet to pick some up. May have to head to the store this week ;)

  2. Love this!! My little guy has allergies and I swear the silver lining is that he is such a healthy eating toddler. I think when you are dealing with allergies you have to really plan and be aware of what you are feeding your child and hence we cook really healthy and he doesn't know any different.


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