We are not beyond sneaky parenting tricks, clever meal ideas, and fun dishes and plates like the ones we’ve found here, to give us a little help at mealtime with our toddlers, our older picky eaters, and our kids who’d rather skip right to dessert.
Hey, maybe these fun dishes for kids help yours try a few new foods. Maybe it gets them to eat just one more carrot. Orr maybe it just keeps them from getting all fidget-y at the table while the grownups are still eating so we can all have a little more time together. #ParentingWin!
Related: Amazing but easy food art for kids: 9 simple ways to play with your kid’s food.
Dylbug Personalized Dress-Up Plates for Kids
The phrase “eat it or wear it!” originated from Judy Blume’s classic, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and it comes to life in these brilliant mom-designed plates we’ve loved for ages. You can personal boy or girl characters complete with details like skin color, hair style, and even add details like freckles and glasses.
($26, Dylbug; or $52 for a full set including plate, bowl, placemat)
Dylbug Personalized Road and Train Track Plates for Kids
If kids are more into turning food into things that go instead of things you wear, we adore Dylbug’s personalized plates that feature your choice of roads or train tracks. The matching food cutters are a must to help you make appropriately delicious vehicles of choice.
($24, Dylbug, with accessories and bundles available)
Mr. Food Face and Mrs. Food Face Dishes for Kids
Remember Wooly Willy? From the witty product designers at Fred, these clever ceramic dishes in two styles are the same idea, only with food instead of those little black magnetic shavings. Yeah, don’t eat those.
Related: 5 playful school lunches to make back to school fun for everyone. Including you.
Dinner Winner Kids Dinner Tray
Also from Fred comes these fabulous trays that turn mealtime into a game; you can’t get to the treat until you finish. Of course the treat could be a surprise love note, a coupon for an extra bedtime story, extra sprinkles on ice cream — not just dessert. There are 5 fun themes from dinos to pirates to an enchanted forest, but we can’t resist this superhero tray.
EZPZ Silicone Happy Mat Placemats
The original Happy Mat is an all-in-one bowl and placemat set to keep mealtime as fun as clean-up is easy. Well, fingers crossed for the clean-up part. They also have smaller versions if your kid doesn’t need quite so much placemat space.
($19.99 and up, Amazon)
Kids Funwares Mealtime Sets Shaped like Trucks and Planes
Back in the day, our parents had to pretend the fork was an airplane, zooming into a tunnel. And we liked it! Well, now kids can take their food on imaginary journeys all on their own with these fun plate and utensil sets for kids that look like dump trucks, airplanes, fire trucks, and tractors. They were designed to teach kids portion control, though we suspect they’ll also be used to help keep food from *gasp* touching. P.S. Despite what you might think from the photos on the site, girls will like them too.
Special Edition Silicone Kids Grip Dishes by Bumkins
Bumkins offers a few cute stick-to-the-table dishes to make meals a little more exciting for babies and kids, including a football dish, a Batman logo dish, and a must-have unicorn dish for kids who dream of magic at mealtimes. Psst…we found the unicorn dish on sale at Nordstrom Rack for around $11 if you hurry!
Related: 12 easy unicorn party treats that don’t require magical kitchen skills.
We can’t think of anyone better suited to guard your child’s personally crafted chicken, shredded cheese and
“only a little salsa” taco than this triceratops from FunWares. Actually forget the kids, we want one for ourselves! ($11.71, Amazon)