I won’t go into details, but I think insisting on the family dinner is the single biggest mistake we’re making as parents. I’ll save that topic for a longer rant.
But on the topic of mealtime in general, I will share this with you — my biggest secret mealtime weapon.
The frilly toothpick.
I can’t remember what brought me to buy these in the first place, but I suspect Bennett was involved. Recently, I fished them out of an overstuffed drawer in the kitchen and stuck them into meatballs. As I watched the kids snarf them down, I made a note of it and used them the next night with another, less exciting meal. I think lentils were involved. (I do not suggest trying to spear a lentil.) The kids were so enchanted by the spear and the flimsy, frilly plastic on the end, they barely registered the food stuck at the end of them.
Lesson: You can stick these in just about anything and a once paltry, scorned dish becomes a cocktail party! The kids are so busy deciding what color they want and how to gouge out each other’s eyes with the spear at the end once they’ve eaten the food off it, that they don’t even realize they’re eating.