No matter what age your children are, it can often be a challenge to persuade them to eat their dinner. It might be that they’re very young and they just don’t want to sit down at the table long enough to eat their dinner. If your child is a bit older, it might be a struggle to get them to put down their game console controller or even their smartphone long enough to eat dinner with the family. If you’re finding dinnertime is a constant struggle, here are some ways you can make it more exciting for your children.

Cook together

One of the most effective ways to persuade your child that mealtime is important is to get them to cook the dish themselves. Once they learn how much hard work and effort goes into cooking a different meal every night, they’ll hopefully learn to appreciate your efforts more. They’re also much more likely to want to taste something they’ve made with their own hands out of curiosity over whether they did a good job or not.

One of the easiest ways to persuade your children to cook along with you is to give them a recipe they can understand themselves. For example, if you subscribe to a recipe box from you’ll not only get all of the ingredients to make your meal, but you’ll also get a fully illustrated recipe card that they can follow themselves. You’ll also receive activity cards and stickers based on every country each recipe is from, and even an apron so they look the part as well.

Make a picture rather than a meal

Often a plate of fruit or vegetables won’t be the most exciting prospect to come running down the stairs for. The problem is made even worse if your child would rather see a treat meal like pizza or burgers on their plate instead. Luckily there is a way to make even the blandest of meals look more exciting. Try cutting each ingredient into different shapes and make them into a picture. For example, if you want your child to eat more fruit, try making it into a face. Make eyes out of blueberries, ears out of chunks of apple, hair out of orange segments and lips out of a strawberry. By changing the look of the food, you’ll also be changing their attitude towards it. They’ll find it a lot more fun taking a bite out of a funny face’s ear rather than a bite of an apple.

Theme your whole evening

Instead of calling your child down to sit at the dinner table, call them down for a themed evening. If you’re eating Italian food, put some Italian themed music on in the background. You could even challenge yourselves to try and talk in your best Italian accents. If you’re having a Mexican dish, why not wear a sombrero and a colorful poncho. If you make your mealtime a party, your children will be rushing down those stairs a lot faster.

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