For awhile I've been working hard at getting my kids to eat better. Not just better, but eat a wider variety of foods. Like beyond hot dogs and mac and cheese. Both have their place, but I have gotten so tired of hearing "yuck! I don't like it!" when dinner is on the table and it is not hot dogs or mac and cheese.
So, in light of the dinnertime dilemma, I have been trying to involve each child in meal planning every week. Each one has gotten to choose a meal, and so we've had lots of kid-friendly yet mom-accepted meals this week. We don't cook much on the weekends, so we're only talking 4 or 5 dinners each week, really. And if they choose 3 of them, then I only have to really figure out 1 or 2!
This week I hoped for the same thing, when they surprised me by requesting that we have a Spongebob Dinner. They thought it would be hysterical to eat Crabbie Patties. Um, OK, I'm creative, of course we can have a Spongebob Dinner! My brain cells got all fired up with the possibilities of what to fix...especially what new foods to potentially introduce! I'm not a seafood lover, but come on! Crab! Squid! This could be fun!
As it turned out, we had the dinner tonight. And it was a hit. Decorations were minimal (after all, I'm really not a Spongebob fan) - a little kraft paper runner with Spongebob stickers and that was it. And a few random coloring pages we'd printed off of the internet. What was the menu, you ask? Well, we did have Crabbie Patties (aka mini crab cakes) - and it turns out that Reed and Grace really liked them. Who knew? We also had shrimp (an old standby) and fried calamari. At one point during dinner Lauren shouted "I LOVE SQUID!" - this from the girl who gags on marinara! Cucumbers rounded out the kid-dreaded veggie portion (because there are real animals that are sea cucumbers, after all).
For dessert we made the sand castle cake featured on the cover of this month's Family Fun. Here is the photo - ours looks decidedly more frumpy than the magazine feature. But who cares? And really, how can you go wrong with yellow cake, frosting from the bakery, and crushed vanilla wafers?
After dinner I was encouraging them to think of our next themed meal (naturally my wheels are turning and I'm thinking we could do this every week! Or every other! The possibilities are endless!). Lauren suggested a Garfield meal. I said that would mean we'd be eating lasagne. To which she promptly retorted, "forget THAT!" Who needs pasta when you can have squid, right?