Place Settings & Plating for Half Pints

Place setting

I’m a big believer in presenting food to children that looks appetizing.  When I feed my family, I pull out the plates and utensils that I feel will best fit the meal that I’m preparing.  If I’m on top of my game, I include Vivian in this process, talking through what we need for the meal and allowing her to help me in setting the table.  Here are some ideas on how you can do this at home, and check out our Pinterest board with even more ideas.  With the holidays around the corner, now is a great time to give this a try!

* Allow children to help set the table, delegating responsibilities that are age appropriate.  An older child might be able to carry fancy plates or arrange the items on the table, while younger ones can bring napkins and individual utensils.

* On our Pinterest board you’ll find different examples of place settings.  Some meals might be fun to eat with a more formal place setting, while others call for casual.  Print out the templates for your kids to follow and mix it up!

* Allow younger children to use the templates as puzzles, putting the various items directly onto the template.

* Have a special or “fancy” dinner one day a week, bringing out the good dishes and napkins.  Let your dining room at home be the place where your kids learn how to dine out.

* Ask your children for their ideas on adding seasonal elements to the table, encouraging their creativity in decorating your dinner table.

* When plating, keep it simple.  Don’t use a plate that is too small, and don’t be afraid to compose a plate with food that touches.  You’re teaching your kids that different foods have natural accompaniments.

* Build a bite!  Encourage your kids to try all of the items on their plate separately, and then together in the perfect bite (with your help).  How do they compare?

I hope that these ideas encourage you and that you can give a few of them a try this week.  Send any of your great ideas to me!  tara@halfpintpalates.com