Do you have a kid who’s a picky eater? A grazer? How about a mish mash of leftovers in your fridge right now? Nothing to make for lunch because you are due for groceries? If you answered, “yes”, to any of these questions then you need muffin tin meals in your life!
I know they look like something the modern, trendy mom might do but trust me…those trendy moms have you fooled because these are simple and practical and a great alternative to take the pressure off at meal time.
If you have a muffin tin in your kitchen right now, then use the same effort you’d use to reach up and grab a plate, and grab the muffin tin instead. Take any food at all. Cut it up. Stick in tin. Serve. Voila! You seriously have got it together mom! Look at you go!
Aside from the simplicity, muffin tins provide that little bit of novelty to make meal time interesting and exciting for kids.
It provides a sensory experience and can give the littler ones an opportunity to practice their pincer grasp and early feeding skills while enjoying a variety of finger foods. The idea is to serve a meal made up of small amounts of different kinds of foods that you on hand. No advance planning or coordination of foods required. Finger food that can be served cold works well but there are no rules so you can use anything you want! I make an effort to include something from each food group when I can. Here are some ideas of the foods we use in our muffin tin meals:
Meat & Proteins:
- bits of scrambled egg, sliced or cubed hard boiled eggs
- cut up leftover meat
- leftover chicken strips, hamburger or hot dogs
- sandwich meat rolled then sliced
- sunflower seeds
- trail mix
Breads & Cereal:
- cubes of toast
- leftover pasta
- small crackers – goldfish, wheat thins
- cereal – mini wheats, Cheerios
- leftover cubed pancakes or waffles
- cut up vegetables – baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery, broccoli, cucumber etc.
- cut up fruit – berries, apples, oranges, grapes, banana, avocado, melons etc.
- raisins, currants or dried cranberries
- cheese cubes
- cottage cheese
- yogurt for dipping fruit
- dips or salad dressings
There are loads of other fun ideas for kids meals & snacks on my Kids Snacks & Lunchboxes Pinterest Board but if you’d like to take your muffin tin meals to the next level, then get creative using some of these super cool ideas:
- Experiment with muffin tins of different sizes and shapes. Sometimes you can find larger silicone molds that come in fun shapes.
- Do a themed muffin tin meal i.e. orange day – Kraft dinner, cheese cubes, orange sections
- Have fun with the holidays and make some Valentine’s Day, Easter or Saint Patrick’s Day themed muffin tin meals
- Add some flair to your muffin tin meals by using colorful or themed silicone or paper muffin cups in the compartments. I like to do this for the dessert compartment and throw in some arrowroot or a few cookies.
- Pull out the cookie cutters and make fun shaped mini sandwiches
- Use a melon baller and serve fruit in balls
- Use tooth picks, flags or umbrellas leftover from last weekends cocktail party
Other ideas? Please share in the comments below!7