#TWKatHome Family Fridays

Supper Switchup--Why Themed Dinners Make a Big Difference

Wendy Jeffries, Executive Director, TasteWise Kids

Our #TWKFamilyFridays series is where we hope to provide you with resources to both learn a little more about the world of food and its sources, and connect with one another in the process.


Fancy dinner? Themed dinner? Breakfast for dinner? We all could use a few ways to make a dinner at home feel extra special or just different sometimes - kids and adults alike. While we often gear up to have a special meal for a birthday or holiday, hosting a special meal on a random day can create a special little moment.

In our house, every Friday night is “fancy dinner” - this started back in March when my older daughter’s school “hosted” a special fancy dinner as a school wide event where families dressed up and shared pictures of their meals and outfits. We had so much fun, it has become a weekly tradition. Our girls LOVE knowing it’s coming and it helps us all celebrate the end of what is often a long week. The best part has been that “fancy” in our house means getting dressed up (and sometimes even involves decorations - check out our home made sign) but the food stays basic (the standard is noodles, meatballs, and some kind of veggie).


There are lots of ways to get creative with these special dining adventures. The most important part is to involve your kids, regardless of age.

For ideas of how to get them involved, check out this previous TWKatHome Family Friday Tip. We will do another post about fancy meal ideas soon but for this week, we want to share some ideas about dressing up and setting the scene:

  • Pull out that extra special jewelry from your great grandmother or that snazzy bow-tie from Papa
  • Take a bubble bath before dinner (get that shower time out of the way) and have a pajama dinner
  • Hold a fashion show pre-dinner to show off those amazing outfits
  • Come dressed as your favorite cartoon or movie character and stay in character thru dinner
  • Host your dinner party in a home-made fort 
  • Pretend it’s your favorite holiday and decorate accordingly  
  • Pick flowers and use a tablecloth to make it restaurant quality

To make it even easier, we have a “fancy dinner with a cause” all ready for you - join us this Monday, October 5th at 7pm for our annual Farm to Chef Maryland event. It’s kid friendly - we will even email you a packet of activities and recipes for the event, including a yummy mocktail. While there is a cost to this event, know that your $25 will help us develop more online programming and resources so kids in Baltimore are able to continue their healthy food journey.