Use lunch trays or divided plates. The lunch trays are their favorites for summer, we just carry them outside for al fresco dining on the patio (or better yet, a blanket on the grass- instant picnic!),my friend Kristin gave these to me and we use them ALL THE TIME! (Thanks Kristin!) Really, who knew being a lunch lady could be so fun?
I skewer* anything I can, it makes even salami and string cheese look like a party appetizer!
Want to make your skewers even more appealing? Add chocolate! (Well, not to salami and cheese, that is kind of icky, unless you like that kind of thing.)
I have not had good luck with my chocolate melting nice and smooth lately. Any ideas why ladies? It has been kind of gloppy and thick, hmm, Google search on my to do list for later...
Along the same lines as the divided plate, use tiny bowls for serving fruit, salad, rice, etc. My kids love it. I don't know why. Their weirdos, they say it tastes better. Whatever, nutjobs, my rice tastes the same from a bowl, my plate or right out of the pan, not that I do that of course. :) I have a nice collection of tiny bowls and they are currently on my list of things to find at the antique/garage sales I attend.
Even better, tiny bowls on a lazy susan! HA! I am such a genius. After school snacks never looked so good. My kids actually said, "cool" when they saw this one. (Please don't judge our choices of after school snacks, in an effort to make my pantry offerings look more yummy I put them on the lazy susan and the next day I drug everyone to the store for some fruits and veggies-being a mommy to a newborn drastically cuts down on those "just run to the store for a few things" trips!)
Allow your children to "dress" for dinner. Or use a candle or cloth napkins, something out of the ordinary can make spaghetti night much more exotic and exciting.
When all else fails, go out. I encourage parents are have a cocktail if taking your children out to eat is as much fun as it is for us!*these are drink stir-ers from Target, they are perfect for kid-sized treats and then I can wash and reuse them. I also buy colored toothpicks, the umbrellas and any other kind of skewer-ish tool. I rely on these a lot to make meals fun. I tend to stick with what works.