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My best solution for Feeding Kids: The Goody Plate!

By petra - Posted on 28 June 2012

Over the past 23 years that I have been parenting, one thing I have always struggled with is the relentless intensity with which my children need to be fed. The effort to keep healthy food in the house & on their plates (& then to get those plates clean to do it over again a few short hours later) is enormous and has always been a challenge for me. I don`t like to cook. It`s just that simple. That`s why I want to share my solution with you! I don`t actually know how or why we started calling them Goody Plates, but my youngest kid, who is now 12 still thinks a Goody Plate is the best kind of meal to have.

It`s super simple: All you need is one plate for each kid you have to feed and small amounts of a variety of foods, usually finger foods. All you do is arrange the foods attractively on each plate and serve it up, picnic-style, maybe even on a blanket on the floor (outdoors if it`s nice!).


There are a few basic features to an awesome goody plate:

• Variety

• Small portions

• Something a little weird, unexpected or new

• If dessert is part of the meal, it goes on the Goody Plate, too (no rules about saving it for last!)


Goody plates are quick and they are also a great way to make limited money go farther. Think Goody Plate when you are shopping: buy very small amounts of bulk foods, fruits & vegetables when they are on sale, to make the Goody Plate more interesting & colourful. When you are preparing food, think Goody Plate, & stash small amounts of food to break out later, on a Goody Plate.

For finger foods, all you need is a plate. If you frequent thrift stores, keep an eye out for mini dishes to make it fun & easy to include small portions of non-finger foods, too.


Some ideas about what to put on a Goody Plate (choose 5-8 items):

• Mini carrot, celery, pepper or cucumber sticks

• Berries

• Sliced apple, orange, melon or any other fruit

• Mini broccoli or cauliflower trees

• Radishes

• Gherkins or pickles

• Olives

• A few nuts

• Sunflower or pumpkin seeds (stir pumpkin seeds in a frying pan with a little oil & salt to make hot popped pepitas!)

• A few crackers or corn chips

• A mini serving of rice (on a lettuce or spinach leaf!)

• A mini portion of hummus

• Cubed salami or sliced deli meat or veggie-meat slices

• Cubed cheese

• A few cooked tortellini

• A slice of avocado

• Part of a muffin or other baking, cut in bite sized pieces

• Tinned pineapple chunks or rings

• A tiny dish of yogurt

• Unsprayed edible flowers like rose petals & calendula blossoms (if you happen to have some nearby!)

• A boiled egg in an egg cup (with a little bit of salt)

• Nori (sushi seaweed), cut into small squares with scissors

• Whatever you have or whatever is on sale!