Of all of the lessons I learned in my childhood - one always stands out in the springtime. Dinner just tastes better on the back porch. I grew up (ahem...) as a bit of a picky eater, but I didn't seem to notice the rice my mother snuck into my meatballs when we were outside.
I use this same tactic with my own family now. I get eye rolls just like everyone else when I announce that I'll be serving leftovers for dinner. And yet, I served these leftovers OUTSIDE last night, and they were gobbled up pretty quickly.
Here are a few of my favorite backyard dinner ideas to get even your pickiest eaters excited about dinner.
1. Add some color. Look at what you have to serve, and think about what colors are missing. I was about to put out baked chicken and quinoa, and added colored peppers and carrots to make the meal look more pleasing to the eye.
2. The rules don't apply outside. Want to run around in your pj's after dinner? Great. Want to sit in the hammock, picnic bench or rocking chair? As long as you eat nicely...I am on board.
3. Take a cue from my mom and try to sneak in a new dish now that you have a diversion. Eating outside makes everyone happy, and they might not notice that you have swapped an ingredient or two.