As is the reality with almost all parents, Chrissy Teigen's daughter Luna became a picky eater one day. So, to help her get excited about food and explore different dishes, Teigen created "Luna's Lunch Menu," a clever solution that she admits is a little "ridiculous." But, hey, it works!
The Cravings cookbook author explained in a video on her YouTube channel that she had created a laminated menu for her 3-year-old daughter in an effort to get her "excited" about food. The menu offers pictures of all the things Luna likes to eat, including cereal with raspberries, fish sticks with broccoli, spaghetti and meatballs, and macaroni and cheese.
When Luna scrolls through her beautiful personalized menu, she can choose which item she would like and then pays the chef with laminated real dollar bills. "We laminated real money," Teigen explains, "but it's cheaper than buying fake play money. It is, I promise!"
This exchange is a far cry from what the creative mom thought her parenting experience would be like. "Before I was a mom, I never ever thought I would go out of my way to get my kids to eat," Teigen wrote on Instagram. "I thought I would say 'eat what’s in front of you or nothing at all!!' but alas, life didn’t work out that way."
Instead of forcing her daughter to eat food she doesn't want, Teigen has opted to give her creative ways to get excited about her meals and feel like she has choices. Added bonus? Apparently when Luna pays for her meals, Teigen says "she usually tips" her, too.
There are countless experts out there offering parents tips on how to deal with picky eaters, of course, which might help if children were all exactly the same. But as Teigen found out, trying to solve the picky eating issue in your own house takes patience and creativity. "I’ll do whatever it takes if she ends up with a full belly!" she wrote on Instagram.
The idea for this menu first occurred to Teigen in 2018, when she shared the news that she "made a restaurant for my 2 and a half year old." That first version, which included "Lunables" instead of "Lunchables," was widely praised by parents who were also tired of begging their children to eat at dinner time.
"Do you have these recipes in a book that I can purchase?" one parent wrote to Teigen. "I want to start giving my toddler more variety but I’m just not that imaginative with food."
Another said, "Ham and cheese Lunables is such a cute idea!"
Luna's Lunch Menu is one of those super accessible ideas that regular parents can use if they so choose. As Teigen proudly pointed out, her laminator only cost $32; and if we're all going to be honest, this menu looks like a lot of fun for parents as well as kids. So why not?