I had a hard time letting go of food control. Over time my son's preferred foods got pretty narrow. I kept those stocked well after I stopped freaking out about him living mainly off of pizza, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, apples, peanut butter, and sushi. He did like clover flowers if we picked them out of the yard and steamed them, oh and pomegranates too. There were some other foods too but it *looked* like very few foods for what felt like a very long time. I didn't really do many monkey platters because anything outside of his list (he wrote me a list of the foods he liked one day and we stuck it in my notebook I keep recipes we like in) often went into the trash and it seemed to frustrate my son to see things he didn't want on his plate. Looking back it was probably a response to lingering pressures to eat better.

So it's been a while since I tried making monkey platters. I noticed at the last couple of gatherings we've been to that included food, he's been nibbling at foods I haven't seen him eat for years and some that are completely new. So today, I put together a monkey platter with things I know he eats and things I thought he might like after noticing the nibbles he took and brought it up to him around the time he usually comes down for snacks. Since he was online in a conversation with a friend, I just set it down with a note that said, "I thought you might be hungry." It's been a few hours now, and I went up to see if he needed anything. Out of all the things I put on the plate, all but 2 were eaten. (One was chocolate for anyone wondering.) There was a little bit each of strawberries, orange wedges, crackers, pop tart, carrots with dip, chocolate, salami, cheese, ginger sesame "cookies" and a lollipop. He thanked me for the snacks. Monkey platters are still awesome.

I hope you are all having a great night.

Sandra Dodd

-=-Who knew? Monkey platters are sometimes good for teens too.-=-

I wasn't aware anyone didn't know that. They're great for adults, too! :-)

My boys were 11 or 12, and 9 or so, when we went to the zoo and saw those monkeys eating.
Most of my monkey-platter practice and experience involved adolescent boys who were playing video games on a long table (a door over two filing cabinets) where Kirby and Marty and their friends would play games for hours, in Kirby's room. I would go in, leave a plate, come back and see what was "going," and maybe just replenish that one thing.

Looking after a long time can show you what wasn't finished off, but looking halfway through lets you know what's going first, and that's valuable to know, too.

I used to stick toothpicks in some of the things, and they would eat with those (things like cheese, pineapple chunks, small pieces of meat), which kept their hands cleaner.

At the Always Learning Live events in Albuquerque, we've had a snack table that was pretty much a monkey platter buffet. Not all sites allow food, but I'm REALLy liking the places that do. The hotel we have in Albuquerque lets us bring whatever food and drink we want into the conference center. The one in Minnesota will not.

The sites in Australa (for events coming up in March) all were chosen for our ability to have food in there, and I've requested people bring finger foods.

Just in case there's someone who didn't know I'll be in Australia and wants to, here:
Bring finger food. :-)



Monkey platters have really changed the way my family eats!  We love them!  They allow for more time together (less time in the kitchen) and also allow me to present a mix of healthy foods as well as some treats.  We nosh on carrots/peppers/broccoli & dip, apples, small sandwiches, chunks of meat & cheese, cookies, crackers and other treats.  As long as the platter offers meat in some form, my husband is happy!

If you are a person who is stuck in the "we must have a sit-down, four-course meal every evening at 5pm or I won't feel like a good mom/wife" mindset (like I was); incorporating monkey platters can be a really fun way to help you relax about what mealtimes "should" look like.


I forgot to add my name at the end of my post (as it was my first post, I thought you might like a name to go with it).

Mel :)