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How to Put the Excitement Back Into Mealtimes

Are you excited for dinner every day, or does figuring out what to eat feel like a chore? Even for me, a professional recipe developer and food blogger, having to plan dinner day after day can feel daunting. Here are some of the ways I keep mealtimes interesting.

low angle shot of lamb kofta kebabs on a platter with radishes, lemon wedges, herbs, and tzatziki.

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Rest assured, none of these will add a lot of time or effort to your day. But if you want to be more interested in your evening meal, these five tips will have you and your family loving your dinner before you know it.

Make Dinner More Interesting: 5 Easy Strategies

1. Try Different Foods

If you eat the same things all the time for dinner, it’s easy to see why you’re getting bored. Sometimes, dinners are boring because, well, you’re making boring choices. The easiest way around this is to try different foods regularly. Try adding a Middle Eastern touch to your meal by starting with a simple tabouli salad recipe (tabbouleh). Or go for it with Lamb Kofta Kebabs or Harissa Chicken as a main dish.

Or add some Asian flavors with Kung Pao Chicken, Palak Paneer, or Gochujang Noodles.

Taco Tuesday is always fun, but try other Mexican dishes as well, like Sopa de Camarones, Salpicon de Res, or Air Fryer Enchiladas.

Think of things you haven’t tried before that you think you and your family would like. Work them into your week, and you’ll start really looking forward to dinner.

low angle shot of a bowl of sopa de camarones.

2. Try Breakfast for Dinner

This is one of my favorite techniques. I love savory breakfast foods, and they’re usually super easy to make, so I love having breakfast for dinner. As mentioned above, trying different foods can be a great way to reignite your enthusiasm, but that doesn’t mean you’ll need to limit yourself to what people usually have for dinner. It could be worth considering what you usually have for breakfast.

It’ll be a great way to change things up a bit and make it a little more interesting. Omelettes, scrambled eggs and bacon, Chilaquiles, and multiple other options can be worth considering for this.  With the various options, and how much fun it can be, there’s no reason not to give it a try.

3. Play With Presentation

How you present food makes a significant difference in how people feel about it. While it may not affect the taste, good plating and choosing beautiful foods can make the food more appealing. See your dinner as an experience, with the presentation making a large impact on this. Go out of your way to play with the presentation as much as you’d like.

The more interesting the food looks, the more interesting the dinner will be. You’ll have a great time putting everything together, and your family is sure to enjoy how it looks and tastes. There’s no reason not to have a bit of fun with it. I mean, look at these Pork Belly Banh Mi! Who wouldn’t be excited to eat those?

overhead shot of 3 pork belly banh mi sandwiches.

4. Pick A Theme

Theme nights can be a great way to make dinner more interesting, and they’re quite common to do. It’s worth having at least one of these every week to make it as appealing as possible. The more you try it, the more you could end up enjoying it.

You don’t even need to spend too long figuring the theme out. From taco Tuesdays to pizza Fridays, there are countless options to choose from. Put a little thought into it, and you shouldn’t have a problem finding something you and your family will love. It’ll give you something to look forward to every week.

5. Decorate

Sometimes, it’s not the dinner itself that’s uninteresting, but where you’re having it. You’ll be used to the dining room table looking the same way all the time. That alone could be more than enough to make your evening meal boring. What’s stopping you from spicing it up every once in a while?

Decorating the dining room table and making everything look nicer makes it feel much more special. Even the act of decorating could be more than enough to make everyone more interested in the meal. Tying this to the theme mentioned above makes it even more effective.

There’s no reason not to try it every once in a while.

overhead shot of thai pumpkin curry in the cooking pot

Wrapping Up

Nobody wants their dinner to be boring, so use these tips to bring some excitement back to mealtime. Doing it doesn’t need to be difficult — the above tips are all easy to do and can really make a big difference. Trying some new foods, having breakfast for dinner now and then, playing with the presentation and ambiance, and similar tips are all straightforward and don’t take too much time. There shouldn’t be anything stopping you from making it an amazing time for you and your family.

By on May 3rd, 2023


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 50 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners5 Ingredient Cooking for TwoSushi at HomeThe Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. → More about Robin

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