Theme nights can be a fun way to involve the kids in meal planning.  Looking for theme ideas? Here’s a list to get you started. 

Cooking Method: Crockpot, grill, no-cook, stir fry, bake, sheet pan... 

Specific Cuisine: Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Cajun, Indian, Tex-Mex, German, French...

Type of Food: Soup, sandwiches, salads, meatless, breakfast for dinner...

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter

Holiday: Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Halloween, New Year’s…

Ingredient: Pasta, watermelon, strawberries, bok choy, chicken...

Leftovers: Turn leftover roasted turkey into a wrap or soup. Or, convert leftover burgers into chili or spaghetti sauce. 

Clean the Pantry: Have each member pull out a food item from the cupboard, refrigerator, or freezer. Then, create a meal using all of the ingredients they chose.

Book or Movie: Make foods that appear in your favorite story. For example, you could create The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s food adventure or serve up Sam I Am’s Green Eggs and Ham.

Friends’ Favorites: Try a new food or recipe you’ve learned about from your friends.

Breakfast for Dinner: Serve up those omelets and biscuits or buckwheat pancakes.

50 States: Pick a popular meal from another state. You could try Texas red beans, Boston Chowder, Chicago style pizza, or Alaskan sourdough bread!

Time Period: Medieval stew, Colonial cornbread, Civil War baked beans, Victorian pickled veggies, 60s meatballs in jelly...

Stuffed Animal or Favorite Toy: Plan a meal for your child’s favorite stuffed animal or toy. Have your child help plan, prep, and serve foods he thinks his favorite pal would like to eat. 


The opportunities for theme nights are endless. With everyone’s help, you might be surprised by all of the ideas your family comes up with. 


Download And Print

Print our list of themes and hang it inside your cupboard or add to your tool kit!