We’re always looking for weeknight dinner ideas that appeal to everyone in our families, from husbands to big kids to toddlers and even babies. That’s why this super simple but completely customizable Baked Potato Bar from The Baker Mama—a Dallas, TX-based mom of four—caught our eye. Everyone can choose their favorite toppings, which automatically increases the chances they’ll eat their meal. If one person in the family has food restrictions (for instance, no dairy or gluten), you can simply leave those toppings off. For young toddlers or babies, you can simply mash up the potato insides with some butter for a puree-like consistency, sans skin.  Here are some additional tips for a crowd-pleasing baked potato bar:

Start With The Perfect Baked Potato
Try this recipe that’s gained thousands of fans from Bon Appetit. It takes about an hour for these spuds to cook in the oven, which gives you time to get the toppings chopped and ready. To speed it up, you can also try a microwave version.

Put Together the Toppings
The Yummy Life has a great tutorial and suggestions for toppings, including herbs, veggies, meats, cheeses and sauces. Think outside the box, with unexpected options like smoked salmon and scallions, or jalapenos and Mexican blend cheese.

Display Them Beautifully
You’ve probably heard the saying “you eat first with your eyes,” and with a baked potato bar, the prettier it looks, the more your kids will be excited about creating (and eating) their own. For inspiration (and to browse boards she uses for her own masterpieces), head to The Baker Mama.

This story appeared on The Local Moms Network.

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around lower Middlesex County, NJ