Yes, I know I shouldn’t “bribe” my kids — especially with food. I take full responsibility for any damage this may cause later in life, but when mama’s gotta get something done without drama, I tempt my kids with taco night — and it works!
I get it, you may be thinking, my kid would never eat a taco. I’m in nugget city over here. But it’s never too late to try.
It’s all in the setup. When introducing taco night to your kids, it needs to sound like the kid version of an exclusive event open only to teen pop stars and Olympic gymnasts. Build up the night, make it awesome the first time, and then reap the benefits of the ultimate bribe over and over. Here’s why taco night is boss:
10. No negotiations over what dinner is. The bribe itself actually eliminates another element of drama during the witching hour.
9. Taco night can be completely executed in under 30-minutes. That is faster than most kid movies, trips to the playground, and the dreaded kid board game that makes your eyes glaze over.
8. When my fridge is empty I still have bribe currency. Throw an egg in there. Bam — breakfast taco!
7. Kids think it’s some sort of junk food. Ha! Fooled. Tacos are actually a well-balanced meal (assuming you can get them to put some reasonably healthy things in there.)
6. Crank up the music. Because tacos are festive, and if the music is loud enough, you can pretend your kids are actually being quiet.
5. The taco bribe includes protein (in non-nugget form). Double parenting win!
4. Adding the word “night” to any kid bribe makes it instantly more attractive to them — because what else does your kid ever have going on at night except keeping you up?
3. Taco building is an art. You can inspire your kids with your theories on the optimal ordering of taco contents. They may totally ignore you, but it’s fun to watch them wonder if you are really serious that sour cream always has to go next to salsa.
2. If it goes to hell, you can easily transition the meal to taco salad. Another win! Disclaimer: Kids under age 6 are guaranteed to break the shell on the first couple of bites. For this demographic, don’t attempt taco night with a plate — it’s a bowl, people, unless you enjoy vacuuming.
1. Hello dessert taco. With Old El Paso Taco Boats, some whipped cream and fresh berries you’ve got yourself one crowd-pleasing bribe. (And werk — you got them to eat a fruit!)
Brought to you by Old El Paso, who does not support bribing your kids (except with tacos) because Anything Goes in Old El Paso.