photo: Fred and Friends

Got a kid who won’t eat her peas and carrots? Make it a game with this genius dinner plate that turns dinner into a board game that kids can play, bite by bite, to get to a prize at the end of the game.

How it works: Parents divide dinner into small morsels that can be placed onto the little game squares, and hungry kids eat their way, piece by piece, through the board until reaching the covered FINISH square, where a small treat awaits (Hint: don’t let your little diner peek at the surprise until she’s eaten everything on her game board!). If you want to give your kids a little more control over their mealtime decisions you can allow one “free” square for kids to pass over.

As for the technical specs, the plate is made from 100 percent virgin melamine, is food-safe and dishwasher safe.

And, don’t feel bad about gaming your way through dinner: Studies show up to 50 percent of toddlers are picky eaters, and it’s a behavior that may be hardwired into their little brains. Picky eating apparently peaks just after kids pass the “mouthing” stage (when anything and everything goes straight into their mouths) and that it may be an evolutionary behavior designed to keep poisonous or toxic substances out of the tummy. According to published research, children enter their pickiest phase of life around age 2, and this stage generally declines by the time they turn 6.

So hang in there, Mama! She’ll eat her peas eventually. Even if it’s to win the game.

Do you have any tips for getting through the picky eating stage? Share them with us in the comments below.