Muffin Tin Meals FAQ

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Re-posting this for all of the new email and RSS subscribers. Welcome!
(Originally posted on June 11, 2009)

I'll be adding to this as the questions keep coming in, so bookmark it so if you ever need to know a little more about Muffin Tin Monday or Muffin Tin Meals

*Muffin Tin Mom is the Official home of Muffin Tin Monday and the Muffin Tin Meal.

What is a exactly is a Muffin Tin Meal?
Pretty simple here. It's a meal, snack, or dessert served in a muffin tin. For Muffin Tin Mondays we make them for our kids, but anyone can have a muffin tin meal! A muffin tin is also known as a muffin pan, cupcake tin or cupcan pan and for our purposes here, we also use silicone and paper baking cups, pans and tins.

What is Muffin Tin Monday?
A weekly blog link up, every Monday here at the Official Home of Muffin Tin Monday, Muffin Tin Mom, where we get together and link up posts about the Muffin Tin Meal we make for our kids. Sometimes there is a theme, and sometime there isn't.

Gimme the basics. How do I get started? A muffin tin + food is a you really need.
To get ideas you can browse other blogger's MTM submissions and browse the archives here at Muffin Tin Mom. A wonderful reader put together a post on squidoo about Muffin Tin Monday that shares product ideas and much more. Not sure if her links are affiliates, but I loved what she put together.

Did you come up with this idea? I've seen this on a lot of blogs
This blog carnival originated (the summer of '08) with Katy over at Sycamore Stirrings. When she moved to Luxembourg, she passed it on to me (an avid participant at the time and now 4 year host). Katy originated Muffin Tin Meals on the Internet, and they have gained increasing recognition since this blog carnival has increased in popularity over the last 4 years. I hear that Dr. Sears has something similar, like a "nibble tray". That's awesome. He encourages "grazing" as a way to get picky eaters to eat more food. We don't use muffin tins for grazing, but respect Dr. Sears. I've also seen some blogs showcase an icecube tray. That's super cute too. I would love for you to participate in Muffin Tin Monday! I host it every Monday, here at Muffin Tin Mom. "Muffin Tin Monday" is the property of this blog and if you decide to participate and post about it, I would greatly appreciate a link back to Muffin Tin Mom. If you've seen it on another blog, then that person most likely saw it here, from Katy, or from someone who saw it from someone who saw it get the idea. 

How old you children have to be? 
If they are eating finger foods, then they are ready for Muffin Tin Meals. However, I would advise to always cut the food up into toddler sized pieces and to wait until they can eat from a plate. Follow your pediatrician's guidelines in making your meal age appropriate for you kids. Many moms of toddlers say that their child loved it, but would turn over the muffin tin and dump all the contents out. As for an age maximum...My children are 8 and 7 and still love them, I give them bigger portion sizes. They are great for adults too for portion control, baked potato toppings and fondue toppings, etc.

How often are there themes?
We no longer do official themes, however, I am considering bringing them back. However, in the meantime, feel free to do your own theme for Muffin Tin Monday. All are welcome. For a list of theme ideas: be sure to visit the Muffin Tin Meals Themes page.

What is the purpose for Muffin Tin Meals? Serving a meal in a muffin tin to kids has many benefits including: breaking up the lunchtime routine, serving foods in smaller more manageable portions for little mouths and introducing them to new foods in a fun and interesting way! It's a win for you: They eat. It's a win for them: It's fun.

Why did you do themes? 
Making the Muffin Tin Meals "themed" gradually became a mainstay of Muffin Tin Monday. Over the summer months a few years ago, we took a break from themes and currently no longer do themed weeks You are always welcome to make up your own themed MTM and submit it to the blog carnival on Mondays. But, making a themed muffin tin meal is not necessary to participating each week. To see my thoughts on this be sure to watch my Muffin Tin Monday vlog

I want to do a themed muffin tin, do you have a list of ideas?
Sure do.  The Muffin Tin Meal Theme Idea page and How to create your own themed muffin tin meal.

Are there any official rules?
Please include a link back to Muffin Tin Mom, so that your viewers can see other muffin tin meals. This is considered good blog etiquette. The post must include a Muffin Tin Meal, but doesn't necessarily have to be theme related. And lastly...and this is important...please include your direct post's link (the url, also called the permalink) and not the link of your blog/homepage, as this greatly inhibits your visitors from finding your muffin tin meal post after Monday is over. If you are unsure of how to do this, just email me and I'll explain it! Divided plates and bento boxes are wonderful, but for our purposes please stick to muffin tins, cups and liners. Thanks!

Where can I find those super cute shaped tins,food picks, silicone pans and muffin cups? I must have them. Now.
I shop for mine many places:
  • Michael's Arts and Crafts has a great supply of Wilton brand baking tins and cups. Wilton brand is a favorite of mine. They have quality products at affordable prices and they are available in stores. Ia lso love the Martha Stewart line of treat wrappers.
  • Japanese Bento Box Supplies work great for Muffin Tin Meals. Google "bento supplies" or you can search Amazon. 
  • Bake It Pretty is an online retailer of baking supplies that has adorable paper cups.
  • Pick On Us has a wide variety of food picks and skewers that are great for Muffin Tin Monday
  • Can't afford those options? I check local thrift stores all the time. I have found some great muffin tins at second hand stores.

What if I want to make my own food picks, cookie cutters, etc? Here are a few great tutorials you can try:

How do I store it all? 
Here is a great post on storage for all your MTM supplies 

I want to keep track of the muffin tins I did and the foods my kids like and don't like. Do you have a Muffin Tin Meal planner? Sure Do. Emily from Second Story Window guest posted about MTM planning and you can download the free MTM planner page on her blog.

Do I have to have a blog to participate? Not at all! But in order for us to see your submission, it must be uploaded somewhere on the web. So if you don't have a blog, then uploading it to a photo-sharing site like works best. Then, come back to MTM, and link it up by clicking on the blue "add your link" button in the current weeks Muffin Tin Monday post. If you post via Facebook, be sure to set that photo to "public".

Submissions are accepted all week long via the most recent Muffin Tin Monday post.

 If you have any FAQ's you think should be included or want answered, leave me a comment!

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