I Don’t Have Time For Picky Eaters
It’s dinner time, the plates are set and the meal is hot and ready. “I don’t like that!”, “It’s yucky!!”, “Can you fix me something else?” You spent time, money, and exhausted efforts on fixing a meal, no matter how fancy or just boxed meals, and your kids simply won’t eat it.
I’ve been there, and it’s not pretty. Being a working parent with kids in school, extracurriculars, obligations, and everything in between, it’s nearly impossible to be ahead of the game with food that all the family likes. Kids go through stages, and what they loved one minute, they hate the next. My seven-year-old ate breakfast burritos like they were a coveted treasure, and that lasted all of six months… until she decided she didn’t want anything to do with them anymore. And that was that. She never ate them again.
This is where I get honest. I have many strengths, one of them being organization and mastering chaos like it is a fashion statement. But one strength that I lack is meal planning for my family. In fact, if your strength is meal planning, that is your key to resolving your picky eater problem, as you can plan ahead and ensure that the family thoroughly enjoys all meals. And you can stop reading the rest of the article because you hold the most powerful key to your picky eater problem. In fact, you are a super hero and likely rival the mom skills in one of my most favorite children’s books, The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman.
But if you’re like me and your weakness is meal planning, yet you still have a house with persnickety eaters, you still need help. I’ll share what works for me, and hopefully it helps someone in their journey. I need to add a small disclaimer here: my husband and I did not grow up with a plethora of meal options, and lived very much under the old school rule of “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit,” and were encouraged to go to bed hungry if we didn’t eat what was set before us. But I don’t necessarily rule my house with the same philosophy, as I do have the ability to bend a little when it comes to food choices.
I’ve found a couple of things that help me navigate meal times in my chaotic life, and maybe one of these things can help you too:
First, get the kids involved with cooking. There’s something about letting the kiddos participate in the process that makes them want to taste and eat the fruits of their labor. This is somewhat high-effort on the parents’ part, but a couple of times a week is doable.
The other trick I’ve learned is to never underestimate the fancy “lunchable”, the kid-friendly charcuterie board when it comes to feeding your picky eaters. Fresh fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, and crackers – this requires little to no effort to put together, you can ensure some nutritional value, and it gives your kiddo a chance to make choices on their plates. This is a fan favorite in my house. If my husband cooks something that the kids don’t like, charcuterie board it is!
It’s the little wins that make the day survivable during the chaotic school days, so give one of these a try if you’re struggling with your picky eaters.