Picky Eaters: Get Your Kids Involved in Menu Planning

September 19, 2012 | By | Comments (1)

We asked you on Facebook for your biggest challenges when it comes to having a picky eater in the house. We called in Elizabeth Pantley, best-selling author of The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution to help solve your problems. Look for her answers here over the next few weeks.

 Make veggies fun

I have two picky eaters who will not eat veggies, and will not break out of the kid’s menu you find at a diner. One would eat cereal and yogurt all day if allowed. I have tried introducing new foods but they would prefer to starve than eat anything new. I have even tried sneaking veggies into their foods but they detect any change in color, texture or flavor. I have pretty much given up and hope that their tastes will change as they get older. — Beth S. 

Hi, Beth. Sounds like your picky eaters have your number! Let me tell you a secret—they won’t willingly starve—they’ll just hold out until you give in and make them some chicken nuggets! So make a healthy meal and use a few tricks to make it more palatable. Kids who won’t eat cooked veggies will often eat raw ones when given something to dip them into. It can also be fun to serve vegetables in interesting containers, or arranged colorfully in patterns or shapes.

Don’t feel you have to offer every food under the sun. See if you can find a few healthy options that the kids will eat and stick to those. You can find healthy versions of those “kids menu” items—soy-based nuggets, whole-grain macaroni and cheese, lean turkey burgers. Also, get them involved in the menu-planning and ask for their input. This gives them some control and they may be more willing to eat what you serve without complaint.