Picky Eaters: The Battle of Casseroles and Other “Mixed” Foods

September 24, 2012 | By | Comments (0)

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.

Cheesy Baked Shells and Broccoli

My oldest is a picky eater. He doesn’t eat anything mixed like casserole. Sometimes I just make a separate meal for him but I’m concerned about him getting the right nutrients. I want eating to be enjoyable for him but sometimes I feel like we’re constantly telling him “one more bite”. He eats some veggies and likes fruit and could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all day. —Carin H.

Hi, Carin.  It’s common for kids to prefer food individually instead of mixed in a casserole—the solution there is relatively easy—as you prepare a recipe set aside a few pieces of each ingredient and serve that to your son. You don’t have to make a completely different meal, and he gets something he’ll like.

I always suggest that parents examine their child’s favorite foods and make subtle changes to create healthier versions. By making small adjustments over time, your child’s taste buds will adjust until you can finally replace the old version with a healthier alternative. For example, in your son’s favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich, replace one slice of white bread with whole wheat, mix one-half sugar-based jelly and one-half fruit-only spread, and replace a portion of the processed peanut butter with a low-sugar, non–trans fat version. Over time, increase the amount of the healthier ingredients. To make the meal even healthier you can even try adding something to the sandwich like thinly sliced strawberries or bananas.

For more advice, visit Elizabeth’s Facebook page.