When your kid is a super picky eater, it can be stressful and time-consuming. As moms, we’re busy enough without having to plead with our child every time we sit down for a meal. That also means we definitely don’t have time to become a short-order cook just to make peace at mealtime.
If you’re ready to end the mealtime struggle, here are our favorite suggestions for feeding picky eaters from moms who have been there, done that, and survived to help you.
Snack Tips for Picky Eaters
It’s pretty obvious that your super picky eater probably won’t eat if they aren’t hungry, right? If you notice your little ones are always grazing while you prepare dinner, try to cut snacking an hour before mealtime. Then, those tummies will be rumbling when it’s time to eat.
Another picky eater tip is to use snack time to optimize nutrition. Be mindful about the snacks your kids are eating, and offer healthy, kid-friendly snacks like fruit or veggies and dip. Our Protein Poppers also make for an excellent, wholesome snack option for even a super picky eater. These snacks offer plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber, which means less worry for you when they inevitably refuse their veggies at dinner.
Meal Plan As A Family
One of our favorite picky eater tips is to involve the whole family in meal planning. Discuss the weekly meal plan as a family, so everyone knows what meals to expect. Another tip for family meal planning is to choose one day per week for a “kids choice” meal. This leaves less for you to plan, and is a great way of learning how to feed a picky eater in a way that gets them excited to eat their special meal.
Include Your Super Picky Eater in Meal Prep
When we say meal prep, we’re talking about the whole process – from grocery store to table. Letting your little ones tag along at the grocery store will teach them about food.
This tip for picky eaters is made even more effective when you let go and have fun exploring the produce section with your kid. If they see something new they want to try, let them!
At home, finding safe ways to let your kids help in the kitchen is a suggestion for picky eaters that will make them excited to eat what they prepared. Click here for some safe ways your kids can help in the kitchen.
Build Healthy Meals With Your Kids’ Favorites
Start with foods that you know your super picky eater loves, and build healthy meals from there. Simply add a veggie or salad as a side, or disguise vegetables and make small changes to your little one’s favorite meals to add nutrition. Even better, you can create vegetarian meals for kids in ways that are familiar, delicious, and still solve the problem of how to feed a picky eater.
This suggestion for feeding picky eaters can be as simple as using whole grain pasta in macaroni and cheese (like our Multigrain Mac & Cheese). If your little one prefers chicken nuggets on a daily basis, try our Chicken Pops (coated with whole-wheat panko and served with green beans and mashed potatoes) as a fun alternative.
Click here for more information on building a healthy plate for kids.
How to Feed Your Picky Eater With “Build Your Own” Meals
Plan a “DIY” meal night into your rotation, with entrees such as tacos, pizza, baked potatoes, or paninis. Offer a variety of toppings including your kids’ favorites, well as some healthy options and let your family customize their own meals. Who knows what kind of crazy combinations your kid might try!
Here’s a tip to make this suggestion for picky eaters even easier: use our Pizza Bagels as a base for DIY pizza night. Less work for you, and more fun for your kids.
Don’t Forget The Biggest Picky Eater Tip of All: Never Give Up
One of the best suggestions for feeding picky eaters is to be (gently) persistent. Continue to offer the foods your super picky eater has refused in the past, and try not to pressure your kids to eat them. Simply lead by example.
Your little one becomes more likely to eat a food each time they see it. Sometimes, it can take as many as 15 (or more) attempts for a child to accept a new food. One of the biggest tips for picky eaters to remember is to give it time, and remember that your kid won’t live on chicken nuggets forever.
Keep in mind that everyone is different, so some of these suggestions for picky eaters will work for some families, but not others. Hopefully some of these tips will help find what works for you.
As always, our goal at Yumble is to take the stress out of mealtime. If you’re struggling with how to feed your picky eater, let us do the work for you. Yumble delivers fresh, delicious, fully prepared kids' meals right to your doorstep. Simply pick the plan that works best for your super picky eater, choose your weekly meals, and Yumble will take care of the rest! No cooking required!