- February 23, 2014 at 12:15 pm #339137
Recently some of our members and guests have asked, How do I deal with a Picky eater, or a husband who wont eat what I make unless it’s his favorite, etc. So we’re Challenging you to share your best ideas for the situation at hand…
What is your best tip for dealing with picky eaters in your family/household?
wondering how to play? hit the reply button and answer the challenge question! (seriously, that’s it)
what is the goodie giveaway for this challenge? an amusing new mug & a $10 Amazon Gift Card[b101][/b101]
- February 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm #451369
My family is three teenagers and three adults. If they don’t care for what I have prepared for dinner, they are on their own–they can purchase their own food. Since they are all working and saving, they usually don’t want to part with their cash.
When I make school lunches, I use the dinner leftovers. Normally, they are hungry enough that they eat what I have packed for them (and are often surprised by how much they like what I sent!). Again, they don’t want to use their own money to buy lunch.
I have a wonderful husband who will eat just about anything I make, so no challenge there!
- February 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm #451370
Let the family be involved in menu
- February 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm #451371Quote:The Challenge Question is : What is your best tip for dealing with picky eaters in your family/household?
here are some of my favorite tips for dealing with picky eaters (kids)
- one bite rule- the kids always have to have at least one bite of something, even if they hate it. sometimes they realize that it’s not as bad as they thought and they eat it all.
- refusers- those who are just not hungry right now, we save the food plate until they are hungry and then they have to eat it (reheated, if necessary) at the next mealtime. regardless- they are going to eventually eat whatever is put on their plate
- the power struggle- they’re hungry but refusing to eat, i just put it on their plate and if they don’t eat, they don’t get anything else until the next meal, at all.
just water, no other snacks or food.
dealing with picky adults:
actually- if an adult is a picky eater they’ve been recognized as having an actual disorder called, selective eating disorder.
they may have been raised that way (aka momma’s boy or girl!) introduce new foods and ask them to have enough respect for you to at least try it. they might be surprised.
find out why they dislike a particular food, my other half hated butternut squash because it just “mushed around in his mouth” so i fixed it by adding scallions, garlic and a bit of blue cheese for texture. now he likes it.
- February 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm #451372
For my kids/ picky eaters we change the color of the food or tell them they give super powers When You Eat them. (Ex. Cauliflower we make it purple or blue)
- February 23, 2014 at 12:48 pm #451325
Thankfully my kids are not picky eaters but I have a husband that is! I “hide” veggies like zucchini and tomatoes in sauces like spaghetti. Cauliflower makes a great crust and no one knows it is a veggie.
It is an easy way to get my hubby, who doesn’t eat veggies, to get them. Even if it is a sneaky way! lol
- February 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm #451331
I have an autistic son who is very picky so I make sure to cook something he will eat. If I make gravy over rice he won’t eat it but he will eat just the meat and rice so I keep some aside before I make gravy. One dinner two ways
- February 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm #451332
I have a picky eater, so the way I get around the fact that he doesn’t like vegetables in his food is to shred them up & add them to what I am cooking and he never knows he’s eating vegetables. I will tell him after he’s finished, which is usually when he says he now likes vegetables.
- February 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm #451373
When I want to make something new and get a turned up nose reply, I usually fix the husband what he wants and add what I want for me. I’ve learned to make extra of the “for me” item because he usually will eat it after he gives it a try. If he doesn’t like it, I have lunch to take to work the next day!
- February 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm #451375
I turn it into something else.. French fries out of Turnips – spaghetti from zucchini or squash — Yogurt in fruit salad. Works “almost” every time.
And I like the challenge of creating something new.
- February 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm #451376
After raising 8 boys and 1 girl, I couldn’t please everyone at every meal. We followed the one bite rule, and tried the rule “you can’t have anything else to eat until you eat what was fixed” . These didn’t work in our home.
The other children would feel sorry for whichever one was being picky and sneak food to the picky one. What did work for our large family was each person in the family, parents too, took turns choosing the supper meal menu. Everyone ate what the person selected.
If someone chose to be picky and wouldn’t eat the planned meal, they forfeited their choice meal night.pretty soon everyone ate
- February 23, 2014 at 1:27 pm #451380
My kids often won’t eat their vegetables. I sneak vegetables into their diets by adding grated zucchini and carrots to meatloaf.
- February 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm #451381
Give the picky person 2 choices… Then envolve them in the food preparation!
- February 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm #451379
Since my children are teens now, I figure if they don’t like it they can make their own.
- February 23, 2014 at 1:41 pm #451377
I’ve found that if they don’t know what’s in it, they won’t complain until they taste it.. Do not let them see you preparing the food. My husband is very picky about things he’s never tasted and some of my grandchildren say they hate onions, but when they smell and taste the food, they like, and sometimes love it.
- February 23, 2014 at 1:45 pm #451378
What you can do is change things up a bit. I know that I am unable to eat the white or yellow onions. What my mom does when she cooks, she substitutes items such as using the purple onion or shallots.
There are so many ways you can substitute ingredients when preparing food. Another way to work with a picky eater is to have that person list the food items and/or ingredients they do like. Then once you know what the person likes, you can work around those food items/ingredients to come up with something everyone can agree on.
- February 23, 2014 at 1:50 pm #451383
The way I deal with picky eaters (my son is 2, and his dad will eat anything) is if they don’t like it, than they can go hungry. I serve to meal options, eat what I make, or go hungry.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm #451384
Disguise it and don’t tell.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm #451385
I have a toddler and I feed him in courses. He gets his veggies first, when he’s very hungry. The rest of the meal comes when that is done.
It’s been successful in our family. Also, I’ve started to include him in cooking with easy steps like helping me stir, etc. I noticed he’s more open to eating when he helps.
Lastly, I “hide” a lot of veggies in my food (carrots and spinach in pasta sauce, pureed beets in strawberries, zucchini and kale in muffins, etc.) to make sure he gets nutrition.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm #451387
Well, I am that picky eater….lol.
The challenge for me is that I have a Filipina fiancé and in the Philippines they eat a lot of seafood and rice. Neither of which I don’t care for. Unless it is something like Gortons Filets or fish sticks…lol.
As far as rice it is the texture I cant get past.
However out of respect, I will really give it a sincere try. After all, they do eat foods that are better for me then I do. Besides I am hoping that she prepares foods differently then I am used to seeing or having.
She is prepared to learn how to make the foods I do love, so therefore I need to do the same for her.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm #451389
We told my granddaughter she couldn’t be a princess unless she ate “trees” (broccoli). I have tried to incorporate a variety of foods in eAch meal that we fix so that everyone would like something that was made. Then they could choose what they wanted that was available already.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm #451390
We have a house of three boys, ages 7,4 and 2. Most of the time they are not picky, but when they are in the mood to give mom and dad a headache, they become the pickiest eaters in the world. When making breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I give them the option of, “Do you want this choice or that choice”.
It’s not, “What do you want to eat”, because each boy will shout out a different answer, causing a fight and a headache. By giving them a choice of one dish over the other, they feel like they are in control of the menu and there is much less fighting and pickiness occurring.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm #451391
My kids hate cooked peas. I took them to my garden and convinced them to try fresh peas, straight off the vine. They loved them so much that now we never have cooked peas because they eat them in the garden and the peas never make it to the kitchen!
Trying a different form of the food sometimes works.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm #451393
When my kids were young, and didn’t like something they would make is horrid face. One day I made them make that face while eating something they liked. They agreed it did make the food taste different.
So they learned something (I couldn’t believe it) Some foods they still don’t like but they don’t always make up their minds before trying it. P. S.
they are well into their 20’s and will try most things now. Except rocky mtn oysters.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm #451394
We eat a lot of what she does like (black beans) always incorporating a least favorite to the plate. She must try one bite of the least liked food before leaving the table. We also exchange bites of yucky food for mini marshmallows – if u eat ‘x’ bites of green bean casserole you may have 2 marshmallows.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm #451395
When my kids (9&10) get picky I let them know they will be planning and/or cooking the next meal. They have to keep it healthy & balanced. Sometimes they like the idea and have fun and other times they think for a second and then get happy about what is on their plate.
I’ve done this since they were pretty young & have made it progressively harder. Now the budget aspect is part of the process.
- February 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm #451386
@budget101 436618 wrote:
The Challenge Question is : What is your best tip for dealing with picky eaters in your family/household?
my home currently houses two families at this time. my kids are 19 and 17 and pretty much will eat whatever I cook or they will make themselves some ramen or hunt for other leftovers in the fridge if I am making something they particularly don’t like.
The other family has four children ages 13, 14, 15 and 17. They use the one bite rule or as they call it, the no thank you bite.
You take a bite sized portion of the food and after you have tried it, if you don’t like it, you can say no thank you.
Usually if I am making something that I know one of the kids doesn’t like, I will be sure to make side dishes that I know they do like. This way if they don’t like the main part of the meal, there are still rice, potatoes or pasta and veggies on the side that they do like.
- February 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm #451400
my boyfriend is the picky one in the house, when he doesnt like what i cook i usually have to get him to cook his own food or if hes hungry now then he will deal with what i made and not waste food or money on take out. 🙂
- February 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm #451401
Seriously, I am the picky eater in the house!!! the best way to deal with me or any other picky eater is to have a few of their favorite easy to make food choices on hand, mix them in with whatever your making as the main meal…if they don’t like what you’re making they will fill up with those side dishes!! i have learned to adapt to fit in around other peoples meals, so i can literally be happy with side dishes that i like.
i guess if you know you have a picky eater coming or in the family, just make extra of a couple of things they do like!! hope that helps. easier than making two meals!
and never force a child to eat something they don’t like!!! try it yes, but eat a whole portion , no!!! they are not going to learn to like it!!
it is just torture for them!!
- February 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm #451402
When my boys were little they would only eat corn-just like there dad, so at dinner time I made myself a small dish of another vegetable I liked and told them they could not have MY vegetable, needless to say it only took a couple of weeks and they decided to try my choices. Now there are only 2 vegetables they won’t eat, one dislikes beets the other asparagus. Not too bad an outcome.
When I have picky guests I also chop onions, garlic, peppers celery etc in the food processor and add it, they never know what makes my food so tasty.
- February 23, 2014 at 3:11 pm #451404
I had some friends that were not adventurous eaters. My friend claimed she hated beans just detested the things. The whole family felt the same way.
So, one day I baked them a chocolate cake they loved it and gobbled it down, said it was the best cake they ever had!
Little did they know it was a chocolate garbanzo bean cake! Which uses no flour! I know it’s not right to trick people but some people need to be tricked, the walls they have built in their minds about certain foods needs to be challenged!
- February 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm #451405
How do I deal with a Picky eater, or a husband who wont eat what I make unless it’s his favorite, etc.
I include them in meal planning and preparation. Everything tastes better when you make it yourself! Well, at least they think so!
- February 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm #451406
I make them try anyways just to be sure they don’t like what I cooked and if they don’t they can fix themselves something else to eat. I have 5 adults in my household I’m not babying any of them
- February 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm #451408
I tried to offer a variety of different foods like a couple of different veggies, taters, rice, mac and cheese at each meal. We had a blended family in the summer and one hated onions, one liked catsup on everything, one would not eat green veggies, etc. There was something that everyone liked this way and they could try other things if they chose to.
- February 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm #451410
I’m pretty much old school “This is whats for dinner”. I’m not evil however 😉 There are always things that I know both my kids will like and I pretty much always cook them. If I am trying something new though they HAVE to eat it.
Not necessarily all of it but a least a few bites and then I tell them they can be done but they don’t get anything else the rest of the evening. We’ve done this from the very beginning so its what they’re used to. My daughters friend comes over and drives me nuts however.
She eats whatever she wants, quite literally! candy every day blah blah blah. Her grandmother brought me a bag or oranges one day because “Mary won’t eat them because they have seeds” Ugh 🙂
- February 23, 2014 at 3:42 pm #451412
I’ve learned not to make a big deal of it. I try to provide a good variety and in all cases my kids have learned to try new things. Some they’ve decided they like and some not.
But their tastes have changed over time. I’ve also found sending them off to scout camp makes a difference. There is no restaurant there – you eat what there is or wait until next meal.
It’s amazing how hungry they get with all the fresh air – and they’ve learned to eat almost anything when they are
- February 23, 2014 at 3:47 pm #451414
My fiance is a real picky eater especially when it comes to veggies, he only likes corn, peas, green beans, and carrots, I slip a few other things into meals like lasagna finely cut up as long as he can not taste them as the main flavor he is ok with it. If he won’t eat what I fix I tell him to fix something for himself to eat.:Sandwich:
My kids I had one that also was really picky when it came to textures everything had to be creamy, she could eat sour cream like most people eat ice cream, so when I wanted her to try something new, I would put sour cream on it, she learned to love many things as she ate them over and over again I put less and less sour cream on it. You could use ranch, cheese, anything your picky child loves.
- February 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm #451416
We have had to deal with not only kids but the dh as well not eating so many things. for the dh its basically just onions that he can see. with the kids, only my boys are picky eaters they won’t eat most veggies.
the two oldest out grew their dislike of veggies except corn and dried beans. the youngest still has this issue. we take our veggies and puree them adding them into sauces and such.
the oddest one of his “issues” is tomatoes. he wont eat anything that has a piece of tomato in it, but he loves tomato based sauces. so spaghetti, chili etc have been taken to where the chunks are now simply sauce.
he has however started adapting in his early teens now that he is helping to cook meals, in fact he often cooks dinner by himself. still wont touch a salad or asparagus but at least he has gotten better at trying new veggies.
- February 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm #451417
I have six people in my house, Three adults and three teens. Two are picky eaters (one adult and one teen). I do all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning in my house.
So I choose what’s for dinner. A couple times a week I do cook dinners I know everyone like and we eat, and a couple days its all about what I want and like . I do tell everyone in my house if they don’t like it they are welcome to do the shopping, cooking, and cleaning themselves!
So they eat what I make and they don’t complain. 😉
- February 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm #451418
From experience, you need to check if that person is a ‘super taster’. There are things I COULD not eat but seeing as no one heard of this condition I was labeled a picky eater. This was accurate to a point because I admit that I did use it to my advantage at times and that is a whole different book for another day.
However it still remains to this day. There are things I simply cannot eat, or drink. I let it go when people call me picky because frankly, I am tired of feeling like I must explain myself to others.
For those who want to learn instead of judge, look it up. I was so relieved when I found out I was not the only one. Maybe someone else will be helped with this post too.
- February 23, 2014 at 4:08 pm #451420
I have some very picky eaters. I have had them try different things to see what they will eat. My one child hates green beans, cooked carrots, peas and chicken, but she will eat chicken and dumplings which has all of those things in it.
My other child will not eat chicken at all, but loves hamburgers, so I ground up chicken and made it into a chicken hamburger and he loved it! I try not to force them to eat things because that has backfired in my face way too many times. Instead, I cook things that I know taste good and then they smell how good it is and want to try it.
Most of the time they love it.
- February 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm #451421
I run it past them asking what they think and if they are willing to give it a try. Usually they are willing to give it a try. After making it I want feedback even how to improve the dish.
I like to make from scratch and he usually likes something just to throw in the oven. YUCK!
- February 23, 2014 at 4:34 pm #451422
I let them choose what’s for dinner
- February 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm #451423
my husband will eat what i put in front of him. thank goodness! my kids are teenagers now, so if they don’t like what i make, they make something for themselves.
when they were small, they had to try it and if they still didn’t like it, they could have cereal or a sandwich. and everytime i made that particular dish, they would have to try it again.
- February 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm #451424
I have found with a picky eater that I don’t tell them how it was made if I put something in it they may not like. and they never knew it was in there. LOL I’ll dice things small and put it in and if they can’t see if they eat it.
Also If you don’t like what I make buy or make your own.
I am not a short order cook.
- February 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm #451426
Change the wrapper!! Way back in the dark ages (1940’s), I decided that I did not like margarine which came in one pound packages similar to butter. I swore (young age swearing) that I could taste the difference.
My father simply rewrapped the margarine in a butter wrapper. I loved it 🙂
- February 23, 2014 at 5:22 pm #451428
My husband is wonderful and doesn’t complain about anything I fix but my 14 year old is the picky one. I ask for her opinion & ideas for supper pretty often. she has a lot of good suggestions and that helps her actually want to eat what we’re having.
it also seems to help her not complain so much when i do the choosing! i also occasionally allow her to cook supper.
- February 23, 2014 at 5:23 pm #451429
Feeding children can be one of the most frustrating aspects of child rearing. With two girls that have very different tastes it has been one of life’s most daunting tasks. Luckily they both like fresh fruits and vegetables unfortunately not all of them and of course not the same ones.
One of the best tricks I have used it hiding them in other foods without them knowing it. Both kids will eat meat and both like my meatloaf. That is where I will grind up carrots, celery and tomatoes and hide them in the meatloaf from their end that is meatloaf and that is how it is made and tastes they have never questioned the ingredients and I believe if I do not get too crazy they never will.
I hide veggies in hamburgers as well and I will also serve them a little fresh fruits and veggies on the side (the ones they like of course). Meatballs using the same method on a bed of rice with some grated cheese and veggies also works. I include a wide variety of foods as well I let them look in cookbooks and pick dinners and we try the recipe out to see if they like it.
That is how they discovered Sushi! and love it tuna shashimi is my oldest favorite. I recently purchased a kids cookbook and I am going to start having them pick a recipe and cook it themselves to promote teamwork and teach then kitchen skills.
I have a whole bookshelf of cookbooks and we try every style and type of food out there! We have discussed going vegetarian once or twice as well… But I do not think that will happen we all love that meatloaf, ham, steak, stew, venison ETC………
So the best way to solve picky eaters in my eyes is to hide the veggies, get them involved and make it fun, when they are having fun they sometimes forget about being picky! And kids love to be involved and usually will try or eat something they helped prepare.
- February 23, 2014 at 5:23 pm #451430
Usually he will try a little of anything I make but sometimes I just don’t tell everything that might be in a dish so he doesn’t realize sometimes that he is eating something he doesn’t like.
- February 23, 2014 at 5:46 pm #451432
I quit dealing with my picky eaters. If they don’t want what i cook then I keep plenty of peanut butter and jelly for sandwhiches!
- February 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm #451434
In my family, we have food allergies, supertasters, & a few texture issues; I always respect those, as long as I’m aware of them! I was raised to know that we would try things & be polite about any dislikes, & we were allowed to have three foods that we didn’t have to eat, ever, even if we were company. By teaching us to eat what we were offered, and allowing the few dislikes, my sisters and I grew up to be not picky eaters.
I’ve followed the same plan, & my son isn’t picky. Since ppl may instinctively “hate” foods they are allergic to, that’s the reason for allowing those “never have to eat” foods. Obviously, respecting “pickiness” based on religious grounds or dietary restrictions is always good!
My son did go through a phase in which he appeared “picky,” but after being hospitalized for an allergic reaction to peanuts, I allowed that pickiness while he got over his fear of another reaction.
- February 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm #451435
When our kids were little, the “Pickies” tried to run through our home like a wildfire, but we put a stop to that very quickly. My husband and I repurposed foods, renamed a lot of the foods, changed colors of some foods, and just plain out hid a bunch of stuff. One of the biggest changes we made was to let the kids make choices on what we were having.
Here are some examples:
1. Repurposed Food – Chili Beans, Soups, etc. – We mashed things like green peas and corn and used them as thickeners.
2. Renaming Food- Fried Potatoes & Onions – They became Taters & Os. The onions were finely chopped, and the name resembled one of their favorite breakfast cereals.
3. Color Changes – Rainbow Celery – Cut off the root end, only. make a tall glass/pitcher of heavily colored ice water.
place the cut end in the water & place in the refrigerator. not only will this perk up the celery, it will cause the celery to draw in the color. it may take up to 24 hours to see the changes.
If battering veggies for frying, color the batter! Coloring with fruit & veggie juices adds even more nutritional value.
Ex. – Red – Use beet juice, Orange – Use carrot juice.
4. Hiding Food – Finely chop onions, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. and use in sauces.
My Chicken Parmesan became a lot more filling and less expensive when I began adding diced eggplant to the mix. Everyone loved the change, but couldn’t figure out what was in it.
5. Making choices – When the kids were younger, their choices involved color. As they got older, they got to choose a favorite dish.
Now, our kids are grown (all 5 of them), and none of them are picky eaters.
- February 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm #451436
If you make dessert last and a reward, children tend to do everything they can to get to the goal without having to take the intervening steps like broccoli! Don’t allow food to become a battleground, just make it routine from the beginning. I always presented all of my son’s food to him at one time, including dessert!
He happily ate everything presented to him with no arguments. If he ever asked what a new food was, my answer was always, “That’s asparagus (cauliflower, fish, strawberries, whatever)! Try it, it might be delicious!”
I never forced him to clean his plate or eat all of something; he knew best if he was hungry or if something was appealing to him. I never had a single problem with him trying new foods, or eating what I offered. On his own he developed a preference for grilled chicken and a dislike for fried foods and we never fought about eating sweets.
To this day (he’s 24) he prefers broccoli, asparagus, brussell sprouts and cabbage. I delight in the day, when he was 18 months old and I made a big vegetable soup. He pulled out a big piece of broccoli asking me what it was.
I gave my standard answer and he picked out and ate every piece of broccoli then pushed his bowl toward me and said, “More bwokki pwease”! Try this method with your children from the time they are young and you won’t have food problems.
- February 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm #451425
I have my picky Eater help with the menu and the cooking so he’s much more likely to try it
- February 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm #451403
Great ideas my oldest hated goulash until my sisters husband made firemans goulash he still likes it to this day
- February 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm #451438
I sneak the food in small amounts to acclimate the palate to the new food and then gradually increase the amount over a long period of time. Have taught my picky husband to expand his food preferences. Currently, trying to make basil and cilantro acceptable.
In the past, he didn’t eat spinach but did agree to try a spinach stuffed mushroom at Johnny Carino’s. From there we added a little creamed spinach and now he will eat a raw spinach salad.
- February 23, 2014 at 8:14 pm #451439
When my children were small we lived on a farm with very little income and most of the acreage sharecropped out. When we moved there we had a dilapidated house that made the house on the vintage show “Green Acres” look upscale. That first year we got by on $6,000 income.
When we arrived in our UHaul moving van, mustard greens grew in every field, and we used our income tax refund to buy a goat, (and a wood stove), so I made mustard green and cream cheese sandwiches…I got the bread because I baked bread for an organic foods store. My children are past 30 now and they still ask for mustard green and cream cheese sandwiches. Since we grew our own garden and the children helped they were always interested in having their vegetables and fruits in the meal.
They collected eggs and if the roosters went after one of the kids we had “bad bird soup.” My kids eat just about anything unless they are allergic to it, and their kids are not very picky either.
We encountered picky eaters when our children were grown and we were foster parents. We served a variety of fruits and vegetables at meals and the kids played the color game. We took a deck of cards and put a different color (roygbiv + brown and white) on the cards.
They drew 4 cards and had to eat at least a heaping tablespoon of food from the colors they selected. They actually asked to play the color game.
When I worked in a group home, the kids would get to help make the menu for the week. We used dice (6 sides) B,C,L,F,V,T (Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Fish (and seafood), Vegan, Turkey and then used the color cards to solicit their ideas for vegetables, sides and deserts from a variety of colors of food. The last thing we did was we assigned different nights to different cultures; Asian Food, Middle Eastern Food, American Food, Italian Food, Mexican Food, African American (Soul) Food, and any thing goes food.
Ten staff members and six teen boys ate meals at the house (we shopped for 10 people at every meal except breakfast and after school snacks when there were eight people), we had to make everything nutritious and cheap. Our budget was $215/week. I spent it down to the last penny every week and our boys grew like weeds and kept their weight in the average range, even though many were on ADD meds.
After a few months, there were no picky eaters, but I noticed that the cooking oil was being depleted fast – a couple of staff were frying everything so then we added cards for fried, baked, steamed, stir-fried, boiled and grilled and the kids and staff helped come up with cooking ideas. Budget problem solved and still no picky eaters re-emerged. I think by letting them be creative it made a difference.
**I had already scanned the ads to see what was on sale before I gave them the choices, so I moved the results in line with our house budget (Lamb was expensive and I could only afford to get it on markdown).
- February 23, 2014 at 8:56 pm #451445
I always tyed to have at least one thing everyone would like, also had to try everything, even if they thought they did not like it.
- February 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm #451446
There is a yummy yummy desert and when you eat all the food on your plate, you can have all you want… this works great on the grandkids, age 7 and 4…
- February 23, 2014 at 9:17 pm #451448
Eat it or cook your own
- February 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm #451449
I have no tolerance for picky eaters and I think everyone on this site knows it from numerous posts that I’ve made about this! lol! however, i do know that not everyone’s taste buds are the same.
i came to this realization because there is only one food on the planet that i will not eat unless prepared a certain way. scallops! unless they are pan-seared in butter and garlic, they have a metallic taste for me.
so i only eat them that way. i also believe that being a picky eater is a learned behavior. when i was a child, i observed friends not eating a variety of foods — mainly veggies — and nothing would happen.
when trying that behavior at home, i was told that if i didn’t eat all of my food (portions were child-size), i could go to bed after dinner without dessert. my dm was the queen of making desserts (dd had a sweet tooth [hmmm…maybe that’s why my daughter is a master baker…maybe it’s genetic!]) and going to bed without one of her fabulous cakes, pies, puddings, etc. was enough to change my mind!
my own daughter never had a problem eating anything! if she hesitated on anything new to her, we did use the one bite rule and she always ended up eating what was on her plate. it wasn’t until she was old enough to sleep over at friends’ homes that we encountered her not wanting to eat something that we knew that she had eaten before and enjoyed.
so we resorted to my parents’ approach — bed right away and no dessert! lol! needless to say, dinner was consumed without hesitation.
when some of her friends would stay over, we would go with the one-bite rule if they didn’t want to eat something. if the visiting child had a least one bite, they could still have dessert. most of the time, they cleaned their plate.
years later, my father developed a different tactic.
he was always doing things with the kids in the neighborhood — mainly having them do tasks around his yard or garage — i think that it was his way of keeping kids (and himself) busy in a positive way after my mother died. he’d invite them for dinner and if there was anything that they didn’t want to eat, he’d pull out his ‘majick sauce’…giggle… it was ranch dressing!
he didn’t even make it from scratch! he would buy a bottle and pour it into a plastic container and store in the fridge. when one of the kids balked at eating something, he’d make a big ta-do about forgetting to put his majick sauce on the item in question and then pour some on everyone’s food, including his own.
after the kids went home, he would contact the parents and share his majick sauce idea. the parents were grateful for two reasons…the time that he spent with their children and to help them eat better. so i guess you could say that the best idea for picky eaters did not come from me, but from my father…whose wisdom i miss every day…
- February 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm #451453
I have one really picky eater. I cook and he can decide what he wants to eat or not. If he doesn’t like it he does without, makes himself a PBJ or goes and buys what he wants.
(he is 18 and working). Mostly my family has more of an issue with textures and how things are prepared. They like fresh not frozen or prepackaged which is what they usually get since we cook most from scratch.
- February 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm #451457
don’t like it, make yourself something else, but you have to try it first
- February 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm #451460
We are a family of 5 with 2 teens and one in early 20’s. Everyone is “picky” to some degree. They almost always prefer fresh to boxed or frozen and mostly it is a texture thing.
They either choose to eat what is made, make a PBJ or buy what ever they want or go without.
- February 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm #451462
This issue is handled pretty much the same by everyone in my family: :food:
I try to be acomodating if I know ahead of time about allergies, however, ppl who are just picky are met with the attitude of “This is what there is, :lets-eat: eat and be happy or go away!” :eatpopcorn:
We have a guideline in our house that pretty much covers it… Life is about choices, choices have consequences, you choose your consequences in life by the choices you make….
So every one pretty well knows what to expect :stars:
Thats not to say I don’t try to cook for all involved, but I’m not going to go out of my way to cook separate meals:purr::springsmile:
- February 23, 2014 at 11:10 pm #451464
With children that do not like veggies, you hide the veggies in their foods so they do not even know they are eating them. My niece has done this with her children and it worked like a charm. Now they are older and realize what their Mom is doing but they like the food so it doesn’t matter.
I do not have a picky husband, he is a garbage disposal!!
- February 23, 2014 at 11:29 pm #451466
I don’t make a big deal about it but whenever possible I encourage them to try something they haven’t had before. However, what is presented at the meal is what is available (except for allergies or other special considerations). It is important to me to offer foods that I know my family/guests like because I enjoy making mealtime a happy, healthy experience.
With picky eaters I pay attention and, if possible, make sure there are plenty of choices to choose from for everybody, not just the picky eaters.
- February 23, 2014 at 11:53 pm #451471
I had an aunt who invited my family for Sunday dinner. She had fixed a large moose roast. Then she went on and on about MOOSE, and that onion soup mix took out the wild taste. My kids weren’t usually picky, but even my husband and myself were getting a bit nauseated listening to her go on about moose.
To top it off. she gave the rest of it to me to take home!
The next evening I ground up the ‘roast’, put bar-b-Que sauce,[my own recipe,] on it and didn’t tell anyone. To top it off, we had friends drop in just before supper and their kids were very picky.
The bar-b-Que moose was eaten, every last speck, and could probably have eaten more.
Moral: grind it up, slather it in bar-b-Que and keep your mouth shut! [My kids knew what they were eating, but our friends didn’t.]
- February 24, 2014 at 12:09 am #451472
Skip the casseroles. Usually a picky eater will eat some but not all of a casserole so serve main ingredients separately. Let the picky eater help cook.
Give everyone some input into menu planning.
- February 24, 2014 at 12:10 am #451473
Get yourself a bowl of cereal
- February 24, 2014 at 12:18 am #451474
My husband is not a picky eater, in fact, he is a garbage disposal!!! I do not have any children at home anymore but this is a trick my niece used when her children were young. They never wanted to eat vegetables so she found and made up recipes that you included veggies in without the children evern knowing they were in there.
They ate the food!! They did figure it out when they got older and they eat veggies just fine now. 🙂
- February 24, 2014 at 12:29 am #451475
I cook for 4 male borders every day, 3 meals a day. What works for me is hiding grated vegetables in the meatballs and soups, or disguising things but also my meal planning. All four of them have things that they just ‘can’t’ eat so I usually keep leftovers from the night before for that person when I know they can’t eat tomorrows dinner.
If its bran muffins instead of the cake muffins or something I’ve baked for snack and they say they don’t like them, I just give them toast.
Another thing that helps them change their attitudes slowly is that I’ll give them their leftovers, but at the same time, make a dinner that everyone loves. My guys are always raving about my cooking and not shy to say if it was mouth watering or just awesome. If my picky eater is just attention seeking or a trying to have a power struggle, they will eventually get curious and try it.
But, I have seen where those dislikes turn out to be allergies or stomach issues, so I just don’t force anyone to eat what they don’t like, and I am careful about what I hide in the meatballs.
I also don’t give them much attention for putting up a fuss either or it can get out of hand.
- February 24, 2014 at 12:37 am #451476
I don’t. I’m not a short order cook. You will eat what I prepare, fix your own or go hungry.
However, you can have a say in what’s prepared in the first place, most of the time anyway. People do like different things and taste buds change over time. I see a lot of food wasted because everyone’s eating something different.
You eat your meal as a family and everyone has the same food to pick from. What you didn’t like before, you might like now. You won’t know if you don’t try.
One bite, that’s all you have to try.
- February 24, 2014 at 12:51 am #451477
As a mom of three children I always found it hard to please my picky eaters, until one day I decided to give them a choice of one item per meal. My oldest would go first, he would get a choice of three food items per meat, grain or vegetable group. For instance if he picked the vegetable group he would have a choice of carrots, broccoli, or spinach and whatever he picked that was our vegetable for that night and the next child would pick either the grain or meat.
I did this four out of the seven nights a week, two of the other three nights were my husband and and I would decide on the dinner menu, and one night a week we went out to eat. The kids got a kick out of choosing the menu and we had a lot less bickering about someone not liking a certain food.
- February 24, 2014 at 1:02 am #451443
We have a household rule: you must eat 1 serving spoonful of everything on the table. It is only respectful to the person who cooked. And everyone gets an opportunity to cook.
Even children can pick a meal and assist in cooking.
- February 24, 2014 at 1:15 am #451203
Thankfully, my daughter and husband will eat just about anything and even enjoy an evening meal of nothing but roasted veggies! However, I have babysat for a friend who’s kids wouldn’t try anything new. So I took them grocery shopping with me.
I gave them an amount of money to spend and they had to plan a healthy meal. I was quite surprised when after they seen what goes into planning and preparing, they were much more open to new foods. Come to find out, that it was simply the parent who was not exposing her children to new things.
- February 24, 2014 at 1:18 am #451444
I start them young. My 2 year old & 7 month old grandsons have tried asparagus, different beans, quinoa and anything I make for them. When making puree, I sometimes add in organic non-gmo corn to make the other veggies taste sweeter.
Sometimes I add almond or coconut milk.
- February 24, 2014 at 1:23 am #451479
If my child does not want to eat what is presented she can eat a PBJ sandwich or a bowl of cereal instead. She is 5. She has to get the items needed for her sandwich and attempt to make it herself.
If it’s just a portion of the meal she will not eat, I encourage her to at least try it. I present different foods when I can and encourage her to try at least one bite. If it is a food she has tried before and does not like, I will encourage her to try it again.
- February 24, 2014 at 2:00 am #451485
Surprise Lunch. Put a mix of small portions of foods, cut up cheese, carrots, small crackers, grapes (cut in half for toddlers) little sandwiches cut in very small pieces, tiny pieces of broccoli, etc in a closed lunch box, each thing wrapped as a surprise. The idea is first to associate food with fun and give small amounts so the child is not over-whelmed.
The variety helps. With my picky eater, anything not eaten was put back in the fridge or box. I never scolded, but talked about the things she did eat.
“You like those carrots? They are crunchy.” She is 21 and still remembers surprise lunch with a lot of fondness.
- February 24, 2014 at 3:03 am #451494
With my children I had them involved in preparing the food , this seems to curve their nose in the air if they were involved in making the food and when a bit older helping decide on the menu
- February 24, 2014 at 3:08 am #451496
Don’t tell them what is in the food.
- February 24, 2014 at 3:15 am #451497
Great idea with the colors
- February 24, 2014 at 3:16 am #451498
Purée your veggies in their favorite foods. I started canning homemade spaghetti sauce adding many many veggies….they love it!!
- February 24, 2014 at 3:22 am #451500
I wait till they are really hungry. I delay dinner time then ask them to join me in the kitchen to help with preparing the meal. Since they want to eat and eat now, they follow me to the kitchen where I make two suggestions and they usually are happy to pick one.
- February 24, 2014 at 3:39 am #451503
Make them at least one bite if they dont like then dont eat it i also try to cut stuff up smaller so they will not even see it so they do not know i put it in the food
- February 24, 2014 at 4:54 am #451505
I only cook for four people. My husband, 2 daughters and me. My daughters have their different likes and dislikes but my husband is one of the pickiest people I know.
As far as my daughters are concerned, I try to fix something that each would like at every meal and take turns fixing their favorite every other night. As far as my husband is cconcerned, I try to take into consideration all his dislikes but it is not always possible. He doesn’t like sauces or anything soupy or soups.
I fix our chili really thick and the girls and I add water to ours. He likes meat, beans, pasta, and tomato sauce with no chunks of tomatoes. I like chunks of tomato and onion so I add it in my bowl.
- February 24, 2014 at 5:17 am #451506
If we are trying something new, they have to taste at least one teaspoon. If they don’t like it, then they don’t have to eat it and there is no forcing them to eat it. Then, they must eat everything else on their plate.
We only try one thing new at a time so we know they will like the remainder of their meal. We will try again in a month or so with the new item. It is futile to try to force a 3 year old to eat something they don’t want to eat, especially if they have a quick gag reflex.
- February 24, 2014 at 8:57 am #451512
Picky eaters should walk the plank. They’ll discover that sharks aren’t as choosy!
If no ocean-going vessel with a plank is available, then picky eaters can be dealt with by offering myriad choices — or the illusion of them.
Use salad bar buffet self-serving style on more than just salad. Tacos, pastas, soup/sandwich combos, appetizer smorgasborg…the ‘borgier the better. Everyone makes their own choices about which ingredients to include and how to combine them.
Buffet food service for the picky might seem like more work for the cook, and indeed it could be. So the cook must be clever, using pre-packaged ingredients when it’s safe and effective to do so, and treating buffet meal service as the final cooking and prep step that the diner completes herself. Example: The cook could be saved the trouble of adding omelette ingredients; instead, everyone gets plain omelettes that they complete themselves with their favorite toppings.
Then picky eaters will have nothing to complain about.
- February 24, 2014 at 9:55 am #451513
I usually let them tell me what they want to eat but to get them to try something new, put a name in front of the item name as firemans goulash
- February 24, 2014 at 9:56 am #451514
Mix lot of chillies in the food
- February 24, 2014 at 10:26 am #451516
My mom dealt with “picky eaters” by making sure we were not picky eaters when we were babies–we ate all foods, including seafood. When my children were growing up, they ate everything. I remember my two year olds eating clams on the halfshell down the shore.
I know that may sound arrogant, but if you have “emerging eaters” give them everything–even things you may not like…their young palates will develop tastes for new things better than we think they might. As for older children (and adults), try new cooking methods. Season asparagus with Lawrey’s, or Italian herbs…Make a batch of oven-fried sweet potato wedges…coat zucchini “coins” in egg wash and panko bread crumbs and also oven-fry with a marinara dipping sauce.
Just some hints. These are also healthy snacks and don’t cost very much.
- February 24, 2014 at 11:10 am #451518
@budget101 436618 wrote:
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Recently some of our members and guests have asked, How do I deal with a Picky eater, or a husband who wont eat what I make unless it’s his favorite, etc. So we’re Challenging you to share your best ideas for the situation at hand…
The Challenge Question is : What is your best tip for dealing with picky eaters in your family/household?
wondering how to play? hit the reply button and answer the challenge question!
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i’ve never really had to deal with picky eaters!
i cook what i like and everyone either ears it or they don’t. i’ve never had an issue!
- February 24, 2014 at 11:37 am #451442
My crew arent that picky…they usually like what I cook to eat. There are a few things that they say they dont like, but my reply to them is…”All I ask is that you try it one time, if you dont like it after you have tried it the one time, then ok, you do not have to eat it. But you have to at least try it.
You cant just look at it and say you dont like it.”…they will then try it and most of the time they wind up liking it and continue to eat it.
- February 24, 2014 at 11:38 am #451519
I’ve raised 3 boys and now the daughter-in-law and grandkids want to be selective in what they will eat. After trying all the “just try it” type approaches…I keep hotdog, peanut butter and jelly and white (yuck) bread in house. Let them eat sandwiches all day long while I finish their shrimp, deer steak, caulie mash, pork butt…somehow the grandkids are beginning to enjoy the strange food (not chicken fingers from an arch) and even love the tree’s (broccoli)
- February 24, 2014 at 11:55 am #451520
My husband does not like fresh fruit, period. But if I make him a fruit smoothie with frozen yogurt, he will happily drink it (maybe it reminds him of junk food!).
- February 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm #451522
Always have a fall back for the people that don’t like what’s for dinner, which can be as simple as a sandwich or frozen pizza that they can make and eat instead of what u have cooked
- February 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm #451523
Well I am fortunate enough to have a really good eater. My daughter eats pretty much anything you put in front of her(with the exception of bell peppers). However I came across a very useful cook book for the kids I babysit.
They are extremely picky eaters! the cookbook is “Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld(the comedians wife). It uses purees hidden in everyday foods.
Like butternut squash in brownies, cauliflower in mashed potatoes kind of things. Very sneaky and kid approved!
- February 24, 2014 at 2:44 pm #451525
Let them get REALLY hungry before you offer food. That will work.
- February 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm #451528
Macerate the vegetables
and add them to the sauce.
Choice in fruit and crunchables
lets kids be their own boss.
- February 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm #451530
I use Bribery, If you eat this today, I will cook what you pick another day.
- February 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm #451534
I make one meal. They either eat it or make something on their own, or wait till the next meal.
- February 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm #451538
With a 55 year old picky eater, I do the same as the kids. Hide the ingredient in the food. Example: doesn’t like sour cream or cream cheese, but loves my mashed potatoes and twice baked ones and my mac & cheese.
He never knew, and I didn’t tell.
- February 24, 2014 at 5:05 pm #451541
I do a few things. If the child has never had the food before they are asked to at least have a taster serving (usually a tablespoonful) the other thing I do is if they do not like what we are having they can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as the main part of meal and can have the sides if they so wish.
My son ate so many pb&j sandwiches when he was little he rarely eats them and is not so picky now. 🙂
- February 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm #451552
In our house, everyone is expected to try everything at least twice. The first time I fix it, everyone tries a spoonful on their plate. If they don’t like it then, they don’t have to take any more.
I make sure there is something in the meal that everyone will eat, so they have food to eat. The next time I fix it, they have to try it again. If they don’t like it then, they don’t have to eat it at all.
Usually by that time, the new is worn off and they will eat it. My kids have learned to like a lot of things they didn’t think they would.
For a picky husband, if he doesn’t like what is cooked, he will fix his own dinner and clean up afterwards. He follows the same rules the kids have to follow and tries everything twice.
Good luck finding your method of dealing with picky eaters. It can be very difficult!
- February 24, 2014 at 5:47 pm #451554
When our son returned home from school he was vegetarian. I just learned to make meals without meat, or to keep it on the side. My husband & I learned that the “fake” meats aren’t so bad, in fact some of what we have tried actually tastes good!
- February 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm #451556
i do a couple of things, i sneak veggies in red sauces or meatloaf, burger patties, and meatballs, but blending said veggies in the blender then mixing it with the meat/sauce b/c they can’t tell anything is different and the texture doesn’t change but the nutrients are there. the other thing i do is introduce something with a favorite, and give a tablespoon helping on the plate (it’s a no thank you helping in my house), and the only requirement is to try the small helping. u can also puree veggies and add them to homemade chicken nuggets when making them with ground chicken.
- February 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm #451557
The way I deal with a picky eater is to let them eat what they like. If there is something you don’t like just eat more of something else until you get full. As long as it is not junk food it is ok. I don’t believe in forcing someone to eat something they don’t like. (bad childhood memories!)
- February 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm #451559
Purée veggies and mix them into your meals. Sneaking but heathy!
- February 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm #451539
Trying different ingredients as well as herbs and or spices.As well as having them cook with you to give Idea’s of what they make like as a group.
- February 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm #451564
That’s an entire professional seminar. First try involving all in the planning. If that doesn’t work, use a multi-pronged approach that does not turn this into a control issue. Fix what you want, plus sometimes favorites for the others involved, just as you would if they always ate what you fix. If they don’t eat it, your lunch is already made. Don’t enable the behavior. Just don’t play the game. Don’t engage. You can say absolutely nothing, create no waves, no confrontations, no fights. Just don’t play. Fix the meal, set the table and just go about your business, having a family conversation but not reacting to the fact that they aren’t eating. They aren’t going to die if they miss a meal or even a few. Cave once though and you’ve started down the path of food control. Just practice quiet resolve
- February 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm #451565
I just try to make what everyone likes!
- February 24, 2014 at 8:28 pm #451536
I had to use my wits to get my kids to eat enough vegetables. My spaghetti sauce is loved by family, even the picky eaters. The secret is hidden vegetables. I will finely chop or puree a wealth of seasonal veggies, zucchini, carrots, spinach, peppers, kale. To increase fiber I do not peel my tomatoes from the garden.
- February 24, 2014 at 9:18 pm #451543
I am a household of 1. So my solution is to just fix the foods I like to eat.
- February 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm #451544
It’s really hard to come up with my BEST tip on handling picky eating as I’ve written a book about this so have tips a-plenty!
If you pin me down, however, here’s what I think is the most useful thing any parent of a picky eater can do:
Be tough and acknowledge your part in the situation. It’s always hard to look in the mirror and say, d’you know what, I have contributed to this problem. But also be kind to yourself and understand that when most parents inadvertently make picky eating worse, it is because they are coming from a place of love and natural anxiety about their child.
Let me explain. It is developmentally normal for children to be picky. If parents respond to this with an emotional reaction (anxiety, anger, guilt….) children subconsciously pick this up and repeat the behaviours, and before you know it, mealtimes are being used as an arena for power play and boundary testing.
Once you have had the opportunity to process how you are reacting to your child’s eating, you have won half the battle. Remember that accepting that you may be part of the problem means that you are also part of the solution.
- February 24, 2014 at 9:35 pm #451529
I wish I could say I have a magic potion but somethings I can hide in smoothies otherwise I have help planning our menu.
- February 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm #451570
My family is pretty easy going and love most foods and the things I prepare. If my daughter has friends over, I will check with her what they might not like. Usually the offenders are avocados, tomatoes or cheese, so I just leave those off of their servings. Otherwise all is good.
- February 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm #451575
For picky eaters in my household ,I grab out the condiments …ketchup , Ranch Dressing , B.B.Q. sauces , mayo , mustard ,…whatever their taste be , oh also if I have shredded cheese on hand cause everything taste better with cheese on it !!
- February 24, 2014 at 11:34 pm #451579
I am not a fan of making someone go hungry. I have always subscribed to what we call the “No-Thank-You” bite. You must at least try it before you turn your nose up. Then if you really don’t like what’s on the table you are on your own and free to fix something else, within reason – Don’t even think of touching that steak that I have designated for Friday night!
- February 24, 2014 at 11:39 pm #451580
I like to get my kids involved in with the cooking, and/or make it fun…like make what I can into shapes or animals (out of the veggies esp.) and when they realized they helped to make it I give them the old line “well you helped make it, so you know it has to be good” and for the most part they at least try it, and end up eating it 🙂 and if that don’t work make a real good dessert that they’ve been smelling/see all thru-out dinner, and tell them the only way they get it is if they eat what’s on they’re plate. lol
- February 24, 2014 at 11:52 pm #451581
I make food in fun shapes and name them wacky names.
- February 24, 2014 at 11:59 pm #451583
Picky eaters get to cook/provide for themselves! This usually cures all turned-up noses.
- February 25, 2014 at 12:41 am #451584
I have gotten so that I just say “fine” and either they eat what is here or they do without. Usually they will fix scrambled eggs or pancakes for them selves a few hours later since I didn’t give in Mine are all old enough to fix food for them selves even if it’s just a sandwich. Also I am teaching the King of PIcky how to prepare several favorite family recipes on his own and we talk about ways to make them just a bit different so he is not quite as bad anymore and will frequently ask me to substitute a different item in something I’m fixing saying “I might like it if we make it like this.” Idon’t worry about them anymore becasue boys usually will not go hungry.
- February 25, 2014 at 12:51 am #451585
I hide veggies when I can in something they know they like. Each time I make it, I add more and remind them that they ate it last time. We stress the importance of healthy food and the good things it does to your body and they’re starting to embrace their veggies (2 and 4 yr old boys).
- February 25, 2014 at 12:58 am #451586
I too am a picky eater. The only thing I like is what I like. That is my answer you have to make what your picky eater likes.
- February 25, 2014 at 1:52 am #451587
I have slowly been replacing his “favorite” meals with more healthy versions and reducing our sugar & sodium intake. So far so good. I have found snacks & desserts made with natural ingredients; honey, caoca powder, etc. that satisfy his sweet tooth. As long as he does not know what is in it he will try it and usually likes it.
- February 25, 2014 at 5:38 am #451597
LOL I have a dad with dementia so what he likes one day, he will hate the next and most days unless something is covered in chocolate it’s a fight to get it down. I have discovered that a nice rich tomato sauce will hide a multitude of ills. I get those 1/2 cup or 1 cup containers and then will steam carrots, broccoli or cauliflower or other veggies and then wazz them up in the food processor till they are almost like baby food. when I am making something with tomatoes in it I can just defrost one and stir it in. Works for spaghetti sauce, chili, tomato soup. Also I sneak “sweet” veggies into his pancakes or waffles. I make up my own pancake mix from scratch, but use powdered milk or buttermilk and then add pureed carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash say 1 cup or so per batch and then enough water to get the right batter thickness. As long as I also add pumpkin pie spice, he loves them and normally unless in a super sweet pie he wouldn’t touch any of them.
- February 25, 2014 at 5:49 am #451599
In my household it is eat what I make or don’t eat. We try to keep plenty of fruits and veggies on hand, fresh, for snacks and those are an optional substitute. However, my house is not a diner. All meals are planned per two week blocks and that is what we stick to.
- February 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm #451612
well I was brought up with 3 brothers and if we didn’t eat what was for dinner that night we didn’t eat so would have to go with that and that helped me out growing up because going hungery in my family ment you were hungry fo at least 12 hours
- February 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm #451632
Well, since I am the only shopper, cook, researcher AND the most picky eater I have been finding some ways to make myself eat healthier and different things I wouldn’t normally ever consider! Examples:
Flax: has a lot of omegas in it. so I add it to muffin mixes that I make. Also put in my crockpot oatmeal with fruit that I know I like. It doesn’t take much to increase the health benefits of everyday recipes using good quality ground flax seed!
Mushrooms: I can’t stand them! BUT if I process fresh or canned in a food processor to miniscule bits and add them to sauces or casseroles than I don’t get the taste and texture of them but I get the added health benefits. Same with jalapenos, olives, most types of squash.
Legumes! The are the ultimate disliked food by me! Mostly because of their texture–ewwww! so I had the idea from another B101 post for instant refried beans to grind the dry beans into a powder. NOW I can add them to dishes like Mac n Cheese, Pasta sauce, meat for tacos. meatloaf, you get the idea. Not only do I not taste them but they actually improve the textures of things I already like. With kids or other picky adults if you do the cooking they don’t even have to know what it is in it because you can’t see it this way. Later when the kids are grown and ask for the recipe THEN you reveal what they have been eating all along!
Have fun with my Sneaky Cooking! Kristine aka ThePugLady (btw I use a hand operated food processer from Pampered Chef. I AM NOT A PC REP NOR DO I KNOW ONE ANY MORE JUST AN IDEA THAT MIGHT HELP YOU. I also use a Ninja for the beans to be turned to powder form. It was actually given to me! Cha Ching!)
- February 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm #452026
When I was growing up my mom made it a point to never make a big deal out of any food. She always served at least 2 vegetables with a protein for dinner, like meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans
Or baked chicken legs with corn and squash. I always had to help her in the kitchen and if I got to help make it (she’d have me sprinkle seasonings on the vegetables) , it kind of made me want to eat it afterwards.
My dad would make comments about what a good Cook I was so I would devour whatever was on my plate.
Looking back now I’m sure it was just their way of getting me and my sister to eat what we had and not be picky and it worked.
- February 26, 2014 at 12:43 am #451658
In my house you eat what is put on the table. However, i do try to serve food that the family loves.
- February 26, 2014 at 1:44 am #451659
If the kids don’t like veggies, let them plant some during the growing season. carrots, spinach, radishes, what ever veggie they choose. The condition is that they tend to it water it, harvest and help cook or prepare it and yes EAT it or at least try it. We always encourage our kids and grand children to try something if they have never had it. My grandson refused to try Green bean Casserole one year during the holidays and I promised him if her would just take one tiny bite to try it, if he didn’t like it then no one would ever make him try it again and he would even be allowed to spit it out on his plate if he didn’t want to swallow it. He tired the tiny bite, tried a bigger bite and then ate the rest of the Green Bean Casserole!! Oh I forgot to mention that now, that is his favorite dish and always ask for it on holidays.
- February 26, 2014 at 3:34 am #451662
What I do is make dinners they do like and freeze Plate Portions and when I have Made a dinner they don’t like I just Defrost the Portion of other foods they do like..Works Great
- February 26, 2014 at 3:50 am #451663
My son who lives with us is a bit picky, but I just fix it and if he wants it he eats, if not he can go and buy something he does like. My dh will at least try most foods–except he is allergic to beef.
- February 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm #451678
I have always told the ones in my home that are picky, I tell them try a teaspoon full & if you don’t like it then you don’t have to eat it. I have had good luck doing it this way.
- February 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm #451718
The only way that I found that worked for me was peanut butter sandwiches get real old real quick, and not to mention the little one does not like to make them herself. For some reason my youngest got real picky about what she ate (was not like this when she was real little) I got tired of making her special dinner. So I decided that if she is not going to eat what I fix, she will have to fix her own dinner.
She got sick of Cottage cheese, Peanut butter, fruit, ect. She was not allowed any dessert or chips which did not go over well. And she was only allowed to have these once she tried all of the food on her plate eventually she started eating what I cooked.
I know it sounds harsh but she never went hungry.
- February 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm #451703
i have a very picky teenager she doesnt eat alot of things i cook so if im planning to cook something she doesnt like than she can either eat it or make something on her own there are often times she decides to cook the meal so she can have what she wants thats great cause it gives me a break and i save the meal planned for another time
- February 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm #451711
I agree with everything RosesBistro1234 said! I have 2 grandsons living with me and we follow the same rules. Thanks Roses!!
- February 28, 2014 at 2:10 am #451735
I would tell my children when they were young when they tried something new for the first time that if they didn’t like it they could spit it out. This at least got them to try it, gave them the choice of deciding if they liked it or not, and more importantly it introduced them to new flavors. They couldn’t take “baby” bites as we called them but they didn’t have to load up either; we wanted to see a nice sampling of the new food they were about to eat.
This method worked like a charm and allowed them to “try” many foods which they realized weren’t so bad after all!
- February 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm #451751
Most everyone in my house is not picky. But, my teenage daughter has multiple disabilities, including Sensory Disorder, so it’s not just pickiness, some textures and tastes are simply not tolerable, and can cause immediate gagging. I do not have a gall bladder, and have some digestive issues, so hot, spicy foods are off limits to me.
We cook as a family most nights and we try to accommodate her. Last night, for example, we made homemade chicken noodle soup. We made it somewhat mild for all the girls.
Then, after we had served ourselves and put lunch containers up, the guys added leftover pig feet and more spices to their taste. Everyone had plenty to eat at dinner, lunch for today and it fit everyone’s tastes.
- March 1, 2014 at 2:21 am #451778
my answer… is…
“starve them for 3 days… “they will be willing to eat anything after 3 days”….
(garrented to work)
- March 1, 2014 at 2:32 am #451779
why did you even bother responding?
- March 4, 2014 at 10:17 pm #452005
One bite rule, if they dont like it I dont force them. Usually I can make individual adjustments like a burger with mustard and the other one with BBQ sauce. If they just dont like it there is always cereal or a sandwich.
Cooking is a show of love for that person and shouldnt be a punishment.
I have known people that were forced to something they hated till they threw up and they hate that food for the rest of their lives!!! tastebuds change during your life and what they hate today they may like next year. 🙂
- March 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm #451367
- April 2, 2014 at 11:01 pm #452895
Unfortunately, in our household I am the picky eater. I try to have a main course that everyone likes and then each person gets a side that they like. I will sometimes prepare an entire meal and then pull out something totally different for myself.
One thing that might help for a picky eater that doesn’t like spicy food, like me, is to fix the item and remove a part of it before adding spices. For instance, we all like spaghetti, but I just like a little sauce, whereas the rest of the family like lots of sauce and meat. I take mine out and set in the microwave so that it will stay steamy and finish theirs.
That way we all get to eat the same thing, but the way we want it. I also don’t like for my foods to touch. Divided plates are fantastic.
I keep a supply of disposable ones on hand when we have things that might otherwise run together. It helps with clean-up too!
- April 24, 2015 at 1:46 pm #461172
In a way, I guess I’ve always been one of those “mean moms”. I never allowed my kids to be picky, raising them like I was raised. With limited funds, there was no room for pickiness, so what was served is what you get to eat.
Otherwise, go to bed hungry. My youngest tried to be picky when he started Kindergarten, but quickly realized that I wasn’t going to give in, unlike parents of other kids in his class. He was served his dinner and had to sit at the table until everyone else was done eating, whether or not he ate.
If he didn’t eat, his plate would stay on the table so when he came back later claiming to be hungry, all I’d do is point him at his plate. He went to bed hungry a few nights, but quickly learned.
As for the husband… Mine’s not picky by any means, but I know there are some things I make that he’s not particularly fond of (requests from the children). I tell him that he can either eat what I make, or make his own meal.
If he makes his own, he has to clean up after himself and not just leave pots and pans on the stove nor in the sink. He did that once or twice and hated it because that, also, meant he ate alone–the kids and I were done and gone; we weren’t going to wait around for him. But, I do take requests from him, if nothing else to find out what meat or particular sides he’d like.
Now, genuinely not liking something is different than being picky. But, that’d be limited to only a few things, not half of dinner every night. My oldest wouldn’t eat any meat when he was a baby, save for hot chicken wings (weird, I know), even picking the meat out of chili.
He still doesn’t like onions. My youngest doesn’t like brussel sprouts or soft-cooked carrots. If it’s like that, I find a happy medium.
Pick out the onions, fine. I convinced my youngest to eat the soft carrots by giving him a large glass of water and telling him to ‘chew just enough to swallow then drink,’ and now he’ll eat them, but I try not to cook them as much for him. If I make brussel sprouts, youngest is the only one that won’t eat them, so I make a different veggie for him.
Though, I always encourage my kids to try and re-try things periodically. Tastes change, so one bite is all I ask.