Are you a parent that finds that meal planning is stressful because it seems that your children and other members of your household have a limited variety of foods’ they that like to eat?
Well, know that you’re not alone. Our tips and easy-to-make kid-friendly recipes are just what you need to satisfy your picky eaters.
It can take several exposures to a food before someone may like it. We have all had those moments where you take a bite into something new and immediately fall in love with the flavors, but the reality is that in children, their taste buds are not as highly developed as adults. It is said that it can take up to 10 exposures to a food before someone may find it acceptable, so just be patient.
Keep the flavors simple. Kids inherently like sweet and salty foods, so things that are savory or spicy can be a challenge. If you are introducing your kids to cheese for example, start with American cheese, Mozzarella or a mild cheddar. By starting simple and slowly working your way up to those more complex flavor profiles, you will be able to recognize that everyone’s taste buds are different and what it is that they truly prefer.
Don’t be a short order cook. This is an important rule to establish early on. Find at least one dish or food item that everyone will eat, and then rotate other foods in. This could be a side or the main course.
Get the kids involved. Let your children help pick out what they’d like to eat: select recipes, grocery shop, prep, cook, and set the table together. By including them in the process, they are invested in the outcome, and will have a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Choose your battles. Don’t make mealtime, fight time. Whether this be about tasting or trying new foods, finishing what is on their plate (let kids stop when they feel full), or discussing topics that may be uncomfortable. Fighting or talking about uncomfortable conversations while eating, for some people, unknowingly ruins their entire relationship with food.
Technology time out. Keep phones, televisions and other technology away from the meal table. Distracted eating while watching TV can lend itself to over consumption of calories. Use mealtime to come together to share positive dialogue with your family.
Here are three kid-friendly recipes that both kids and adults will love!