Kid Friendly Meals


December 29, 2017

How to Get Picky Eaters Involved in the Kitchen

If you’re the parent of a picky eater, you know how challenging one day of meals can be (let’s not even talk about restaurants). One common complaint from parents with picky eaters is that they feel like a “short order cook” and need to make different foods and meals to accommodate different family members’ preferences. A great solution to helping your picky eater overcome their food aversions is by getting them involved in the kitchen for meal prep and choosing some creative meal options. This may help not only with picky eating habits but also keep moms and dads a little more sane!

Kids in the Kitchen

Kids are great helpers in the kitchen! It provides an opportunity for them learn new skills and feel successful. Fussy eaters are more interested in eating foods they help to make. Some parents think getting kids to help is too much trouble, but involving kids now will pay off later. Here are some age-appropriate ways kids can pitch in:

  • Preschoolers can break crispy vegetables into pieces, help add dry ingredients, mix, make simple table decorations, fold napkins, count out spoons, and help set the table.
  • Elementary school kids can wash and spin salad greens, mix wet and dry ingredients, pour water, or put sliced fruit in a dish.
  • Younger teens can microwave vegetables, be in charge of the timer, help with stirring items on the stove top with supervision, and gather ingredients for meals.

Personalized Meal Ideas

Choosing meals that can be prepared by different family members makes it easier to prep for one meal instead of many. It can also make eating more fun and interactive for picky eaters. Children learn about food and eating by interacting with it–touching, smelling, and tasting. This also allows your picky eater to feel in charge of what they’re eating!

Here are a few easy and healthy meal ideas:

Jennifer Martin-Biggers

Jennifer is the Associate Director for Nutrition Sciences and Regulatory Affairs at Munchkin. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and holds a MS and PhD in Nutrition as well. Jennifer is a child nutrition and nutrition communication and research expert. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Society for Nutrition, and the Institute of Food Technologists.