I have two picky eaters: William and Alexander. Ever since they were babies, they’ve been the most difficult little men to feed. These little guys have set standards of what they like to eat, making it a challenge to consistently fit balanced meals into the planning routine. They would (and could) eat PB&J every night of the week (and for lunch, too!). It’s been a way of life for me, something I’m used to…but it’s not easy. My husband and I have become masters at trying to get a variety of foods in them without them complaining (or knowing).
We try to make “eating time” fun and together time…a time when they feel it’s a time to come together and celebrate with each other. The Together CountsTM program focuses on the importance of family meal time, not just as a means of feeding the family, but truly embracing the importance of family discussion and the simple moments we treasure. When we have the boys eating and not complaining about the day’s menu, great conversation is had – and that’s what I absolutely love.
5 Picky Eater Pleasers
The boys are ALL pizza fans, but each of them likes different toppings. So basically, when we order pizza, really only one of them will eat! When we have make your own pizza night at home, it’s easy because they can create anything they want to on a homemade or plain frozen pizza! We have so much fun. They laugh and create happy faces with toppings and cheese. They are silly, and it’s great because they actually get excited to eat.
2. Make-Your-Own Milkshakes
I started doing this when the boys were little. I used to hate getting ice cream because the boys used to drip it everywhere. It was the MESS that used to drive me crazy, so we switched to milkshakes. We started making them at home with different fruits, ice creams and sauces. The boys love making them because they have so much fun seeing the mixing of the colors and the fruits and the tastes. It’s a fun way to create some delicious fun at home.
3. Make-Your-Own Taco Night
The boys love helping me prep for tacos, placing all of the different dishes on the table and popping spoons in each dish. And then the ultimate fun – creating the tacos! Each of my guys loves to create a special taco of their own. It’s fun to see their faces light up! We also add in some chips and salsa, which is a hit for everyone. What I love about this night is that we used to do this when I was a kid at my house, and it’s fun seeing my sons having the same fun!
4. Make-Your-Own Burger Night
I’m a burger lover, and my husband makes the BEST BURGERS in the world. I love to cut up tomato slices, lettuce, onions and have cheese, ketchup, mustard and mayo out and just let everyone go to town!
5. The “Infamous” BRINNER!
Oh, yes… my sons all love having breakfast for dinner. They won’t always eat their breakfast in the morning, but they’ll will at night. We probably do this once a week now. We’ll make eggs or pancakes or waffles or French toast for dinner. The boys get a kick out of it and we dine in our pajamas to really turn it into an occasion.
How do you get your picky eaters involved in the meal?
Audrey McClelland, a social media consultant and brand advocate is the founder of MomGenerations.com, an online destination for mothers. She is the mother of four boys – William (6), Alexander (5), Benjamin (4) and Henry (3). She speaks frequently on the topic of motherhood, fashion/beauty and social media at blogging conferences, Twitter conferences and social media mixers. She lives in Providence, RI with her husband and four sons.
For more resources on involving kids with meal planning, check out these great resources from The Together CountsTM Program: