Sometimes food gets a little bit complicated.
When your food preferences don’t match the people you cook for, things can get pretty challenging.
Sometimes it can feel like going out to eat is just easier, because then everyone can order exactly what they want.
My husband will pretty much eat anything, but when we had kids, I had to change the way I meal plan completely.
We went from eating whatever struck our fancy to dousing broccoli with cheese just to get our kids to eat it.
Here is how are some tips on how to meal plan for picky eaters.
Make Meals The Whole Family Will Enjoy
This might seem pretty obvious, but it’s one of the things that keep people from meal planning successfully.
We enjoy our dinners as a family and throw out less food when we make meals that everyone looks forward to.
There are plenty of things we all will eat, so I know that this will be a go-to solution every time.
If you don’t know what your family likes to eat, ask them now and then.
Over time, this answer might change, so be sure to ask often.
Make Easily Customized Meals
Sometimes it’s easier to do buffet style and start with a simple meal.
We make a nacho, burrito, or pizza bar setup on our kitchen counters and give everyone the opportunity to make their own.
This is a great way to get your kids in the kitchen and spend quality time as a family.
If you have picky eaters or special diets, this can be a great way to get them involved without making separate meals.
Make Meals That Will Challenge Their Taste Buds
Don’t make new foods the main dish; this can be a surefire way to make sure your kids won’t eat it.
However, understand that they won’t love every single meal that you make.
I like to plan what I call an adventure meal.
This means we whip up something different that will allow my family to try new recipes, flavors, and new kinds of food.
If they don’t like it, we never make it again. Simple as that!
Let Them Eat Peanut Butter And Jelly On Picky Nights
Sometimes your family members will go through phases with meals.
This can mean they’ll only eat one specific thing over and over. As weird as it sounds, let them!
If they are craving a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, let them eat it until the sight of jelly makes them want to throw up.
After a while, they won’t want to eat it anymore and will happily take whatever you have to offer them.
Pay Attention To What They Order When You Go Out
When you do go out to eat, pay attention to what your family is eating while they’re out.
Do they order baked potatoes instead of something else?
Do they eat the steamed veggies?
These can all be helpful hints into letting you know what to plan for at home.
Try to incorporate some of those restaurant dishes into their daily life to make eating at home seem more exciting and easier.
Allow Them To Cook With You
Something about getting to cook with your kids is such a bonding experience!
This can also be a great way to get them to eat their food!
If your child helped you make something, they are going to feel proud of their accomplishment and even demand to have some.
Only Offer Dinner-No Substitutions
If nothing else has worked up to this point, this is my final tip to you mothers who are struggling with picky eaters.
At some point, your kids will get hungry.
They will complain and throw a hissy fit over the chicken and broccoli, but if they get hungry, they’ll eat it.
I love the saying, “you get what you get and don’t pitch a fit”! And truthfully, we as parents need to help them understand that this is part of life. Not everything will be handed to them in the fashion they want. They are going to have to go with the flow and roll with the punches.
If you’ve allowed them to fill up on juice or soda, it is going to take them a while to get hungry because they are full of empty calories.
Remember that you are the parent, and your kids should not be forcing you to make five different dinners each night.
A meal plan can be pretty hard, primarily if you are working with picky eaters.
These tips will not only help you plan meals easier but make a meal plan the whole family can stick to.
YOUR TURN: Do you have picky eaters? What meal will they ALWAYS eat? Let me know in the comments below!
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