Mealtime should be a happy time. How to cook for (and please) the picky children in your life so that you can get back to enjoying meals and each other’s company rather than dreading or stressing over it. Mealtime doesn’t have to consist of hours of prepping either.
Cooking for Picky Eaters
If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled with preparing meals the whole family will eat and enjoy. Especially the picky eaters! My ten-year-old son finally eats about everything that I prepare (this wasn’t the case previously). However, my two and three-year-old daughters-not so much! Talk about picky children! But I am here to reassure you- there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
If they could eat hotdogs, chicken nuggets, and pizza rolls all day every day they would be ecstatic. But that just isn’t practical for healthy kiddos and a happy mama. Most nights are busy and we don’t have a lot of time to prepare the perfect, nutritious meal (or many meal options for all the picky eaters).
It’s important to us moms that our children eat well and eat more than just junk foods. That can be such a challenge when you’re spread thin on patience and time. And when you’re kid is really stubborn. I enjoy spending more time talking with family and less time arguing and begging my children to just eat their food!
After a lot of trial and error with complaints and finally happiness from the toddlers, I have compiled a list of our favorite meal options and some bonus healthy snack options. These are all fairly quick to make, and the kids can join in on the cooking and prepping as well.
Meal Ideas for Picky Children
Cooking for picky children is a bit of a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Once you find a few of your kiddos’ favorites, it will be easier to add to and expand the list. Some of our family favorites:
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders This is a fairly simple recipe and my entire family loves these chicken tenders (who doesn’t love chicken tenders)! These go great with your favorite dip. You can find the recipe here.
Farmhouse Mashed Potatoes Growing up in the south, there’s just nothing like homemade creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. This farmhouse mashed potato recipe is amazing and my kids love it! You can take it further if you wish and add a homemade gravy.
Crispy Butter Chicken So this recipe probably isn’t the healthiest, but you can make it healthier by using less butter. My family loves this chicken, there are never any leftovers.
Chicken Asparagus Skillet This may be a hit or miss with your kids, one of mine eats everything but one will not eat asparagus, but it tastes great plus it’s healthy. Recipe here.
Spinach Dip Quick and easy to make, loved by all! The perfect snack, appetizer, or party food. Recipe.
Classic Pot Roast It is usually hard for me to get my girls to eat meats besides hotdogs or ham or nuggets. This roast is tender and tastes amazing. Potatoes and carrots are a nice, flavorful bonus.
Tater Tot Casserole Great tasting meal, plenty for the whole family to enjoy a couple of times over. Great for breakfast or dinner. (or anytime).
Grinch Waffles Use your favorite waffle mix and add in some green food coloring and you’ve got Grinch Waffles! After seeing the movie, my three-year-old really enjoys making these often. You can also use different colors for different themes. I think we will try blue soon for Frozen waffles.
Healthy Snacks for Kids
Kiddos snack- a lot. Here are some quick, healthy snack options to replace the typical chips, cookies, candy, etcetera:
- Apples & Peanut Butter (if no peanut allergy)
- Granola Bars
- Fruit Smoothie
- Boiled Egg
- String Cheese
I hope you and your family enjoy these meals and snacks as much as we have! Enjoy meal prep and spending extra time with your loved ones instead of stressing and arguing about the small things. Go forth and prosper, and enjoy more happiness and less complaining at mealtime. Your picky children will thank you for it.