Looking for recipes for picky kids!!!

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Hello! My two daughters are extremely picky eaters. Seems like all they want to eat lately is macaroni and cheese or pizza! I'll fix a nice roast beef dinner with all the trimmings, and they'll look at it and say, "Mom, can I have a peanut butter sandwich instead?"

Any ideas on healthy recipes that they might like?

-- Cheryl in KS (cherylmccoy@rocketmail.com), October 05, 2001


My kids all like different things! I just cook a normal meal and tell them they have to pick at least 2 things and eat them, no questions asked. Picky eating can sure cost a lot of money. My kids have discovered that they actually like some of the things they didn't think they did by this method.

-- Melissa (me@home.net), October 05, 2001.

At our house, everybody has to eat a spoonful of everything; sometimes there's a choice: rice or potatoes, salad or cooked vegetable, chicken or rabbit, etc. I was a picky eater as a child. My mom catered to me until I was maybe 8 or 9; by that time I was used to eating what I liked and didn't take too kindly to suddenly having to eat what I didn't like. I determined not to raise my own children that way, so they have always had to eat whatever I gave them. I do have one picky eater; what helped with him was to let him cook. For the sake of pride, he had to eat his own cooking!

-- Cathy N. (keeper8@attcanada.ca), October 05, 2001.

Sometimes kids will eat healthy food if it looks cute/different.My kids and my Brownie troop loved these ideas.

Pear mice. Place a pear half on a saucer, maybe on a lettuce leaf. Cut a slit about an inch up from pointy end, on either side... insert banana slice in each slit...place two raisins a little farther down for eyes...make a curl out of a carrot for a tail.

Candles: Place a ring of pineapple on a saucer...place half of a banana in the hole...put a maraschino cherry on tip for flame...squirt whipped cream on one side of banana on pineapple ring for a "handle".

Let the kids build things with cubes of cheese and pretzles or skinny carrot or celery sticks.

Ihave a recipe for "Bunny Munchies" a very healthy cookie, but it's packed. I put it on the Cs forum once, I think it was under kparty food or something for kids. They're really delicious.

Try being creative and let the kids be too.

-- Cindy (S.E.IN) (atilrthehony@countrylife.net), October 05, 2001.

Boy do I know what you are talking about Cheryl.

My three year old son absolutely refuses to eat vegetables (we mash them in meals having pasta / tomato sauce / cheese combinations) and he eats it, but has look on his face like "Who you trying to kid, chief; I know what you're doing". He liked them when they came in jars, but now that he has to chew them, "I don't play that; if its so good, you eat it."

I also trade with him with "Here, have some of THIS, and you can have some of THAT," that being a favorite food. My biggest problem is getting him eat when we do. When my wife and I eat a meal, he wants to draw and play for a while. Okay when we are at home, but when we're out and about, makes for a long afternoon. Only salty foods and sweets work then; nutrition comes when we get back home.

I'm gonna look here for more ideas; please contribute what you can, even if it sounds off the wall.

-- j.r. guerra (jrguerra@boultinghousesimpson.com), October 05, 2001.

I truly do not want to offend anyone, but you make your life more stressful when you allow the child to take control of mealtime! What I have always done is if it is mealtime everyone unless they are desperately ill, sits at the table. Each and every meal. If you limit snacks between meals the kid will be hungry and if they aren't they can still sit there for 10-15 minutes. It won't hurt them any. I have seen many studies that indicate that just eating a meal with the family 5 nights a week, almost eliminates deliquency problems in children. suppertime here is the whole family no exceptions even if it is just a sandwich and iced tea, then on the go again. It is also easier on the person who has to prepare and clean up, you can get burnt out pretty quickly if you run a 24 hour a day restautant. This is something I feel is pretty important, and could really make a difference in many families if it is implemented at a young age. OK crawling down off of my pedestool,(sp?) lecture over, I really don't mean to upset anyone!!!!

-- Melissa (me@home.net), October 05, 2001.

My kids when they were little were served on small saucers. They were only served one small scoop of each thing , and the house rule was if you didn't eat it all. no snacks ,no food until the next meal. I always made sure we had a real good treat too if someone decided to be picky. If the child wanted more than he was served, he had to clean his plate first and then the desired second or third helping was given. No waste. No picking. They grew up eating darn near everything and have no fear of trying something new. A little hunger is a wonderful sauce. Worked on any neighbor kids that decided to stay over too.

-- Sandra Nelson (Magin @ starband.net), October 05, 2001.

For the first 7 years of my sons life, he was a picky eater. One day I got really tired and told him that he either eat what was put in front of him or go hungry until the next meal. I limited him to about 15 minutes and it only took about one day for him to catch one. He is now 38 and he survived. Do your children a favor and take control of their eating habits. They will thank you someday.

-- Ardie from WI (ardie54965@hotmail.com), October 05, 2001.

I agree with an above post that said let them help cook it. This always works with my 8 year old. If she had any part in making it, she will eat it. Doesn't matter what it is. And she loves to cook. Good lessons for her in the kitchen too.

Might want to try getting a kids cookbook, I don't know how old your children are but my daughter loves her "Mash and Smash Cookbook" She'll eat anything out of there and she gets to make it with just my supervision.

Good luck. I know how it is when sometimes your just too tired to fight the battle and it's easier to give in to mac and cheese.

-- Primitive Passion (oldquiltlover@hotmail.com), October 05, 2001.

When my son was small, I found adding a little barbecue sauce to meats made him LOVE different meats. I always make my own sauce so this was pretty easy. Now that he's 13...he eats most anything!

-- DW (djwallace@ctos.com), October 06, 2001.

I also wanted to say that it is pretty normal for 2-5 year olds not to like veggies! Let's put it this way...they are an acquired taste. Sometimes, steamed and cooled veggies offered with a dip work for them though. I'd watch out for raw carrots as they can choke on them easy. Just offer a small amount of the veggies you are serving and don't worry if they don't eat them. They won't starve without vegetables. I remember how I hated tomatoes until my mother put sugar on them.

-- Ardie ?WI (ardie54965@hotmail.com), October 06, 2001.

Hello Cheryl, I have made carrot lovers out of my entire family. I julenne carrots up in a foil "pouch" , add sugar and butter to it and close it tight. Cook it in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. I usually cook them in the oven when I have other things to cool in the oven at the same time. I am frugal that way. Sincerely, Ernest

-- http://communities.msn.com/livingoffthelandintheozarks (espresso42@hotmail.com), October 06, 2001.

My son is 2 1/2 and very picky. He picks anything out of his food that even resembles a veggie. I got some good ideas here. I may try some of them. One thing I can contribute is something my mom tricked my brother with. Put a small amount of carrotts or other veggies in the blender and add to spaghetti sauce.

-- Dawn (NadeneDM@aol.com), October 07, 2002.

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