Dealing with Picky Eaters

The idea of the picky eater is one that does back decades. Parents requiring their children to sit at a table long after dinnertime – presumably until he or she “cleans their plate” – is by far nothing new. Other parents stuck to the “if you get hungry later, this is what you’re having” approach, causing varying levels of strong willed children to either eat a dish they disliked, or go to bed without dinner.

With more and more food choices popping up across the country, however, finding a dish that children don’t like has become increasingly easier. And for every child that avoids curry, there’s one who loves peanut sauce, and so on, while the caretakers are left to find what combination fits where. But, when wanting to prepare traditional or elaborate foods, appeasing all tastes with a single dish becomes harder and harder. (Even if these picky eaters are full-grown adults.)

Instead of fighting the inevitable, why not pick up a few tricks to help keep the whole table happy?

When choosing a dish, stop to consider how many steps are involved – specifically those that deal with sauces or embellishments, which are picky eaters’ two biggest enemies. Instead of mixing all these pieces in, create separate dishes or bowls to allow for variations from the same dish … and without extra work. For example, when making grilled chicken, grill a breast or two sans marinade (and do this step first in case any pickers can sense the trace of caramelized sauce). Will this chicken be bland? Yes. But it will also be a concoction that young ones will actually eat.

Next, cook up your soaked, delicious version, along with any veggies or spices that may be necessary to create a traditional meal.

While these steps may take a few extra minutes, hopefully a dinner can be cooked without the need for extra dishes or ingredients – and in versions that all ages will be happy about. For those who love delicious, authentic meals, it’s a small price to pay for eating great, a fact that picky eater phasers will hopefully soon grow into.

Author: Bethaney Wallace is a the owner of, your source for quality cookware.

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