Maia Filar is passionate about giving kids a proper foundation in culinary skills. In this, her second video in a series she addresses the picky eaters we all have to deal with at one time or another. Her suggestions may help banish picky eating from your family table for good.
Kids are notoriously picky eaters. If it’s not chicken nuggets for the 22nd day in a row, it’s a sandwich with the crusts cut off every single day in the fourth grade, which can leave all you parents exhausted when you’re trying to balance everyone’s needs. But put yourself in your kid’s shoes. They are constantly being encouraged to try new things with strange names that might look, sound and, let’s face it, taste weird. Of course they have such discerning palettes. How would you feel if everyone was constantly telling you to “just try it!”
to a picky eater the smallest speck of parsley can be as scary as eating tongue or brains
We think that a great way to get them to try more things is to get them involved in the cooking process. Instead of putting something in front of them and expecting them to try it immediately, put it with something they already like.
We are not fans of hiding cauliflower in man n cheese, we want kids to start to learn food appreciation and eat what we do. So it’s time to lead by example, use our tips, follow our recipe and get rid of the picky eaters once and for all.
1. Don’t be a super parent: Done are the days when you are putting out 4 different dishes for dinner. If your kids don’t like the food you put out at first, be patient and make sure they sit with the family while everyone finishes their meals. Eventually they will see that everyone is enjoying all of your nutritious and delicious food, and go with it. There is even room for compromise. We don’t eat the things we don’t like, so let them know that you are willing to take a few items they really despise out of the rotation and replace them with something they enjoy. As long as your not swapping out bread sticks for green salad, you’re doing just fine.
Yikes! Is that broccoli in my mac & cheese? Mommy!!!!!!
2. Get them involved at the grocery store: Start your weekly menu planning with them in the cart, discussing what vegetables should go into Tuesday’s pasta. Ask them what meal they’d like to take part in that week, and make a healthy family friendly version if it’s tacos or breakfast for dinner.
Omelette with Sweet Potatoes, Spinach and Cheese
Kids hate sweet potatoes. I don’t know why, they taste just like candy to me, but there is something about the yam that most children I know have a straight up aversion to. Here is a recipe for an omelette they can help make, and eat, for lunch, brunch or dinner.
3 knobs butter
3/4 cup sweet potatoes chopped and blanched
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese or whatever your family likes (even goat would work for this one)
1.5 tbs maple syrup
8 eggs, beaten vigorously with salt and pepper to taste
This recipe is great for kids because they love chopping (get them to try the sweet potato), they love grating cheese, and whipping eggs. It’s up to you just how involved they are on the stove, but the goal here is to get them to try something out of their norm by involving them the best you can. And I know I loved flipping omelettes as a kid.
Heat 1 knob butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the sweet potatoes and cook until a little bit golden. Add the maple syrup to coat, let caramelize and put aside.
Add a knob of butter to the same pan, half the eggs and cook over a low heat stirring very little. Once it is close the the consistency you like, add some of the sweet potato, spinach and cheese to one side and fold over.
Do the same thing again with the rest of the ingredients. Cut both omelettes in half and serve with a fresh tomato salad, crusty bread and butter.