Nothing is more frustrating than preparing a meal that a family member refuses to eat. It may be a child or a spouse that turns a nose up at your lovingly prepared meals, but that annoyed feeling remains the same. Watching your time and effort and also the expense of ingredients go down the drain is tough. Here are some tips on how to deal with all the picky eaters in your family.
With so many food choices out there at local grocery stores, it is almost impossible not to find healthy meal options for those picky eaters. One easy way to deal with those loved ones that drive you crazy with their finicky eating is to simply accept what they don’t like and fix them something healthy that they do like. Long ago when choices were fewer this may not have been as easy. If salt pork with beans was what was for dinner, you better eat it or go hungry, but nowadays the choices are plentiful.
Include Them in the Prep Work
If your picky eater is a child, it may be helpful to include them in the meal preparation. It’s surprising how a child’s taste can change when they feel some ownership over the meal. Give this technique a try and see if it works.
Buy Healthy Foods
By not buying unhealthy foods, your refrigerator and cabinets will be filled with nutritious options. You can’t go wrong with healthy snacking. Whatever you do, don’t cave into the pressure that you have to buy junk food to please the picky eater in your family.
Do Away with the Clean Your Plate Rule
Often kids are telling the truth when they are full. Be careful of making them eat everything that you put on their plate. I remember when I was young, I truly was filled to the max one night, but we had the clean your plate rule in place. I sat at the table for what seemed like an hour long after everyone in the family was finished and gone. I remember finally finishing my plate by dark and walking about five steps, and it all came back out. Yes, I was so full I vomited. My dad did a little “told you so” to my mom, and that was the end of the finish your plate rule. Maybe try a rule that you can’t have dessert until you eat your veggies instead.
Be a Good Role Model
The best way to influence your family, especially your kids, is to lead by example with eating. If you give the stink eye to vegetables, chances are they will start learning at a young age that it’s no big deal to not eat from all of the food groups. Remember, they are always watching your habits and learning from you. Watch your body language and facial expressions towards food also.
Try Light Snacks in Replace of Large Meals
Some people just aren’t big eaters, plain and simple. In a country with an obesity epidemic, it may not be a bad thing that your loved one does not get overly excited about the five-course meal that you prepared. Try offering healthy snacks throughout the day. Grazing instead of large meals is much healthier for your digestive system.
Some people are hypersensitive to food texture. For someone who doesn’t like mushy foods, try apple slices instead of applesauce. Try baked fries instead of mashed potatoes. Keep trying alternatives to see if you find something similar with a different texture that they might like.
So there you have some tips for the picky eater in your family. Keep experimenting and try to find a happy medium. Luckily, we live in a country where we can afford to be picky and have multiple food options. Have any more tips that helped your picky eater? Share with us below!