In the Kitchen

Simple and Delicious Dinner Ideas for Picky Eaters

Rest assured parents-of-picky-eaters: you are not alone! Ask your doctor (or, any other parent) and they’ll likely explain that it’s just a phase, and it’ll end. Eventually. Truth be told, new foods can take some getting used to—in fact, it’s been noted that it can take ten or more tastes of something new before we like it. If moving beyond plain bagels is the game plan, these strategies are sure to tempt even the pickiest of eaters…one bite at a time.

Meet your picky eaters where they are

When you’re trying to expand the palette of a finicky eater, start with ingredients and flavors that are familiar. If pizza is their go-to, add a tiny amount of chopped broccoli to get in those greens. You can also give our Roasted Cauliflower Pizza a whirl—the cauliflower becomes supremely sweet and melds in perfectly with the cheesy topping. If chicken nuggets are a staple, experiment with making breaded chicken cutlets that are dipped in flour, egg wash, and seasoned bread crumbs. Or, combine these two kid favs and make what we affectionately call chicken pizza, aka Chicken Parmesan. Alternatively, check out a re-imagined take on the Italian classic with another simple protein and order our Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chop.

The magic of seasoning

If you’re thinking of introducing a new ingredient, your first instinct may be to go simple. Our advice: do the opposite. Even the littlest taste buds will respond to the winning trifecta: fat, salt, and sugar. Meats like chicken and steak benefit from a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper before hitting a nice, hot pan. Our chefs will walk you through it in this week’s popular recipe of the classic French bistro dish Steak Frites, which includes a side of perfectly oven roasted fries that we know you’ll want to make again and again. Or, try the Roasted Chicken Au Jus, another winning recipe that’s big on flavor (Parmesan, again) and low on cleanup.

Take a hands-on approach

Kids are so much more likely to give something a try when they’ve had a hand (or two) in it. When you find small, age appropriate tasks for them in the kitchen, something delightful happens: curiosity. It can be especially fun to make tacos, sliders, or wraps, all which are familiar and easily customizable to suit many taste preferences in one meal. Bonus: no silverware required! For a totally decadent dinner, have your little sous chefs help you mix and roll up the meatballs for our Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders (it’s hard not to love the flavor of wings and ranch) or have them shred up a pile of chicken for the Chicken Tinga Tacos.

For everyone’s effort and openness to trying new foods (not to mention, overall patience) celebrate the end of the meal with a little something sweet, like our Raspberry Marble Cake, which is just as much fun to make as it is to eat.

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