When it comes to dinner, making something the kids will eat can be hard.
Who’s with me???
Over the last 12 years that I’ve been making dinners for kids, I’ve discovered a few tricks to get kids to eat dinner on a semi-consistent basis.
Please Note: This post is for picky or ‘selective’ eaters. I have lots of friends whose kids will eat anything and everything and I will be eternally envious.
I, for one, do not have those types of kids.
So, for those who are like me and my family, here are some tips I’ve found helpful over the years.
When you’re meal planning, ask them what they want to eat for dinner.
If you want to make life a little easier during the week, my recommendation has always been to plan your meals during the week (and even make some meals on the weekend). It just helps to keep things less stressful when your nights are busy.
But instead of coming up with ideas that you want to eat, ask the kids!
Asking the kids gives them some confidence that they have a say about what’s being served to them at the table. They’re not going to pick what they don’t want so it’s almost guaranteed they’ll eat dinner.
Mix it up every week but with the same meal template.
If your kids are like my kids, they’ll say they want the following for dinner (every week…)
- Eggs and Toast
I struggle with this a bit because I really like to have variety in my meals, but I have come to realize that there’s almost no fuss when these meals are served and that’s worth it in the end.
I keep joking with my husband that we can eat what we want when the kids leave the house (if they ever do leave of course…).
There are so many types of recipes for each of these meals that you can basically have something different every week that will still fall under your ‘template’ so to speak.
For example: mix up the taco ingredients every week.
One week I’ll serve ground beef with the tacos and the next week I’ll serve lentils or walnut ‘meat’. It’s a great way to add variety to your meals and also to offer different nutrients for you and the kids.
When it comes to pizza, try a tomato sauce base one week and pesto the next.
For eggs and toast: serve a frittata one week and fried eggs on toast the next.
The key is to ask them what they want and then provide enough variation so that you don’t get bored with what’s being served.
If you happen to have a meal the kids didn’t ask for, try to always have something on the table they want to eat. My son loves red peppers and my daughter will tolerate carrots so I have those on the table so they can munch on them until they’ve decided they will try something new.
It’s a never-ending dance when it comes to picky kids and mealtime so try to make it as easy as you can by serving up a weekly template!
P.S. If this post sounds like your family, check out my new meal plan Kid Dinners! I’ve included 7 days of recipes that your kids will love and that means less fuss at the table during dinner. That’s a win in my books! Get it here.
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