Have picky eaters at your house? Here are some meal ideas that will hopefully please everyone!
I’ve found that with this many to feed each day (we currently have 10 regular eaters at our house), it’s almost impossible to please everyone at every meal. This doesn’t mean that I become a short-order chef and make different food to make everyone happy. No way.
But there are some very easy ways to set out meal options and let people build their plates the way they like. Here are some examples!
Meals to Make for Picky Eaters
1. Baked Potatoes
I bake a crock pot full of potatoes like this. Then I put out a variety of toppings for people to choose from like:
- Diced Ham
- Bacon Bits
- Sour Cream
- Steamed Peas
- Steamed Broccoli
Our littlest will eat a buttered potato with diced ham and peas or broccoli on the side. Our seven-year-old won’t eat the potato but will eat a bowl of chili with cheese. Our nine-year-old will eat any or all of this. Our adults eat loaded potatoes with any variety of these toppings. AND EVERYONE IS HAPPY. Especially me. :)
Unfortunately, not everyone at our house likes chili. But if I make a pot of chili with hot dogs or baked potatoes, each person can make a meal from this that they will enjoy. Here are some options:
- Chili in a bowl with cheese and sour cream and fritos, or
- Chili over a hot dog with cheese, or
- Just a baked potato with fixins, or
- Just a hot dog with fixins
Again, everyone is happy.
3. Nacho/Burrito Bar
This is one of my favorite go-to meals for our large family. I can set out tortillas and/or chips along with the following fillings/toppings and everyone builds their plate or bowl the way they like.
- Salsa Chicken
- Seasoned Hamburger Meat (cooked in the Instant Pot because it’s so easy!)
- Stick of Butter Rice
- Black Beans and or Pinto Beans
- Sauted onions and peppers
- Mixed Greens or Spinach
- Shredded Cheese
- Sour Cream
This one is simple, especially if you already have pizza crust frozen and ready to pull out out of the freezer for a quick meal. For our family, I make three to six pizzas, depending on how many of our grown kids will be home for the meal. I make a variety of pizzas with different toppings, making sure I have something that everyone likes!
Some with just cheese, some with meat and cheese only, and some with meat, cheese, and veggies.
5. Healthy Snack Meal
Our former foster son, age 4, visits regularly and is an extremely picky eater. While the rest of us eat the meal I prepared, here are some food choices I’ll offer him:
- Spinach-Filled Smoothies (how amazing that our pickiest eaters will guzzle these down!)
- Colby Jack Cheese
- Fruit (he eats just about any fruit I have on hand)
- Muffins (I try to keep pumpkin, apple, or zucchini muffins on hand so that the muffins I give him are more nourishing.)
- Mudballs (I make batches x8 of these about every two weeks because our littles love them and they are great for snacks.)
TIP: I always serve each meal with a variety of fruit and veggie side dishes for people to choose from, so that helps accommodate picky eaters too. Here’s more detail about how this works at our house.
What are your go-to meals for picky eaters?
My husband and I are big salad eaters. Kids usually don’t like Stuff all jumbled up. So I made salad-salads for him and I and “deconstructed salads” for the kids. I cut bigger slices of the components and lay them out fan style on their plates. I put the dressing in a small dipping bowl. They can choose how much of a jumble they want to make on their plate or eat all components one by one. They can choose to dip components or pour the dressing on top. Did this when they started on table food. They are now 8 and 9 and love salads. They also enjoy experimenting making their own.
My husband wisely taught me when our children were little that being a picky eater isn’t a character flaw. Once I accepted that, it made serving a variety of healthy choices easier for me. Before that, I just felt frustrated when someone didn’t like what I was serving. :)