NorthPointe Insurance Blog
One thing that can be a damper on dinnertime is a picky eater. It may be a child, it may also be a spouse. But there are many ways to overcome the problem when dealing with picky eaters. Let’s look at a few ideas. See if they work. But, overall you shouldn’t allow a picky eater to rule dinner. They can eat it or not eat it, and if you cook a variety of foods, they really won’t starve themselves.
Offer a Variety of Choices
The first thing to do is offer a variety of choices. Even if you personally don’t like something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cook it sometimes. If there is no allergy and it doesn’t make you gag you can demonstrate that you also sometimes eat things that aren’t your favorite because it’s good for you, because it is someone else’s favorite, and you want to be fair.
Don’t Force Anyone to Eat
Forcing a person to eat is always a bad idea. No child will starve themselves unless they have a serious medical issue such as anorexia. This is very rare. Food should not become a control issue between you and your family. Put the food on the table family style and ask that they try it at least once a year explaining that taste buds do change over time.
Get Them Involved
When you get the rest of the family involved in dinner prep they’ll be more likely to want to eat it, this is true for even the pickiest eaters. Ask them what they’d like for dinner. Let them find the recipes, help purchase the food, and if you have a garden let them grow some of the food too. It’s amazing how a child will decide they like something just because they grew it themselves.
You may have learned this in high school, but you may not have. Food preferences often are genetic. For example, whether someone loves cilantro or not is due to genetics. Some people think it tastes like soap while others think it tastes fresh and delicious. The same thing with broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. If your child does not like something, ask them to explain why. It might be genetic. When you know, there may be other ways to prepare it to make it less off-putting.
It's easier to deal with picky kids than spouses. If you have a picky spouse and kids, you may want to talk to your spouse and ask them to keep their picky nature to themselves at dinnertime in front of the kids. You don’t want a child to model that behavior that just because they look up to their parent.