Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lunches for a Picky Eater

You asked for it and I'll continue to feature some lunch ideas for kids who may not be as adventurous in the food department.  I don't think this is the healthiest lunch ever, but really you've got to get food into your kiddo's so they have fuel to do their job, learning and playing!   If you have a really picky kid you know that nothing gets by them, there's no sneaking grated carrots into their spaghetti sauce and your probably feeling a little desperate to get some variety into them. 
I've got a few ideas and they may not work right away, you'll have to keep introducing healthy foods to them and eventually their palate will expand.   If you have a kid that like some fruits, but really dislikes others try blending them in a smoothie.  Most kids like bananas and coupled with yogurt you've got a great base for smoothies or freezer pops.  Then throw in some berries that your little one might not be crazy about to boost the nutrients.   The same with a transition from white bread to wheat, sneak in some white wheat, then some honey oat...until they accept the consistency and taste of whole wheat breads. 
Give your kids a shopping list that lets them help pick out new foods to try, ask them to get one new fruit and veggie.  They will be more apt to try a new food when they have control over it.  If they are old enough to help with prepping the meal they'll be even more adventurous in trying.   Also try preparing those cooked veggies in different ways.  Maybe your kids won't touch broccoli just plain, but if you roast it in olive oil and top it with a little Parmesan cheese it takes on a lovely nutty flavor that might earn just one bite (which hopefully will be followed by lots of bites!). 

GiGi's lunch has a half a hazelnut butter and jelly sandwich, a string cheese, some raisins, a few slices of watermelon, cucumber and carrot sticks and a few animal crackers.  She also has an organic chocolate milk to boost the calcium and protein!
LiLi's lunch has a bagel and cream cheese, a piece of fruit leather, cheddar cheese, watermelon slices, cucumber and carrot sticks and a handful of animal crackers.  She has an organic vanilla milk to boost her calcium and protein intake.

Some other easy ideas:
*Make a lunch of dippers.  Kids love finger foods and you can get plenty of nutrients in this way.  Give them a nut butter (or sunflower) and a ranch dip made with Greek yogurt, add plenty of crisp veggies.  Make an easy fruit dip with yogurt and cream cheese and provide some yummy favorite fruits to dip away!  
*If your kids like re-fried beans send them to school with a homemade lunchable, pack it with beans, cheese and tortillas or chips.  Add in guac and sour cream and some chopped tomatoes and olives.  Throw in a little mango for a treat.  (Try dried fruits or freeze dried for a different consistency)
*Breakfast for lunch, take leftover waffles, smear with a nut butter or nutella, top with sliced bananas or strawberries,  Add a hard boiled egg and some orange slices.

Hope this helps a few Momma's out.  Just remember to give yourself a break, and your kids too,  If all your child will eat is a pb&j, thats ok...try and stretch their food list by adding fun things to those sandwiches!


  1. Just thought I would offer a suggestion for getting in those veggies for a picky child for your readers - puree them and add to things. In your spachetti sauce example I would steam and puree the carrots before adding to the spaghetti sauce - no shredded bits to notice!

    We've done butternut squash in macaroni and cheese, beets in chocolate cake (which we made from scratch with home ground whole wheat and cut the sugar down), and any number of veggies like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and zuchinni in muffins.

  2. Great ideas! Thanks for the share...I've used applesauce, and have wondered if it changes the taste much to use squash. I'll have to give it a try!

  3. Great idea with the waffles. I've actually used them when I ran out of bread. Fun way to change it up!

  4. Yummy! I'm kind of weak for those pink and white animal cookies!
    I also love broccoli roasted with oil and parmesan cheese better than raw. You are right about trying to find out what ways kids prefer to eat things.

  5. Amy, I could eat a bag of those silly animal cookies all by myself! Ugh! And, even though I was born and raised here in Portland I have a Dad who was raised in England and the I'm a firm believer in butter and it's ability to make everything taste better! Most kids agree;)
    Grilling and roasting veggies is one of my favorite things, it just changes the flavour so much, and the texture seems to stay firmer as well. Have any of you tried grilling fruit? OMGoodness! AMAZING! Top with a little fresh whipped cream, Heaven!