Ideas for Picky Eaters

by Bob Walsh

Are you looking for ideas for picky eaters that work both for kids and for adults? Sometimes it takes some finesse and the seductive powers of a culinary Casanova to get a fussy eater to eat.

Picky eater?

And it helps to understand your “targets” preferences. Most difficult eaters prefer to “graze” more than they eat a set times. They like to take a bite here and there, instead of eating three set meals a day. Simply making some healthy snacks available for them helps. For example, a tray thinly sliced apples often goes well. Or cook some small carrots, slice and salt them and present them in an appealing manner. Take a banana an slice it into pieces, put walnuts on top of it.

a healthy snack for fussy eaters - banana and walnuts

Of course – the selection of “graze foods” depends on the preferences of the picky eater, but if there is always something available to them, in an appealing looking manner, where they can just get to a tray and pick up a piece that looks good to them, you will notice that they eat more throughout the day.

Also, put some dipping next to it. Peanut butter often goes along well, as does cream cheese, yogurt or applesauce.

spoon of cream cheese for picky eaters

For kids, putting an element of fun into eating can often help. Pick foods that look good and make little games out of the whole eating experience, so that they have fun and enjoy it, rather than feeling that they are coerced to eat.

Oftentimes the appearance places an important role too. For example, if you want a kid to eat a sandwich – don’t just put a sandwich in front of them. But instead, use cookie cutters to make the sandwich into certain shapes that seem more appealing to the child. (And believe it or not, this even works for adults).

And if you have a child that doesn’t want to eat vegetables, one thing that often helps is to plant some yourself, together with the kid.

planting own vegetables

When a child is involved in growing plants, and sees how from a tiny little seed that you put into the earth a plant grows, which turns into a vegetable that you can eat – this is something fascinating and vivid. The actual experience of it makes a much deeper impression on a child’s mind than just reading about it in a book, seeing it on TV or being told about it by an adult. The key point here is that the child gets involved in the planting of and caring for the vegetables.

And for cooked foods – turn your kid into a chef. Cook together. The secret here is that you do all the “boring” stuff whereas you let the kid do all the fun stuff.

Don’t let them do very challenging things at the beginning, but instead make it easy for them. Although sometimes the challenging things can be the most fun – for example handling a large, sharp knife to cut something. You can do it safely by holding the sharp knife together. As long as you have control over the knife and make sure that the fingers stay safe, kids (particularly boys) enjoy cutting something so much.

For adult picky eaters hypnosis can be a very effective way to overcome the fussy eating habits.