Ask any kid and they’ll probably tell you all about their distaste for vegetables. It can be hard to get kids to try new foods, that’s just a fact. If you don’t want to be eating mac and cheese every night or cooking two separate dinners, you need to be strategic to convince your littles to step outside their comfort zone. If your kids are picky eaters, don’t fret, because we have tips for you to make a meal your kids will love with all the ingredients their bodies need to grow.
1. Keep the hot sauce on the side. Spicy food is usually a little too much for kids. Their little palettes are more sensitive and chili powder or sriracha can be overwhelming. We’ve all seen the face of a kid being surprised by a fiery bite of chipotle; good luck getting them to try that meal again. But you don’t have to forgo spice for 18 years while your kids mature. Consider adding spice to only half the meat or leave it on the side if you’re making a recipe like our family-sized Chipotle Chicken and Mango Tacos. That way, kids can try a little spiciness on their own terms and you can enjoy the heat.
2. Disguise vegetables. Vegetables always seem to be the last things left on a kid’s dinner plate. They see them there, and avoid them until the end, but if you smartly conceal them and don’t make a big deal about it, there is a chance that your kids won’t even notice. If you’re making Vegetable Quesadillas, try chopping the veggies really small and melting them in extra cheese so they blend in. After dinner, you can reveal to your kids what they just ate (and loved)...or keep it a secret, you don’t have to reveal all of your trickst. Cauliflower Fried Rice is also a good meal for hiding the fact that it is packed with vegetables.
3. OR let them control their plate. This strategy might seem contrary to the previous tip, but it works too! Instead of hiding ingredients, you can also try keep them separate and encourage “adventure bites.” Adventure bites are your way of challenging the kid to try something new they don’t think they’ll like. If you are making an orzo pasta, keep each ingredient in its own bowl and let kids choose their own mix, while challenging them to try at least one red pepper and onion. This is a fun way to try new things and lets you adjust to their palettes without a huge fight. Try this plating method with our Pork Carnitas Burrito Bowls. Serve the ingredients family style and deconstructed to encourage kids to try a little bit of everything, but don’t push them too hard. A pro move is always having some Penne Pasta on hand (just in case) to supplement your meal.
4. Make food into art. Trying new foods should be fun so don’t forget to keep it that way. Create mini sceneries with new ingredients when you are plating. Or turn it into a family competition to see who can make the best foodscape. Maybe use roasted Broccoli Florets and Carrot Sticks for trees and turn a halved-Flatbread pizza into the sun with Pineapple light rays (pineapple on pizza can actually be nutritious too). The sky's the limit with your food creation.
Finding the right meals your kids will enjoy doesn’t have to be difficult. Terra’s Kitchen recipes are designed with families in mind, so you’re sure to make a dinner everyone will love. Mix and match to create your perfect order and start cooking stress-free family meals with our prepped ingredients. Try Terra’s Kitchen today.