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PLEASE share your food hacks for fussy eaters(13 Posts)
Don't want to spend hours on extra meal prep. Looking for products, life hacks, meal solutions that have worked for you.
Not sure if your fussy eater is an adult or a child ?
My partner isn't fussy except for a few things that I think stem from a bad experience in the past , for example shepherds pie ( mostly due to the mash texture ) was a no go zone , but I made a really tasty mince base and made the mash creamy with no lumps and lots of cheese and he liked it so we now have it every month or so , sausage and mash ( again the mash being the problem ) I do this a "posh " sausage and mash - small mound of creamy mustard mash , fried onions on top topped of with quality sausages and plenty of nice gravy , he now says he likes this and we have it every so often
I would add things like crusty bread, cheese, crackers and fruit to the table, even pots of jam or honey, if you think there are likely to be people who are a bit fussy.Then people can help themselves. A bowl of salad. Have a bag of oven chips or some baking potatoes on standby. Plenty of eggs for an impromptu omelette. Perhaps some cold meat in? That’s how I have managed in the past with visitors and family with different tastes and serve the above alongside the main meal I am cooking. It makes things more leisurely and if people can help themselves there’s no need for fuss. I don’t have kids but my Mum just took the above approach and fed us that way.
Cook each part of the meal separately, serve fussy person then mix together for normal eaters. E.g. pasta, veg and sauce separate, so can serve plain pasta to fussy one.
Have easy to cook, nutritionally acceptable 'no thank you' meals when you want to make something interesting, e.g. we have curry fussy child gets beans on toast.
There's usually a bowl of chopped pepppers in my fridge as the 'no thank you' vegetable
I find Mexican good as fussy kid can have tortilla with cheese and pepper sticks (or whatever) and rest of family gets interesting food.
Agree with keeping elements separate for fussy people.
Is this a child or adult? What are the things they will reliably eat?
I grate a lot of veggies into chillies and bolognese, everything from peppers, mushrooms, celery, courgettes, sweet potato, leeks, even for non fussy eaters as everything cooks quicker
Sorry all should have put in more info. Its for a 4 year old girl.
Doesn't want to eat vegetables / sensible food.
Likes nuggets, crisps, bread etc
When mine were little I always but fruit and veg with there meal, so even if it was nugget and chips, would give carrot sticks, cherry toms, sliced apple with there dinner. Also snacks would always be reasonably healthy boiled eggs, cheese and crackers, grapes, strawberries. Also mine preferred raw carrots to cooked, liked peas frozen straight from the freezer. I would often give a little bowl of raw veg before there diner as they would be hungry and hopefully eat them. Also things like baked beans, jackets potatoes, fish fingers, all good healthy food.
Mine are all grown up now, but I'm sure I've seen Jamie Oliver do a 5 or 7 veg pasta sauce that is puried which might be good.
Sounds daft but try serving things on skewers (chicken/fish/veg/fruit). For some reason anything on a stick seems to go down better!
I used to put a cucumber or tomato etc 'face' on top of things so two tomatoes for eyes one for nose and tons for mouth. That was very easy and lots of oooo are you going to eat his nose first in the background seemed to work.
Used to hide carrots or other veg in Bolognese. Dd liked 'sweeter' veg so we always had to buy red peppers not green ones for example. So we learned which ones she would actually eat vs pick out.
Fruit was easier but for us was particular fruit again the sweeter variety such as berries always went down easier.
I don't know how willing you are to be that parent but we also used to buy 'fruit shape cutters' you'll find them on amazon we used them on sandwiches and everything.
These were a life changer for us, sure people will say we're pandering to our dd etc and we probably were but she's 7 now healthy and happy and we still use them happily.
Drop all sweets and treats outside of meal times. That includes grapes and cherry toms as both are high sugar. Hidden veg did nothing for my kids, most meals are served with a portion of brocolli and a portion of green beans. These are eaten then they can have biscuit/pudding for pudding.
If a child has got to dependent on one food i tend to stop buying it. Then they have to eat something else.
No boredom snacking. And hold off snacks at least in the couple of hours before a meal.
Just for simplicity sake maybe cut out highly processed food. (Take crisps. I'd eat crisps rather than veg. I am in my fifties and know better.)
Even bread I mostly kept back until the end just to encourage a bit of variation!
With my fussiest I put the tiny pieces of various foods on the plate because they didn't pick much off shared plates when we did that.
We did do a serve yourself meal once a week but usually if it was a mash potato / pasta type meal where they would gladly help themselves. Or if it was a bigger party occasion we might treat that family meal as a meal they could really eat very little at because they'd basically been given food a while earlier! They sometimes surprised us and tried new things that way. Mostly not though. It was a slow process and often feels frustrating so don't despair would be my main advice. It's a long game.
No pressure to eat up. But encouragement to try a little new stuff.
We had some simple swaps if we were eating something way beyond the boundaries so fussiest child got a boiled egg or baked beans and then any extras So very "bitty" and some unlikely combinations.
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