Parenting a child who is picky at the table can be frustrating. It’s no surprise that we overthink and overcomplicate meals in an effort to fix their “picky eating”. We spend extra time preparing a different meal for the kiddos or pureeing green veggies into muffins. Exhausting.
Does it really require that much work? Nope! At least not for the average picky eater. The solutions can actually be REALLY simple. For the most part, there aren’t any ‘special’ tricks you need to implement with your little one. Just the same ol’ strategies you would use with the child who isn’t fussy.
Last night I practiced what I preach.
Rice Paper Wraps were on the menu, which is one of my favourite go-to meals. One of the meals I resort to when I want to use up odds and ends in my fridge.
I could tell Sienna was getting bored and needed some entertainment (sorry, why do we have so many toys ??) so I asked her to join me in the filling and rolling of the wraps.
Side note: we invested in this contraption called the FunPod last year for this very reason – to get my girls involved in the cooking process when they were older. Up to this point it’s been used for handwashing but now that Sienna is older, we are finally reaping the benefits. The FunPod is essentially a wooden box with an adjustable platform inside for kids to stand on. Here’s a look at it:. P.S. No idea why she needed to wear a backpack that’s bigger than her for this process.
Sienna has never been interested in trying the Rice Paper Wraps, but there’s a first time for everything! After stuffing and wrapping, she picked which rolls were hers and promptly ran to her seat at the table. Once we situated ourselves, she didn’t hesitate a second before going in for a bite. Her first bite. Then another and another. It wasn’t a clean process by any means because she insisted on eating from both ends of the rolls, so they naturally fell apart. In the end, she had eaten one roll without much help from me. Heck, I was too preoccupied trying to pretend I wasn’t impressed by her new found love for rice wraps.
#1 – Don’t assume your kids won’t eat X. They don’t like it because they’ve never or rarely tried it. If parents don’t present X because we think our kids won’t try it, then they won’t have an opportunity to try it.
#2 – Get them involved in the meal prep. Pick a meal that your little one wouldn’t typically eat and let them help with making the meal. Stirring a chili, peeling a hard boiled egg, throwing veggies into a stirfry, pouring pancake batter into a pan, whatever is safe and gives them a sense of control. Once they see what goes into it and watch it transform into a “meal”, there’s greater interest in trying it.
#3 – Make Rice Paper Wraps! They are sooo easy, tasty, and fun too. Recipe below.
These are SO MANY other simple & effective “picky eating” strategies parents don’t realize their meals are missing. There are also many mistakes that worried parents make out of desperation to get our kids eat. It seems, the harder we try the worse “picky eating” becomes.
Rice Paper Wraps/Rolls
- Thinly slice vegetables of choice (we used red and yellow peppers, mango, avocado, cucumber, and pesto sauce).
- Add shredded chicken, hemp seeds, salmon, shrimp or any other protein if serving as a meal.
- Boil water and pour into a large bowl (big enough to hold rice paper). Keep this away from the kids for obvious reasons.
- Dip rice paper in warm water until it starts to soften (not too soft or it will fall apart).
- Put rice paper on clean plate
- This is where the kids come in – Fill the middle of the paper with veggies and protein of choice. Fold in two ends of paper then roll!