You know the deal...
After a long day at work, you put together a simple meal that you're positive that one will actually eat.
You spend 35 minutes throwing down in the kitchen, put his plate down on the table and he declares....
"I'm not eating this. Where's the chicken?"
The struggle is so real! The picky eaters rule the world and we just live in it.
It can be your husband who side-eyes anything with beans in it or your pre-teen who refuses broccoli - no matter how well you season it.
I know this life too well.
Elijah (my middle son) is my picky eater.
His pre-vegan meal of choice was chicken nuggets and french fries...that's about it. He wouldn't even eat anything that was touched by a vegetable (or even fun stuff like macaroni and cheese).
Looking back, I realize I was a big enabler...
I wasn't the most confident about my cooking skills and since my mom never made multiple meals for me (I was her picky eater lol), I wanted to make the vegan transition easier for him.
I would plead with him, make something else, or run out and grab him a separate meal.
It was exhausting.
His favorite line was, "Don't put it on my plate because I don't want to waste your time." *sigh*
Here's my best tip for dealing with a picky eater... DON'T!
I'm so serious....
- Do yourself a favor- make only one meal. Make it simple. Make it delicious and make it vegan. I promise your picky eater will not starve if they miss that one meal. They will always find at least one thing to eat on their plates...even if it's just the bread or strawberries. Let them catch up on the next meal. Even if they don't like a certain food, continue to put it on their plate. Exposure is sooo important and I believe this is one of the reasons Elijah started eating vegetables.
- Be open to experimenting with vegan version of their favorite foods. I made Elijah vegan fried chicken and used Gardein crispy tenders for his "meat" fix. Make a list of their favorite dishes and get to work veganizing them!
Elijah has grown to like vegetables over the last several years.
Here are some pictures of him eating my seaweed salad a few months ago....
Elijah still doesn't love everything (he will probably always be a picky eater) but he has come a long way. I'm so happy about his progress!
I made a video with him a while ago, and he gave some great tips on how to handle picky eaters in your own family.
Check it out here....