Food Blogger Moms Share Their Favorite Recipes for Picky Eaters

So long mealtime battles! With these tasty, easy-to-cook dishes, even kids with a picky palate will be clearing their plate.
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By Celia Shatzman, Contributing Writer
Updated March 9, 2020

Has your dinner table become a battlefield? For moms of picky eaters, it can be all-out war trying to get little ones to eat their broccoli or brussels sprouts or … just about anything green, for that matter. That’s why we turned to parent food bloggers to find out what their favorite go-to recipes are for their own kids who are super-picky eaters. From snacks to soups to smoothies, these are their standbys.

Image: Weelicious

Crazy Healthy Smoothie

Got kids who won’t eat their carrots? This aptly named Crazy Healthy Smoothie will do the trick. “My kids love this recipe because it’s packed with vegetables, but you can’t taste them because there are so many other nutritious but sweet foods [in there] like banana, dates and any other frozen fruits you want to add,” says Catherine McCord, the mom of three behind Weelicious. “You know your kids have taken in all the nutrients their bodies need before they head out the door for the day!”

Baked Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Swap these out for fried chicken fingers and your children will never know the difference. “My kids eat them all the time and have no idea that these chicken tenders get their fried-like texture from chopped pecans,” says teacher-turned-healthy-food-blogger Bailey Sissom of Simply Sissom. “They are one of my absolute favorite sneaky swaps. Baked Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders are a fun (and healthy) twist on a traditional American classic. My kids love these tenders because they look fried, taste fried, but are actually baked and oil-free. If you asked me if this one’s gonna pass the picky-kid test, I’d say yes. Yes, emphatically yes.”

Kale Pesto Pasta

Kale isn’t exactly edging out ice cream when it comes to children’s favorite foods. But this scrumptious yet healthy pasta dish might make it to the top of their lists. “One of my kids’ favorite weeknight dinners is this Quick Kale Pesto Pasta,” says food blogger Denise Browning of Easy and Delish. “It is the only way that I found for them to eat kale, a leaf veggie that they hate. The kale pesto contains fresh basil, which makes the taste of kale very subtle. If I had not told them there was kale in the pesto, they wouldn’t have noticed.”

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Pasta and Chickpea Soup

Soup is a staple in every kitchen, and this Pasta and Chickpea Soup is sure to be spooned up year-round. “Pasta and chickpeas are both an easy sell for our toddler son, and this soup combines both into a mild, creamy broth,” says Megan Gordon, the mom behind A Sweet Spoonful. “Equally important, I love it, as the ingredient list is small and the method is simple. Kiddo comfort food at its best!”

Greek-Style Peppers with Lamb, Feta and Mint

Introducing your children to different international cuisines is a great way to expand their palates, and this take on a classic is a healthy way to go Greek. “Ever since our family went gluten free two years ago, we’ve been looking for ways to do easy dinners without our old mainstays, like pasta and stews with grilled bread,” says Jessica Fiorillo of Feed Me Dearly. “These stuffed peppers satisfy the heartiest of winter cravings, but with quinoa, ground lamb and loads of veggies, you can serve them without the guilt. Plus they reheat well as leftovers. The kids love the stoplight effect with the different-colored peppers too; let them choose the colors and you’re guaranteed a bunch of hungry eaters.”

Spinach Egg-Drop Soup

Skip the Chinese takeout and make this spin on the popular dish instead. “My 8-year-old daughter and I created this recipe together,” says Bernadette Martin of Rants From My Crazy Kitchen. “She’s a very picky eater, but she’s also unusual. She likes healthy food like baked fish and salads, and doesn’t like things most kids do. She hates pizza and mashed potatoes. This is one of her favorites because she pretty much came up with the recipe on her own with only a little help from me. It’s light and healthy, and almost easy enough for her to make herself.”

Instant Pot Hummus

Not that you needed another excuse to whip out your slow cooker, but this hidden-veggies recipe sure gives you one. “A recipe that my kids love is my Instant Pot No Soak Hummus Recipe,” says food blogger Alyssa Brantley of Everyday Maven. “It’s a quick and easy way to make homemade hummus in under an hour, the kids can help, and they will eat a ton of raw veggies with almost any meal if they have this hummus to dip into!”

Healthy Pancakes

“These Toddler Pancakes are my little one’s favorite,” says breakfast blogger Tina Jui of The Worktop. “He often wants them for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. He loves that the pancakes are just his size, perfect to pick up and dip in yogurt, and eat with his favorite fruit. He also really enjoys pouring the ingredients into the mixing bowl, mixing the batter and watching me flip them on the hob. It’s definitely healthy—made with whole wheat flour and no added sugar, and protein from milk and eggs. I top it with yogurt and fresh fruit.”

Published Decemeber 2017

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