Fussy eaters at your dinner table? Our Dietitian shares tips to make meal-times simpler October 16, 2019

by Toby Eat

Ever feel like your life revolves around cooking and cleaning up after your kids, especially when it comes to dinner? You’re not alone! In fact, we asked over 1000 Aussie parents about their dinner routine and one thing is clear: we all have at least one fussy eater sitting around the dinner table. 

What does this mean for mums and dads with young kids? For starters, according to the research, three in four Aussie parents are cooking more than one dinner per night just to satisfy demands of their mini (fussier) versions.

All that extra meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning is enough to scare people into cooking the same meal on repeat. And, guess what? That’s exactly what’s happening!

Many parents avoid dinnertime dramas altogether  – with 85% of us cooking the same repertoire of meals regularly because the kids will eat it without a fuss. There’s only so many times a week you can rely on the old faithful spaghetti bolognese, right?! 

To set the record straight, it’s completely normal for kids to reject food they haven’t tried before, so don’t worry it’s not about your cooking skills! In saying that, exposing kids to different foods and diversifying their tastes at a young age sets them up for healthier eating for the rest of their life, according to Hannah, our in-house Accredited Dietitian. 

What else does Hannah have to say about fussy eaters? 

  • It can take up to 15 exposures for kids to try something new so don’t give up yet. Keep serving it up on their plate, but just be prepared for it to go untouched until they’re familiar enough with it to give it a go!

 

  • Serving food in a variety of ways can be helpful. If your child doesn’t like greens then try broccoli finely chopped in a tomato pasta sauce, boil potatoes for a potato-broccoli mash or serve broccoli steamed or stir-fried as ‘trees’ in a vegetable side dish.

 

  • As adults, we become more desensitised to food textures, but this is not the case with younger children. Try to pinpoint the particular texture your child doesn’t like and use foods your child likes to experiment with different textures. For example, potatoes can be crushed, mashed or baked; beans can be eaten raw, boiled or pan-fried for different textures.

 

  • A ‘no thanks’ to sour foods is a fairly common aversion, but offering it in small amounts where it’s mostly unnoticeable will help kids get more accustomed to the flavour. You can get kids to try sour foods like Greek style yoghurt, which is really good for them, by adding freshly chopped or pureed fruits. 

 

At HelloFresh, we’re all about providing a variety of delicious wholesome and balanced dinners that everyone can enjoy. We’ve compiled a selection of our top-rated family dinners as voted by thousands of HelloFresh customers.These are recipes families across Australia love…even the fussy eaters! So give these crowd pleasers a go and shake up your dinnertime routine! 

Caribbean Chicken & Spinach Rice with Cucumber Pineapple Salsa

Kids will have fun with this dish – it’s like a party for your mouth! From caramelised pineapple salsa to spinach and coconut rice, each colourful bite is a delight.

Chicken & Creamy Chive Sauce with Potato Wedges & Garlic Greens

This cream chive sauce for seared chicken breast is packed with flavour. Roasted potato wedges are a kid’s favourite and garlic greens will soon be as well!

Creamy Chicken Penne with Parmesan & Hidden Zucchini

This saucy creation uses a creamy tomato sauce to coat penne, with chunks of tender chicken and flavourome Parmesan. Add grated zucchini that melts into the sauce and baby spinach that gently wilts when tossed with pasta, and you’ve snuck in greens without raising suspicion from fussy eaters.

Teriyaki-Glazed Pork Rissoles with Garlic Rice & Asian Slaw

Elevate the humble rissole with a mouth-watering teriyaki glaze – perfect for pairing with a crisp and colourful side slaw!

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