Family Meals that Please Everyone

What to feed your picky eatersJenny Flake, author of Picky Palate, joins Away We Grow host Diane Mizota to discuss making weeknight dinners that work for even the pickiest eaters in your family.

Flake's book was inspired by her own personal experience with her two sons, who were picky eaters as toddlers. "They didn't want anything colorful. They didn't want any fruits and vegetables. It was more just the chicken, the bread, the things that were just that one color. I definitely wanted to help those families with similar issues that I had."

Related: 10 common misconceptions about kids who are picky eaters

Some parents may be inclined to make a separate meal for a picky eater, but Flake says that's not necessary. She says that what works well in her home is "the 'No, thank you' policy." She offers a range of options on the table, including things appealing to picky eaters like appetizers and sides, as well as fruits and vegetables. "But, if they don't love the main dinner, they have to at least try it once," she explains.

Related: How to get your toddler to eat more than French fries

For families with picky eaters, Flake suggests, "Bring everyone in the kitchen and help make some fun appetizers." She adds that foods that are colorful and appealing to the eye are great choices at mealtime.
Among Flake's favorite recipes for side dishes are her Veggie, Feta, and Couscous Salad, which is colorful and full of vegetables, and her Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Quick Bread, which can be sliced up and served with ease.

For a main course, Flake likes to serve her Cheesy Chicken Pot Pies, which have cheese, chicken, and a bread topping-a little something for everybody, she notes. She also enjoys making a big pot of White Bean and Bacon Chicken Chili. "It's warm, it's cozy, and it's comfort food," she says.

Finally, Flake recommends her Honeyed Apple-Peanut Butter Tart for dessert. "I took two things that the kids love-apples and peanut butter-and put them on this fabulous puffed pastry with a little sugar and cinnamon on top," she says.

Above all, says Flake, parents of picky eaters should remember to "have fun, have a good positive attitude, and eventually, those kids are going to dig in."

Watch more Away We Grow videos

How to talk to your kids about strangers

How 5 minutes of calm can change your life

Kids and the art of lying