If you have a picky eater in your house … who you might even make special meals for (I admit it. I do it.) than those special meals better be cheap and easy!
There is a little boy that lives in my house.
Technically, he is my 4-year old son. But, I believe he is a tiny dictator who is slowly trying to drive me crazy and overthrow my mommy government.
He is my 2nd born and quite possibly the worst picky eater I have ever met.
Certainly more of a picky eater than my other two kids.
My 3-year old literally ate two plates of noodles and beans for dinner tonight (Sometimes I meal plan like a boss and sometimes I don’t). He doesn’t give a rat’s ass what I feed him … he just wants to be fed.
My 11-year old is the same way. (though she wasn’t game for the noodles and beans so she had a can of soup)
The 4-year old, however, will turn his nose up at pretty much anything that we put in front of him for dinner. Even at restaurants! We can go to a pizza place, home-style, burgers … doesn’t matter.
The kid only has a handful of foods that he will eat.
Thankfully, most of those foods are made from chicken. I say thankfully because grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for $7 bucks and whipping up one of his favorite meals is easy enough that I don’t mind making the separate meal.
I used to worry a little bit about buying the rotisserie chickens. Mostly because I figured, “you get what you pay for” and, how could a fully-cooked chicken that only costs $7 be high-quality?
So, I started doing some research and learned about the process and how the grocery stores are able to sell the rotisserie chickens so cheap.
It’s pretty much the same way they are able to sell other items on the cheap so, I felt better.
Plus, at the grocery store where I shop, they have organic and non-organic options for the rotisserie chickens.
The non-organic are $5 and the organic are $7 … I figure it’s a tiny investment for the peace of mind and I opt for the organic.
Also, I am a distributor for Juice Plus so I know that every single member of my family is getting 30 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
These are a few of his favorite meals:
This sounds more exciting than it actually is. I basically chop up the chicken into small-ish pieces, mix it with a little bit of mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and spread it onto a toasted kaiser roll.
Add a little ketchup on the side for dipping … and, you’ve got one happy kiddo. I will usually slice some apple and force him to eat a serving of whichever veggie I’ve made for dinner.
I don’t make corn so, it’s guaranteed that he’ll be eating a green veggie.
BBQ Chicken Sammich
I always have a bottle of BBQ sauce in the refrigerator because I like to eat it on eggs (I know. I’m a weirdo)
So, if the kiddo asks for a “spicy chicken sammich”, I will chop up a section of the breast of the rotisserie chicken, add a few tablespoons of the BBQ sauce and stir it all together.
Then I add a bit of “sprinkle cheese”, which is just shredded cheddar. I usually put it on a dinner roll and give him two.
Chicken and Cheese Roll-ups
When I make this one, the 11-year old usually asks for a couple along with her dinner so, I make a batch and then have some in a Ziploc bag in the fridge for lunch the next day.
I put a little bit of coconut oil in the frying pan and heat it up. Then, lay a tortilla down and brown it the slightest bit on each side. Remove the tortilla from the frying pan, add the shredded cheese and cubed chicken and then roll it all up.
The heat from the browned tortilla all rolled up will melt the cheese. My kiddos (including the picky eater) will eat these cold so it’s a really good snack to pack in the cooler for trips to the park.
Chicken Parmesan (Sort of)
This one works if you’re having spaghetti or lasagna for dinner already. I put the cubed chicken in the frying pan with a bit of coconut oil. Keep it all collected into a group at the middle of the pan and keep the heat on medium-low.
Sprinkle it with cheese – my baby doll doesn’t care what kind so, I just use whatever I have on hand. Then, sprinkle some Italian bread crumbs over the top of the cheese. Finally, pour a bit of marinara over the top of the breadcrumbs.
Flip the whole thing over, and add a bit more cheese to the bottom side.
Chicken, Apple and Cheese ‘Slaw’
This is a super simple one to do. It basically works because he likes the shape that everything is cut into. I (try) to julienne some cheddar cheese, an apple, and some bit of the chicken breast.
He has a favorite blue plate that has little sections and I fill each section with a serving of each food.
It’s very basic but, he loves it.
He’s branching out a bit more now and will dip the apple in some peanut butter. I’ve been buying the peanut butter to-go single serve packs and he likes to use those for dipping pretzels too.
The point here is to keep it easy and don’t bother fighting … he’s going to grow out of it.
Yes. The experts say that I’m doing it wrong because I make him special meals. But, guess what? I don’t care.
It’s important to me that he eats AND that we all eat together. I don’t want dinner time to be a headache and I’m not going to argue with a 4-year old.
I’ve already got our dinner down to a good budget using a meal plan (most of the time – some days I fail hence the noodles and bean meal) and pretty much zero time to cook it.
$7 bucks and about 7-minutes of extra work is not a big deal. Especially, if it gives us a good 20-minutes of peaceful time eating together as a family.
What kind of dinnertime struggles do you have with your picky eater? What are your “bad mom” tricks to keep the peace?