Get Cookin’: How to inspire picky eaters with culinary creativity

We’ve all been there. The airplane/spoon trick. The Broccoli Forest parable. The whole “you’re not leaving this table until every pea is gone” bit. And yet, the Picky Eater remains victorious. They sneakily feed their kale to the dog (who’s now super healthy, by the way). They beg. They scream. They hide their carrots under Fort Mashed Potatoes. You need all the help you can get, so we’re getting creative & sharing our favourite tips for coaxing picky eaters to try something new. (Even when that something new begins with a B and ends with ‘sprouts’.)

Think inside the box

When it comes to getting picky eaters excited about food, getting them involved in the meal prep process is the golden ticket. Try stuffing a cardboard box full of fun, hilarious ingredients (a la Chopped) and asking your kids to help you come up with a meal plan – you could even set a timer!

Looking for something a bit lower maintenance? (Hello weeknight meal prep madness.) Kids subscription boxes are a great way to keep things exciting AND easy. Consider a monthly subscription box that delivers kid-friendly recipes to your door (some include ingredients as well). Picky eaters will love to see what goes into their meals, and might pick up a new skill or two as well!

Digital gets delicious

Life often imitates art – and cooking can too. While watching a show or playing a kids learning game with your resident picky eater, talk to them about the food they see on the screen. For example, in Pet Cafe, ask them about the smoothie maker – what flavours would they pick if they made it for themselves? Or in the toast counting activity, ask them about their favourite wacky ingredient to put on toast.

Next, it’s kitchen bound! Try out a layered smoothie like in Pet Café (peep some inspiration here), or reconstruct their favourite sandwich from Sago Mini Apartment IRL with healthy, fresh ingredients. They’ll love bringing their favourite games to life, and you get a bit of help in the kitchen (and, fingers crossed, with clean up!)

Play with your food

When all else fails, turning mealtime into playtime is a tried-and-true picky eater strategy. Invite the Walk & Play Finger Puppets to the table – have them help harvest veggies for the kids to eat or use a banana as a sweet halfpipe for some skateboard tricks (with the condition that said halfpipe gets eaten afterwards!). And don’t worry – the finger puppets are washable if a food fight happens to break out.

Creating your own drive through with the Vehicle Playsets and Jack’s Diner is another great way to get ‘em excited about food. A little pre-dinner co-play with your kids can get everyone involved (and hungry) for what’s to come.

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