How to deal with your picky eater


Tired of dealing with kids who have demanding palates? Instead of indulging their often unhealthy demands, Atlanta-based Chef Ahki offers a few table-tested ideas to satisfy finicky eaters.

When they consistently say "yes" to junk food and "no" to fruits and veggies, these appetizing solutions will have them going back for healthier seconds:

Know what to expect with your kids

"Sometimes our kids will try to see if they can get away with eating foods that they know you don't approve of," said Chef Ahki, who's also a mother of one. "They will test us with chips and drinks. That's when you offer better choices that are still fun in presentation and taste, preferably alkaline foods."

Give kids what they want - but with a healthy twist

"If they like popsicles, ice cream bars, brownies or smoothies, let them have it, but that should only happen with fresh fruits and vegetables," Chef Ahki said. "You can easily blend a homemade peach or raspberry smoothie or freeze banana popsicles for them. They will love it." To ensure that picky eaters get veggies into their tummies, she suggests a vegetable stew. "Throw five of their favorite vegetables into a processor, season it well then let it cook down into a stew. My son tears up my stews. It's trial and error with kids, so try different vegetable combinations that they will end up enjoying the most."

Experiment with kids in the kitchen

"Make them a part of the cooking process," Chef Ahki recommended. "My son has days when he's over certain foods, so I have to get a little more creative with him. One thing we've tried and love is making fritters. Use chickpea flour and add all the veggies you'd like - collards, onion, squash, zucchini - and mold them into patties to fry using a little coconut oil." For parents always on the go, this crunchy, homemade snack can be made ahead of time and frozen until time for serving.

Aim for cleaning that plate with smarter meals

"You have to know your kids' needs," said Chef Ahki, "so we don't want our kids cleaning their plates with the wrong foods or just to hurry up and get them to bed. Take time out to research nutritious foods that offer natural flavor and give them an electric experience at the table."

For more healthy tips to fancy baby to toddler taste buds, visit thefreshtribe.com for upcoming courses.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Are household disinfectants making kids overweight? Study finds possible link
Are household disinfectants making kids overweight? Study finds possible link

Obesity affects nearly 1 in 6 children in the United States, according to new data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State of Obesity report. And new findings from the Canadian Medical Association Journal reveal there may be more contributing to that stat than overeating. Overweight children are approximately five times more...
Seven-Day Menu Planner
Seven-Day Menu Planner

9/23 Family Sunday Enjoy family day with your own Roast Chicken (5 to 7 pounds), mashed potatoes, gravy, peas with pearl onions (from frozen) and mixed greens. For dessert, drizzle creme fraiche or half-and-half over bread pudding. Plan ahead: Save...
Chrissy Teigen says we've been mispronouncing her name this whole time
Chrissy Teigen says we've been mispronouncing her name this whole time

You've probably been pronouncing Chrissy Teigen's last name wrong. We're just as shocked as you are. In a video posted on Teigen's Twitter last night, she dropped the wild news: "I'm tired of living this lie: it's 'Tie-gen,' " she says. "Isn't it, Mom?"          ...
Why this fund-raiser featuring Dayton’s best chefs should be on your radar
Why this fund-raiser featuring Dayton’s best chefs should be on your radar

YELLOW SPRINGS — Last weekend more than 160 people packed into tents in the middle of a nature preserve outside of the Glen Helen Raptor Center on a rainy evening to enjoy the Whoo Cooks for You? benefit. The event started more than seven years ago with a farm to table event that had 40 people attend. As Ann Simonson, project manager at The Glen...
Need a culture fix? 6 area museums will open their doors for free visits on Museum Day 
Need a culture fix? 6 area museums will open their doors for free visits on Museum Day 

Smithsonian magazine would like you to be their guest at a local museum.  Museum Day is an annual “celebration of boundless curiosity” according to Smithsonian.com. The organization will provide free admission for two people at museums across the country on Saturday, Sept. 22.  Participating cultural institutions can be found...
More Stories