Thank you Veetee Rice for sponsoring this post.
It’s like a whirlwind on weekday nights. My older son doesn’t get home until 4pm and most nights we need to be out of the house by 5:30pm. This doesn’t leave a lot of time to get homework done, dinner on the table, get changed, and out the door.
I like to prepare my meals ahead of time. I look for easy recipes I can put together in a flash. One of the problems I continually face at dinnertime is having a PICKY eater.
I’m sure most parents can relate to this. If I put anything green on my younger son’s plate, he will cry and freak out. It’s actually pretty funny how ridiculously upset he gets when you place a piece of broccoli on his plate. I try to teach my kids the importance of eating a variety of good food. Below are a few tips and tricks we’ve been using to encourage my youngest to try new foods.
Serve food family style. Sometimes you just need to switch things up a bit and make it fun for kids. Our favorite is having fondue night where we have a bunch of options in the middle of the table and we dip them into cheesy fondue. The kids can pick their favorite items but it also encourages them to try new foods. Everything is better with cheese on it!
Amp up the fun. I like to use cookie cutters to create fun shapes. The boys find it exciting and different. Their favorites are dinosaur sandwiches and cheese stars.
Plan a menu together. On Sundays, I’ll plan out the menu for the week and I’ll ask my boys to each pick one dinner. Most of the time my youngest will say rice or pasta. I try to switch it up a bit, but one of his favorite meals is Cheesy Chicken and Rice. I mean how can you go wrong with chicken, cheddar cheese, bacon, and rice?? YUM!
Rice is a staple in our household because it can be used so many ways and it’s super easy to make. I recently discovered, Veetee Rice, which can be made in 2 minutes! Yes, 2 MINUTES! Such a lifesaver when you are trying to get dinner on the table quickly. It’s available in a wide range of plain and flavored varieties, so there are so many ways you can use this product.
Look at how delicious this meal looks. It’s oozing with cheese, yum!
The first time I made this recipe, my youngest ate two helpings, which is a huge deal because, again, he’s Captain Picky Pants!
- 2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken (use a Rotisserie chicken to save you time)
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup of real bacon bites
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 (1 oz) package of dry ranch seasoning mix
- 1 package of Veetee Rice, Long Grain Rice
- In a baking dish, mix all of the ingredients together.
- Cover dish with foil.
- Bake for 30 to 45 minutes on 375 degrees, stirring occasionally.
Take a bite. Our one rule is you have to at least take a bite and give it a fair chance.
Cook together. This isn’t easy with our busy schedule, but I will often ask my boys to help me in the kitchen whether it’s setting the table or mixing ingredients together. I find that when they help, they are more likely to try the food.
Keep calm. I’ve been dealing with a picky eater for the past 7 years. Instead of making dinner time a war zone, I try to keep calm, stand my ground, and remember he will (hopefully) outgrow this. As long as he takes a bite of everything, I consider that a win.
No special dinners. I used to make my son a separate dinner, one I knew he’d eat. Then I thought, “what is that teaching him?!”. So now there’s no separate dinner, no substitutes, and no snacks if he doesn’t eat most of his dinner.
Incentivize them. Believe it or not this works! I created a printable with the 5 main food groups. Every time my youngest (because my older son will eat anything) tries a new food item, he writes it on the chart. When he tries 5 new items, he’s rewarded.
This printable is also great for little kids as they can draw a picture of what they’ve tried. It also teaches them about the main food groups and promotes healthy eating.
Click HERE to download this printable.
My biggest piece of advice is to be patient!
About Veetee Rice
Veetee Rice is available at Shoprite, Walmart, Wegman’s and more. You can click here to search a listing of locations. They come in a variety of delicious flavors; Basmati, Basmati & Wild Rice, Thai Jasmine Rice, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Long Grain Rice, Whole grain Brown Rice & Quinoa, Red Beans & Rice New Orleans Style, Chicken Flavor Rice, Golden Vegetable Rice, Thai Lime & Herb Rice, Pilaf Rice and Spanish Style Rice.