Cooking for kids is no picnic. But try cooking for picky kids! As a nanny, you might come across these distressful situations in which the children you’re taking care of won’t swallow any food except chips or cookies. Being a caregiver, parents rely on you to help their children thrive and get all the nutrients they need from your cooking. But even the most loving and dedicated nanny can come across huge difficulties when it comes to mealtime. Some kids will test your limits, grill you and put into question every educational method you’ve implemented so far.
Picky eaters are not necessarily picky by choice. There’s the issue of food intolerances and allergies that affect an estimated 4%-6% of children in the United States (gluten, nuts, lactose, etc.). Then, there’s a natural learning process: In their early years, little ones have to be introduced to all kinds of foods. Even though they are curious and eager for newness, children might cringe when trying new textures, and new tastes. Having twice as many working taste buds as adults on average, children are also more prone to feel discomfort towards unexplored types of foods.
So, with all that in mind, you might need some out-of-the box thinking to help you come up with the healthiest and tastiest meal ideas for picky kids.
Meal Ideas for Picky Kids
As a nanny, you’ve been trained, you’ve had loads of hands-on experience and yet, you still don’t have the magic recipe that will ease the chore of cooking for picky kids. Here are a few tips that can facilitate your task along the way:
- Children like to be taken seriously. When trying new recipes, involve them in the process. Make it an interactive experience in which they participate — for instance, have them count the number of spinach leaves a salad has, and how many of those leaves they can fit on their plate.
- Appeal to their sense of aesthetic. If you’re trying to introduce more veggies into their diet, try sautéed or steamed broccoli instead of fried potatoes, and put the emphasis on how weird and funny broccoli’s shape is compared to those round-shaped potatoes. Make mealtime fun!
- Meal ideas for the picky kids at your lunch table can be as simple as making tweaks to a food’s traditional preparation. Introduce them to mashed celery with a hint of sour cream and make them guess what the secret ingredient to this new texture is.
- When it comes to kids with a sweet tooth, prepare a delicious banana-vanilla soy milk or rice milk smoothie.
If you feel you might need external help and further food-related background to shape up meal ideas for the picky kids in your life, Nanny Authority can provide you with nanny training opportunities that focus specifically on cooking. This type of training only serves to increase your value as a fantastic professional caregiver. Our White Glove program can provide you with an opportunity to bolster your skills and further reinforce your value to your employing family. Find out more about our White Glove Program online or give us a call at 877-466-2669.