No Joy in My Cooking: Picky Eaters Rule the Roost

feeding picky eaters

I was blessed with two very healthy, very picky eaters. And I mean PICKY. Imagine facing mini food critics at every meal. It’s like Top Chef, but the judges are unpredictable toddlers who won’t even try your food if they don’t like how it looks. It’s too brown or too green or too chunky or too hot. Not even a nibble, folks.

I was in a restaurant last week and overheard a mom complaining to her friend about how much her toddler eats. “Oh, my! She eats everything I put on her plate. It’s just crazy!” She said that as though it were a bad thing! I was instantly jealous. Earlier today, a friend of mine mentioned on her Facebook status about putting in hours of work to cook a nice meal, only to have everyone (her children) NOT like it. I felt bad for her, but I was also relieved. It’s not just happening in my family. Thank goodness!

My children don’t eat/drink food you might consider kiddo favorites like:
– Milk
– Cereal
– Hotdogs and/or Corndogs
– Mac-N-Cheese
– Grilled cheese sandwiches
-Spaghetti
– Yogurt

Not to mention, my toddler won’t eat anything with “black” on it, which is pepper or spices or marks left by grilling. Do you know how hard it is to pick the “black” off of a piece of grilled chicken? Let me tell you, it’s hard. If he sees an oat that’s too big in his oatmeal, he calls it a “grasshopper” and demands it be removed immediately. Same goes for pulp in orange juice. And no, he has never found a bug in his food. No mental insect-to-food trauma going on here.

What makes this all tough is I’m not a great cook in the first place. Sure, I can use a toaster and a blender and I know how to stir things together, but that’s the extent of my culinary skills. I don’t particularly enjoy cooking and when I go to the trouble of making something with actual ingredients and a recipe and they won’t eat it… Well, then I become an angry short order cook, preparing a bunch of mini-meals for each kid, plus the hubby. Nobody really likes “angry cooking mommy” anyway.  It’s not pretty.

I think back to my own childhood and recognize I was a picky eater and my father was a really picky eater when he was a kid. He claims he lived on cucumbers and potatoes until he was a teenager. Maybe it just runs in the family. I’ve seen a lot of books about pleasing picky eaters, but I’d like to hear it from my readers. How do you deal with feeding a tough crowd??? Keep on trying or throw in the dish towel?