Sometimes I wonder how I would cope if I have a child as fussy about food as I was when growing up. When I think about mothers who let their children get so hungry that they eventually eat anything placed before them, I just laugh. Such trick would never have worked on me. Back then, I would actually prefer to fall sick and starve, than to eat some foods – like fufu (yuck!).
If as a parent, your children have great appetites and eat what you offer them, good for you. But if you have a child as picky and fussy about food as I was, then this post is specially for you. I decided to share some tips on creating a family meal plan that caters to everyone in your home, both the foodies and the kids who are fussy about food.
So here goes:
Draw Up A Food Timetable
Apart from the fact that this helps you plan your shopping and cooking, it helps every family member feel like a part of the planning process as well. The foodies are happy and the picky eaters also have an idea what to expect and how to mentally prepare for their favourite and least favourite options.
Spice Up Your Food Plan
When planning family meals, it helps to include as many options as possible. Also, try to plan the family timetable in such a way that no food is eaten two days in a row unless it’s a general favourite. That way, no one will get to say, Eba again?! And no child will grow to hate some meals due to overexposure at childhood. Also, the habit of tweaking meal plans pushes you to get more creative and helps you find interesting ways of constantly feeding your family with a balanced diet.
Learn New Recipes
One interesting way to deal with the problem of food choices is to experiment with recipes. Especially if your picky child or family member doesn’t enjoy certain meals. From time to time, switch things up – grill instead of boil. With the help of the Internet, you can learn new ways of cooking the same old staples. This will make them more attractive and give your family a more enjoyable food experience.
Introduce New Combos
This may seem similar to new recipes, but it is slightly different. The trick here is to subtly introduce new meals as a way of expanding your family taste experience without completely jarring them. I remember how my mum used this trick to introduce me to iru in egusi soup after years of resistance. Trust me, it works.
Rotate Kitchen Duty
Let family members take turns manning the kitchen. The person in charge for specific periods decides what and how to cook meals while everyone else is duty bound to eat what is set before them. Among other things, it teaches both the cook and eater to accommodate and appreciate other people’s preferences and efforts.
Hopefully, these tips will help you create new and exciting meal plans. Don’t forget to share your experience and ideas with us. We always love to hear from you.