April 9, 2022

Having your kids cook with you around special holidays can provide some remarkable health benefits and create new memories they will cherish forever. Even if you have a picky eater on your hands, encouraging time in the kitchen is one of the best ways to allow kids to enjoy more foods. If you are not sure how to engage the growing chefs in your house, your Hy-Vee registered dietitians are here to help with these five tips:

5 Tips for Working with Picky Eaters

1-Give Them Independence: Start by giving your picky eaters some choice in what you will have for dinner. Ask them, “Would you rather have broccoli or green beans tonight?” If they say they want carrots, simply let them know that they need to make a choice between broccoli and green beans and that maybe tomorrow they can have carrots. Dietitian tip: Let them help you make the new or disliked food. Often getting them involved in the cooking process instills pride in what goes on their plate.

2-Make It Fun: If being creative in the kitchen isn’t your strongest skill, turn to a nutrition expert! Hy-Vee registered dietitians offer free, virtual Kids in the Hy-Vee Kitchen cooking classes monthly to allow children to expand their creativity in the kitchen and establish healthy habits at a young age. Visit Hy-Vee.com/Health to find upcoming classes.

3-Don’t Challenge Bad Behavior: Don’t bring more attention to bad behavior. Do you find yourself saying, “You will eat it,” “Eat one more bite,” and “Clean your plate”? I do like to encourage everyone to take at least one bite of everything on their plate; however, don’t make it a fight.

4-Keep Introducing: Repetition is key in growing your child’s food palate. With reports ranging anywhere between 10 and 15 times for your kids to acquire the taste, I think it’s safe to say: Keep introducing the food on a regular basis. Dietitian tip: Try serving food in an alternative way or in a smaller serving — for example, with carrots:
o First, raw carrots with dip.
o Second, cooked carrot coins or diced carrots in something they like (soup, casserole, stir-fry, etc.).
o Third, carrot sticks wrapped in crescent dough. (Making it fun.)

5-Set the Example: Your child learns from the best — you! Be the best example for your kids in what mealtime should look like by having the same food choices, slowing down, and stopping when you are full.

Root for carrots this Easter! It’s no secret, carrots are an essential Easter side dish and very versatile.

Add one more vegetable to your Easter meal that everyBUNNY will love with this cutest-ever kid-friendly side dish.

Crescent Roll Carrots
Serves 8

All You Need:
1 (8-oz.) can Hy-Vee refrigerated original crescent rolls (*option to use reduced-fat version)
12 tbsp Hy-Vee garden vegetable cream cheese spread, divided
8 medium-size whole carrots, washed, peeled, tops removed
1 tbsp water
1 drop Hy-Vee orange food coloring
8 fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Separate crescent rolls into triangles. Spread 1½ tablespoons cream cheese down the center of each triangle, ¼ inch from edges. Add one carrot to each triangle. Fold dough over filling and press edges to seal.
  2. Place on prepared baking sheet, seam sides down. Combine water and orange food coloring in a small bowl; brush mixture over dough. If desired, make shallow cuts crosswise in top of dough. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Garnish with fresh parsley sprigs for carrot tops.

Recipe source: www.hy-vee.com. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.