Got picky eaters at home? Try the family-style meal!



For our family, and the cook in the house (me), dinner starts hours before we even sit down to eat. No, I'm not planning dinner...I'm fearing dinner, and I can't get it out of my head.


I know two things: 1.) People always assume our kids must be great eaters because of what I do for work, and 2.) Those people are dead wrong. Here is a summary of our 3 kids and their food style.

  • Prefers white carbs anytime of the day (3 of 3)

  • Demands a snack immediately after every meal (3 of 3)

  • Sugar? (3 of 3)

  • Leaves the dinner table to go play with Lego's (1 of 3)

  • Leaves the dinner table to brush her doll's hair (1 of 3)

  • Leaves the dinner table because he fell off the bench (1 of 3)

We value dinner time very much in our house as it's the one meal each day we get to spend together, yet we as parents we demand our kids to eat their food or else "insert consequence here". After spending years trying to figure out the best meal-time approach for our kids, I realized our kids don't like being told what to do. But honestly, who does? So here is my guide to one easy solution that has helped...


Things you'll need...


  1. Table

  2. Chairs/Bench

  3. Picky Eaters

  4. Hungry Small People

  5. A Platter (placed in middle of table)

  6. Plates/Cups

  7. A Good Variety of Food


As for the food, think different types of food as well as colors. Kids eat with their eyes first, so if it isn't stimulating it might be an attractive food option. In this picture we have: pita bread, hummus, cheese, snap peas, tomatoes, meatballs, grapes and kiwi. By letting the kids believe they have the choice in dinner, the nagging stops, and everyone eats what they feel like eating that night.


Here are 2 (if only for a day) happy eaters:


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ryan@chefryanhoffman.com

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