ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fun Food Ideas for Picky Kids

Updated on March 3, 2008

Kids can be really finicky about what they eat. They get an idea that they don’t like something, and refuse to even try it…even if you insist they will probably like it. However, this doesn’t mean you have to bend over backwards or give up your favorite foods to make kid-friendly meals—you simply need to make healthy foods fun for kids to eat.

Cooking Kids

A simple thing you can do is to get the kids involved in cooking. Young children can help as long as they are supervised. Three year olds can measure out ingredients, or bring things you need. Four and five year olds will have fun tossing salads. Six year olds can even cut vegetables.

Wacky Pasta

If you tend to make a lot of pasta, try to liven it up by using different shapes and sizes. Kids will get a kick out of funky shaped pasta. If it looks fun, chances are that your kids will eat it. You can still make the sauce you like, and enjoy the creative meal together.

If you add a bit of fun to your meal planning to turn tasty meals into something interesting, your entire family will soon be eating everything on the table. Here are two recipes that are fun, tasty, and full of nutritious foods:

Fruit Parfaits

In less than 30 minutes you can whip up these parfaits that serve six.


1 large container (about 27 oz.) of plain yogurt

¼ cup sugar

2 tbs. orange zest

1 tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

2 oranges

2 cups chocolate cookies (or graham crackers), chopped

1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced


Blend the yogurt, sugar, orange zest, ginger, and cinnamon in a food processor for three minutes, until smooth.

Peel the oranges and remove the pith (the white part). Cut segments from between the membranes over a small bowl to catch the juice. Cut the segments in half, and place in juice.

Sprinkle 2 tbs. of cookie pieces into six different bowls. On top of the cookies, layer the yogurt mixture, strawberries, and orange segments with the juice. Sprinkle on the remaining cookies.

Lentils with Chickpeas and Couscous

You can prepare this in less than thirty minutes. It serves six. Most kids like couscous, and adding lentils and chickpeas will get some protein into the meal.


1 cup lentils

2 ¾ cups vegetable broth

¼ cup raisins

1 cup couscous

1 -12 oz. jar chunky mild salsa

1 cup cilantro, chopped

3 tbs. tomato paste

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin

1 tbs. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 large carrot, diced

1 -15½ oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 tbs. fresh mint, chopped

¼ cup toasted pine nuts


Bring the lentils and 6 cups of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook uncover for 15 minutes (or until just tender).

Bring 1 ¼ cups of the broth and the raisins to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from ehat.

Food process the salsa, cilantro, tomato paste, and cumin until smooth.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for five or six minutes, until slightly browned. Add the salsa mixture, remaining broth, and the chickpeas.

Bring this to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain the lentils, and ad them to the chickpea sauce.

Serve the couscous into six bowls, and top with the sauce. Garnish with mint and pine nuts.

Make eating together pleasant.

All parents have different rules for mealtimes, but you should never make finishing a plate of dinner a punishment or force your kids to eat something they really don’t want to eat. If you stay mature about the situation, they will learn from your actions. Definitely encourage them to try new things, but the more you push them to do something they don’t want to do, the more stubborn they will be about not doing it.

When you make mealtimes fun, relaxed, and enjoyable, your kids will be more open to trying new things.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My 3 picky granddaughters told me it look horrible. Wouldn't touch it. Good luck

    • JanetBJ profile image


      8 years ago

      very good and detailed.

    • JenDobson27 profile image


      8 years ago

      Great ideas! It's so much easier as we get older and lose our taste buds because then pretty much everything tastes good :)

    • JerseyGirl profile image


      10 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I LOVED your hub. While I have a picky 5 year old daughter at home, I still cant get her to eat her share of veggies, beans or grains. Your Coucous idea is certainly a great one - I also happen to like chick peas.

      My idea - smash them up a bit. The chick peas tend to be a little hard. After smashing them, I have been able to get my daughter to eat them.

      Thanks for opening our eyes! Take care.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)