There's nothing more frustrating than putting time and thought into a delicious dinner for your family, then having a certain picky eater turn their nose up at it and refuse to eat it. We've all been there. But what is the solution?
If this is happening time and time again, it's likely you're not feeling very inspired to put any more effort into meal prep or you might feel hesitant about trying anything new, for fear it will go to waste once again.
The good news is there are some simple changes you can make to encourage fussy family members to try new things and make mid-week dinners much more enjoyable for everyone.
Here, we share some expert tips and tasty new recipes to get even the pickiest eaters licking their plates clean.
While it's easy to keep making the one meal you know will get eaten, the only way to encourage your picky eater to try new things is to offer them. If spaghetti bolognese is a favourite, try making a simple switch from beef mince to pork mince to introduce new flavours discreetly.
Take the pressure off mid-week meals by planning and preparing meals ahead of time or utilising your slowcooker. Pulled pork is an easy and versatile dinner that is guaranteed to tempt even the pickiest eaters. Simply pop a boneless pork shoulder in your slowcooker in the morning with some spices and stock and you'll have a mouth-watering recipe base that can be transformed into a range of delicious dishes.
Getting your kids involved with prepping, cooking and even serving dinner is a great way to get them excited about trying new foods. Make Tuesday taco night a tradition and let the kids prepare the ingredients, set the table, and build their own tacos.
"Pulled pork tacos are a favourite in our household," says mother of three, Sheridan. "The kids love the flavour and building their own tacos and I love the fact that I can pop the pork in the slow cooker in the morning and it's ready to go by dinner time," she adds.
Most kids prefer plain and simple dishes so don't overdo it on spices, exotic ingredients or, unfamiliar textures. That's not to say these simple dishes can't be full of flavour! A subtle twist on classic dish, like substituting beef mince for pulled pork when making shepherd's pie, is an easy way to add variety to your mid-week meals.
Find yourself preparing two different dinners every night – one for the kids and one for the adults? Opt for simple tray bakes or one-pot wonders that the whole family will enjoy such as an easy Italian sausage pasta bake or parmigiana are fast and hearty favourites the whole family will enjoy. The best part? These meals can be served straight from the dish they're cooked in, meaning less washing up for you.
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