The Bullet List {Jenny Flake}

by Maria on February 18, 2010

About a year and a half ago, on a very normal day, my sister told me I should check out a blog her sister-in-law had recently told her about.  Even before she started raving about the cookie recipe she had been drooling over I was making a mental note to take a look the next time I was in front of my computer.  Well friends, that blog was The Picky-Palate, and lets just say, my life was changed forever.

Jenny the founder and creator of The Picky-Palate is one of a kind.  If there was a house in the blog world I would cut my arm off to have dinner or breakfast at…..it would be hers.  The girl is an amazing cook.   Everything on her blog (unless otherwise noted) is her own original recipe.   I almost fell off my chair the day I found out she didn’t start really cooking until 2001.  She is a natural and a pro.  No really, she is a pro.  Her list of contests she has won is impressive to say the least and she has even made appearances on the food network.  HELLO!  She.is.my.hero!

I can’t even begin to pick a favorite recipe from all of the beauties she’s got in her index.  If it weren’t enough that she is an amazing cook, she is also a fabulous photographer.  The pictures of her food are enough to make you lick your computer screen.  Her two cute boys make excellent models and taste testers.  I am so happy she is posting a bullet list for us today, and of course it is a great one on how to get those picky-eaters eat’n!

Jenny Flake

10 Ways to Un-Picky your Picky Eaters, by Picky Palate

  • Slowly introduce new foods to your little ones.  Don’t expect them to jump up and down with excitement the first or even second time you give them a new food.  Persistence and patience is the key!
  • Make your vegetables and or fruit that your little ones may not be very excited about into cool shapes.  Take out your small cookie cutters and cut their fruits and veggies into something fun and exciting.  Play “What can we make out of our food?” chances are they’ll love it!
  • Get your kids in the kitchen with you while preparing meals.  When they have a hand in dinner, they’ll be proud of what they’ve done and want to eat it!
  • Don’t make more than one dinner per night for your family.  Some mom’s I know make dinner for each kid because they don’t like what was fixed.  No way!  Try a “No Thank You” policy.  If your child doesn’t like what was made for dinner, simply have them try at least one bite every time then say “No Thank You.”  Even if they don’t like it the first time, chances are they’ll eventually learn to enjoy it. If they know there is only one choice for dinner, they won’t want to be hungry later :)
  • Make dinner time a fun experience, where the kids are excited to sit down, your vibe will rub off on them.  When they see their parents ooing and ahhing over what they are eating, they’ll be more likely to eventually join you!  You can even play games with you food while you are eating, like “Let’s see who can take more bites or how many different colors of the rainbow can we eat off our plate?”  Something like that can be fun.
  • Try naming your child’s food you’ve placed in front of them, it can be anything fun and playful… Sammy’s Saucy Superhero Spaghetti,  Luke’s Green Giant Broccoli, Anna’s Princess Smile Oranges….you get the idea, make it fun!
  • Purchase some inexpensive “fun” kids plates that would be exciting to your child.  If they are eating off of their favorite superhero or character, they will want to gobble up their food!
  • Incorporate a healthy smoothie night.  Have some yogurt and lots of fresh fruit on hand.  Have your child help put everything in the blender and watch it turn into a beautiful healthy treat!
  • Avoid too many snacks before dinner time, keep em’ hungry for dinner!!
  • Most importantly be patient and make meal time fun!!

There you have it!  Hope this helps your picky little eaters!!

So I basically need to print the list, and hang it on my fridge.  A big thank you to Jenny for a great list, and now it’s your turn…

What tips do you have for making your picky eaters eat?

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Whatever DeeDee Wants February 18, 2010 at 7:07 am

My little one just started in on the picky eating so these tips will be very helpful. Thanks!

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Suzanne February 18, 2010 at 7:14 am

Great ideas for the picky eater. I just checked out the blog and it was fantastic. Jenny you are amazing and I haven’t even tried the recipes yet. Destri’s right I do want to lick my computer screen!!

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Destri February 18, 2010 at 7:26 am

Oh I didn’t write that, I had to let Maria have this one! But I agree!

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Suzanne February 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I should have known it was silly Maria who said “lick the screen”. I’m going to church tonight for an activity and I made Jenny’s cookie’s n cream rice crispy treats, hope the gals like them.

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Krissy @ B.Inspired Mama February 18, 2010 at 7:28 am

Great ideas! Especially the one about the silly names.

I JUST discovered a little trick that helps me out big time with my picky 3 y/o. And you inspired me to write about it today:

http://binspiredmama.blogspot.com/2010/02/mama-hack-picky-eater-tacos.html

Thanks!
Krissy

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Destri February 18, 2010 at 7:35 am

Okay, I took the bait, and am glad I did…..GREAT idea Krissy! Thanks for sharing!

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Destri February 18, 2010 at 7:29 am

I got nothin. I am a complete failure at this and am not going to pretend I have anything to offer! I needed this list.
Great job Maria!!

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Jenny Flake February 18, 2010 at 8:01 am

You girls are so nice :) Thanks for the spotlight on your beautiful website. I was happy to be a part of your bullet list!

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Maria February 18, 2010 at 8:15 am

I have failed my first child as far as fresh vegi’s go. I was so scared he would choke on them I waited way to long to introduce them. I have started making him choose one thing out of the salad at dinner, carrot, cucumber, spinich, tomato, and he has to eat it before he can have whatever his favorite part of dinner is. He always picks the carrot or cucumber, but I am just glad he is eating something raw.
My friend Michelle recently told me about an easy smoothie her boys are crazy about. They call it the hulk smoothie because it is green. It is just orange juice, banana and lots of spinach. She says she can’t make ‘em fast enough. We are going to give that a try. I loved this list, so many good ideas. I can say the helping cook it tip is definitly what makes the difference at our house. My big boy always wants to eat what he helped make.

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Kate February 18, 2010 at 8:34 am

Great list and well worth a try… I have one who will eat pasta, ‘toast-honey’ as he calls it, cheese and Carrs crackers…the other would eat from the dustbin given a chance and my elderly cat as learned to run again! (actually they are very good friends). Haven’t done anything different with introducing foods to them, just one will eat and one wont so I am ALWAYS looking for good ideas to make other foods fun and interesting.
Thank you
Smiles

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Tina February 18, 2010 at 8:55 am

Great list! My tot will eat ANYTHING (even things I don’t like) and I totally agree about making one dinner. I think Kate Gosselin said it on Oprah “I am not a short order cook”! I think if you are really passionate about exposing your kiddos early to lots of different foods, it helps. I love to talk about food and cooking….great post!

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Karen February 18, 2010 at 10:34 am

My oldest is a fantastic eater (husband once called while i was having a girls weekend to report he requested brussel sprouts for dinner!!! almost worth it to drive home and make it for him!) middle is p-i-c-k-y to say the least and the youngest is more like the oldest. When my oldest was 3 or 4 I came up with a new ‘rating’ method – he gives the new food a taste and then gives me a thumbs up (love it), thumbs on the side (its ok) or thumbs down (don’t like it). It was my initial goal to get him open to always trying new foods, i’ve seen so many that won’t try anything unfamiliar and wanted to try and avoid that – my middle one is really challenging this goal! My oldest even came up with another – ‘thumbs on the OTHER side’ to mean he really likes it. Anyway, it doesn’t mean i’m going to rush around and make something else (i make one dinner a night too!) but it is a nice way for him to participate and I get feedback on certain foods. Sometimes I’ll take what got a thumbs on the side and try to tweek it the next go around. Thanks for your blog and a great bullet list! Karen

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Kate February 18, 2010 at 11:35 am

WOW! I just stopped over at her blog and you are sooooo right! She has fabulous ideas and I can’t wait to start cooking!

Thanks for sharing with us!

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Dandy February 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I just found her blog last week! She lives in the same county as I do and she is going to Blogher Food in October where I will stalk her… I mean…nicely introduce myself!

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Aubrey February 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

What a great list! One thing that has really worked for my picky 3 year old is I talk to her about eating healthy food everyday. I used to bribe her to eat her carrots for a little treat, and now she says, “Don’t forget to get me carrots so I can be healthy!” Music to my ears! Also, if she is having a hard time eating at dinner time we play the game off all taking bites at the same time. It works like a gem!

Love your blog Jenny, I’m excited to try your recipes!

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Aimee February 18, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Excellent list. Both my little ones (2 & 4) are exceedingly picky…but we’re working on it.

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Jileen February 19, 2010 at 9:39 am

We have three boys and we describe them as this: My 7-year-old is the herbivore – loves pretty much any vegetable but not so keen on meat, especially chicken; my 5-year-old is the carnivore – loves meat, veggies are a struggle; my 3-year-old is the omnivore – eats just about anything – and I mean ANYTHING! With that in mind, we try to have a variety of things where everyone will like at least one thing. But I only cook one dinner and if there is something someone doesn’t like, they have to eat at least three reasonably good bites of it – one to taste, one to make sure, and one for good measure. They can be done after that but they can’t have any dessert or treat unless they eat most of the food on their plate. It has worked so far and we even had a breakthrough with our carnivore and his archenemy, Mr. Broccoli. A few nights ago we had steamed broccoli and he said, “Mom, I think I like this stuff!” Hooray!

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Maria February 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm

That is so awesome he thinks he liked the broccoli. That gives me hope that one day I could possibly hear similar words out of my oldests mouth about raw veggies. :)

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karey m. February 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

loved this. i always forget to work a bit harder to get the girlies three to eat better food. i’m re-inspired, though.

great list. thanks for it.

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