The challenges of eating out with picky eaters

This summer, I encouraged the kids to try some new foods. They are both picky eaters in their own way. And being non-adventurous eaters, they are usually hesitant to try new things. While this summer’s experiment went well, I now need to expand the items they will eat when we dine out.

Image result for steak with friesPicking places that please both kids (as well as the adults) can certainly be challenging since neither child seems to like the same things. Jase will eat steaks, pizza, chicken nuggets and tacos. Lexie likes spaghetti, pizza (if not to greasy), and steak. At home she will eat fried rice, enchiladas, and chili but she likes how I make them and not so much how they taste from a restaurant.

But fast food or sit-down places, I find it a challenge to find a place they both will eat well. For example, last Thursday, my husband was working so I decided the kids and I would go out to eat. I was thinking some fast food like Chic-fil-a. Lexie vetoed that. She used to love Chic-fil-a but once it made her stomach upset and now she rarely will eat there. She suggested one of her favorites Chipotle, but I didn’t want to eat there as the last two times I haven’t felt well after eating there. (And we will be eating there next month as part of a school fundraiser.)

Jase suggested Whataburger but Lexie said no. She always wants to order a hamburger but then never eats them which of course annoys me. Panda Express was out since Jase doesn’t eat Chinese and I wasn’t sure how Lexie would do with their fried rice. She loves the fried rice I make but is quite picky about other versions. She suggested Olive Garden where I know both kids will eat but I wasn’t looking for a sit-down place.

Related imageWe ended up going to Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. Lexie tried their California burger and ate about 1/2 of it with the lettuce and tomato (a first) before just ditching the bun and veggies to finish the patty. She only at just a few fries but ate enough for me to get her a brownie delight sundae for dessert.

This whole process of selecting a place happens all the time and is draining! We are going on a trip with my parents this summer and I am already looking for places that my kids will find things they like. We are going to New Orleans and I know they won’t want gumbo, seafood or Cajun food.

Image result for disney donutsWe are also going to Disney World this year. That proves it own challenges as both of the kids are now considered “adults” but have the palates of “kids”. Even ordering off the kids’ menu isn’t guaranteed to make them happy. Disney’s kids’ menus most of the time don’t appeal to them. They don’t eat turkey sandwiches, uncrustables (PB&J) or mac-n-cheese. Plus, those meals are smaller though as I point out to the kids that just leaves more room for desserts and snacks.

My goal between now and these trips is to get them to start trying different meals. It could be that they just take a bite or two of what my husband or I am eating, or it might be they order something new. I’d rather they try things here rather than on vacation – especially when looking at those Disney meal prices.