picky eater meals
Kids, Picky Eaters, Toddlers

Nurture Life Meals for Picky Eaters

Proper nutrition is necessary for young kids’ growth, and the healthy decision-making skills and eating habits they develop at a young age can set them up for success down the road. By teaching kids to eat a healthy, wholesome diet, you can encourage a positive relationship with food that can last a lifetime. 

But this is easier said than done. As your little ones grow, so do their personalities and opinions, which are sure to come out at mealtime. As a parent, you can be equipped with the skills to help navigate picky eating habits, but you can also set your children up for success by feeding them meals that are familiar and nutritious.

At Nurture Life, we understand that many kids are hesitant to approach certain vegetables, whole grains or unfamiliar ingredients, flavors and textures. While every kid is unique in their likes and dislikes, most picky eaters have one trait in common: They’re very hesitant to try new, unfamiliar foods. This can be difficult when you’re trying to get your child to eat more nutritiously. A picky eater’s diet generally lacks fiber-containing vegetables and whole grains, as well as a sufficient amount of iron.

Our meals are created specifically for kids who are still learning to try new ingredients and flavors, while also incorporating vital nutrients like fiber and iron. Nurture Life’s team of chefs and pediatric dietitian have collaborated to develop our Favorites Menu, which consists of wholesome, healthier versions of classic kids favorites. These meals are recognizable and approachable to picky eaters while containing nutrition vital to your child’s healthy development. Our Seasonal Menu uses seasonally-inspired ingredients and includes approachable meals that are palatable for picky eaters in addition to more adventurous options. Here are Nurture Life’s meals for picky eaters that have familiar ingredients, flavors and textures along with the proper nutrition your little one needs to thrive.

Meals From Our Summer Seasonal Menu

Broccoli Quiche with Sausage & Sweet Potatoes

broccoli quiche with sausage and sweet potatoesThis sweet and savory meal is inspired by classic brunch food, but it’s thoughtfully portioned and undeniably delicious at any time of day. With a well-balanced trio of broccoli cheddar quiche, chicken apple sausage and maple roasted sweet potatoes, your kids will savor the lightly sweet and familiar flavors—just as much as you’ll love the wholesome nutrition you’re serving up!

Pesto & Cheese Ravioli

pesto & cheese ravioliPerfectly sized for little forks or fun character food picks, our mini ravioli is a kid-approved way of putting some green on the plate. We keep our housemade pesto nut-free by blending basil, kale, parmesan and pecorino into a smooth white bean base, which we then toss with our mini cheese ravioli. Each pesto-ey bite is a flavorful, fiber-filled delight that even the pickiest eater can’t refuse!

Southwest Chicken Tacos

southwest chicken tacosJuicy slow-braised chicken, zesty Southwest spices, fun-sized mini corn tortillas…tacobout a home run for any lunch or dinner! With these Southwest-inspired pulled chicken tacos, your kids will have a blast loading, layering and wrapping up their own handheld creations. A generous helping of seasoned black bean brown rice and lightly spiced veggies provide a tasty balance of vitamins, minerals and fiber in every delectable bite.

Meals From Our Favorites Menu

Chicken Bites, Mashed Yams & Green Beans

Our antibiotic-free chicken breast bites are baked until crispy. The chicken bites, which provide a good source of iron, will likely be the most approachable component of this meal due to their familiar color and texture. In contrast, the bright colors of the French green beans and smooth, creamy mashed yams (a vegetable combination that provides an excellent source of fiber) are sweeter in taste than many vegetables and can quickly become your kid’s favorite.

Open and firm communication with your picky eater is essential for a successful mealtime. If you know your toddler or kid may be hesitant to try this meal, let them know in advance what they’ll be having (green beans and mashed yams included), and allow them to navigate their plate while eating. With repeated exposure to this dish, your little one can become more open to trying the green beans and yams.

Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Mac & cheese is a timeless classic that rarely disappoints. Nurture Life’s Mac & Cheese is made with whole wheat pasta, making the meal a good source of fiber: One serving of Nurture Life Mac & Cheese provides nearly one-third of a child’s daily fiber requirements. (Fiber plays an important role in your kid’s healthy digestion.) The addition of pureed cauliflower in our creamy cheddar cheese sauce provides about 60 percent daily value of vitamin C, which is important for wound healing and iron absorption.

This American comfort food will most likely be a familiar option for your little one, so it’s a good place to start if you’d like to offer a wholesome alternative to boxed mac & cheese. Your little one won’t be able to see the cauliflower in the meal since it’s blended smoothly into the cheddar cheese sauce, which can help avoid the “What is that white stuff?!” question.

Chicken Meatballs & Pasta with Broccoli & Cauliflower

Pass the pasta, please! The whole wheat rotini pasta used in our Chicken Meatballs & Pasta is packed with fiber and B vitamins, which are important for converting carbohydrates into energy. A successful way to get your kid try a new food is by pairing it with something they already like, which is why we pair less-approachable steamed cauliflower with kid-friendly broccoli. Kids will love our flavorful housemade chicken meatballs, which provide a lean alternative to the traditional beef variety.

Pairing familiar foods with new ingredients and flavors can help expand your picky eater’s palate and the variety of meals they will eat. We understand that encouraging your children to eat a well-balanced diet can be a frustrating process. But when dealing with picky eaters, there is no doubt that patience, positivity and a bit of creativity are the keys to success.

If you have questions or would like help transitioning your picky eater to Nurture Life, we are here to help. Please contact us here.

Lara Field at Nurture Life

Lara Field

Lara has been working with Nurture Life since its inception, collaborating with the culinary team on the creation of all menus and recipes to ensure they are nutritionally appropriate and correctly proportioned for every age and stage of a child’s development and providing pediatric nutrition expertise to Nurture Life customers. Lara is the owner/founder of FEED—Forming Early Eating Decisions, a nutrition consulting practice specializing in pediatric nutrition and digestive diseases. Lara has over a decade of experience in clinical practice at two of the top ranked pediatric hospitals in the country, Lurie Children’s Hospital and University of Chicago Medical Center. Lara received her B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and M.S. and dietetic internship from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Lara truly enjoys the process of eating (and feeding!), from procuring the ingredients at various grocery stores and farmers markets, to organizing her pantry/refrigerator at home to make it easy to select healthy options, to preparing balanced meals with her children. Whether it be a decadent treat to a hearty, home-cooked meal, there is no greater satisfaction for Lara than enjoying food with her family.