7 Tips for Taking Picky Eaters Out to Eat

Do you have picky eaters at home? Some of us have kids who will eat nothing but hot dogs and fries. I’ve got some tips for taking picky eaters out to eat. Some kids will only eat bread and cheese. Some kids are so picky that they don’t want to eat a single thing.

Sometimes, the problem lies in the parents teaching the children. We don’t want to make too big of a deal about it because we don’t want to make our kids feel bad. However, our children’s health is at stake too. So, how do you take picky eaters out to eat?

There are a few things you can do to make sure your children are able to eat in public, even if they’re picky.

Tips for Taking Picky Eaters Out to Eat
Tips for Taking Picky Eaters Out to Eat

7 Tips for Taking Picky Eaters Out to Eat

Here’s my list of 7 tips for taking picky eaters out to eat. I’ve seen these methods not just work, but also make picky eaters hungry for new foods!

1 – Always have something on hand to munch on

You don’t want your kid hanging on the edge of their seat waiting for the next meal. Always bring a snack along so they can munch on something between meals. This will keep them from getting antsy and wanting to eat something that’s not on the menu.

We all know how picky kids can get about what they eat, so having something like a granola or cracker bar or fruit roll-up will appease their hunger and keep them happy as a last resort when you’re in public and don’t want to make a scene.

2 – Never force a child to eat

If you’re trying to introduce something new, never make a child eat it. This will just backfire and the child will never want to eat that food again. Don’t force them to eat it. If you want your child to try something new, make it a game.

Make it fun. This way, they’ll want to try it out of curiosity and not because they’re forced to eat it. The trick with this is to do this at home before you got out to eat in public. Get them accustomed to new food (like Mexican) at home first.

3 – Don’t sneak new foods into old foods

Kids can smell a rat a mile away. If you try to slip new foods into old foods, they’ll know and they’ll turn their nose up at it. Don’t even try it. This may seem like a sly idea, but it can backfire and foster a sense of mistrust between you and your children.

While it may not seem like a big deal, if you start sneaking foods in without telling them, your children can develop a sense of mistrust in you. This will make them less likely to try new things in public and may start to give them anxiety.

4 – Don’t try to bribe them into trying new things

If you offer your child a reward for eating something new, you’re just going to create an association with the food. Instead of thinking about how yummy the food is, they’ll be thinking about how yummy the reward is.

This can lead to a situation where your child won’t want to eat it because they’re more focused on the reward than they are on how good the food tastes. Instead, let them try new things and don’t use any rewards. This way, they’ll be able to just try new food and like it for what it is and not because of the reward.

5 – Before Eating in Public, Talk it Out

Before you go out to eat at a new restaurant, talk to your children about what they’re going to eat. Give them a chance to pick out something they want to try and make sure they’re okay with what you’re going to order for them.

If you’re going out to eat to a Mexican restaurant, for example, talk to your kids about it and give them the option of ordering something familiar like a cheese quesadilla or something more new like a taco plate. This way, they’ll be less likely to be surprised by the food they’re being served.

6 – Manners at Home = Manners in Public

If you want your children to be able to eat in public, you’ve got to teach them to do it at home first. When you’re eating at home, use good manners. Use your utensils, chew with your mouth closed, and refrain from talking while you’re eating.

By doing this at home, your children will learn good table manners and will be able to use them in public. You don’t have to have a fancy meal at home. Instead, just have a simple meal and talk about how to use your utensils. Talk about good chewing manners and what to do while you’re eating.

7 – Teach About Portions

Whether it’s fast-food or a sit-down restaurant, talk with your children about appropriate portion sizes. Explain that not everything will fit on their plate and not everything will fit in their stomach even if they desperately want to eat it.

Give them small amounts of food to start out with and explain how much to eat. If they’re still hungry after their small portion, they can always ask for more. This way, they’ll learn to not overload their plate and have wasteful leftovers.

Tips for Taking Picky Eaters Out to Eat: Final Thoughts

Eating out is becoming more and more of a luxury these days. With the increase of fast food, fast casual, and sit-down restaurants, it’s becoming harder to know where you’re going to find the right food for your family.

However, eating out doesn’t have to be a hassle. As long as you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy eating out with your kids without them having a meltdown and ending up on YouTube or Facebook!

In all seriousness, we don’t want our picky eaters to be embarrassed by the way they eat. Sometimes, it can get them picked on or shunned by their peers. So, if you want your kids to be able to eat out without throwing a fit, follow these tips and use your Hoosier charm to your advantage, and everything will be okay!

Kathy Stone

Kathy Stone

Kathy Stone has been in love with words (and books) since she was a child. Kathy’s favorite books growing up were from the Sweet Valley High series, Nancy Drew, and the Goosebumps series. These books gave her a love of reading and writing, and one day she would love to pass that on to others through her own chapter books.Kathy has been a part of this company for a little more than a year and has loved every minute of it. She is a mother of one and is living in Indianapolis, IN. Kathy loves a good book, loves a good laugh, and loves to see the smile on a child's face when they read a good book. Find out more on the Kathy Stone bio page.