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Picky Eaters? Master These Lunchtime Back-To-School Basics

2016-08-13By Bentology Team7 CommentsFacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Kids' Lunches Easy Roast Chicken for Picky Eaters with Annies Snacks, Veggies, Apple, Edamame and Cucumber in bento box lunch

Best Ways To Please Picky Eaters

Back-to-school is challenging enough without having to cope with picky eaters.

Never fear—turn your fussy little one into a brave new food adventurer by keeping things as simple as possible!

The key to handling picky eaters is by respecting their individual modes of being (picky), while introducing new foods and making them pleasing to the eye, and their little tastebuds.

Here, our top tips!

Picky Eaters 101

  1. Make their lunches as colorful as possible and increase your chances of success. The simple lunch menu shown above and below in our translucent Raspberry bento set is extremely easy to throw together, and it hits all the right notes: colorful, nutritious, and yummy.
  2. When packing lunch, keep foods separated in the different containers of your bento set, or by using silicone dividers. Foods that are bite-sized encourage little fingers to pick them up. Mix savory with sweet-tasting foods.
  3. Prepare whole foods as simply as possible, and introduce new flavors into the process gradually. This allows little ones to trust in the process of gentle experimentation for their developing taste buds.
  4. Take advantage of new technologies in the kitchen. Look for ways to prepare whole, unprocessed foods more simply and efficiently. Air cookers allow for very high temperature over shorter periods of time, keeping things moist and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside—even vegetables. When food is cooked well, it tastes fantastic, even unseasoned—fussy eaters know this.
  5. Check out our resources on feeding picky eaters and take the fuss out of mealtime.

Many foods taste their absolute best at room temperature—so toting snacks and meals for the fussy ones is totally doable, as shown here in our classic, 6-piece bento set in Raspberry and Blue. Things stay fresh with a cool pack in Owls and an organic cotton napkin in Lime, while sweet, little food picks in Nature and colorful silicone dividers help this yummy, healthy menu easily pass the rigorous tests of those who freak out at the sight of any food cross-contamination (no touching!).

Shop the rest of our creativity tools, here.

Here's a menu that our most pickiest of eaters will gobble down. Give it a try with yours:


  • Roast chicken breast
  • Sliced apples
  • Cucumber
  • Edamame—cooked, shelled, and cooled
  • Cut veggies for crunch—carrots and celery
  • Raisins
  • Annie's Organic cheddar snack mix, with bunny-shaped pretzels**

**Sidenote: We've been a fan of Annie's Organics products ever since they offered an alternative to that heavily processed, commercially available packaged mac and cheese. This snack mix is a new discovery for us, and we're thrilled we found it! They taste great, and fussy eaters tend to prefer well made products—if they won't go for real cheese yet, they're a yummy, crunchy alternative.

Let us know how it goes with your picky eaters! We love to hear your solutions and ideas.

 Kids' Lunches Easy Roast Chicken for Picky Eaters with Annies Snacks, Veggies, Apple, Edamame and Cucumber in bento box lunch


7 thoughts on Picky Eaters? Master These Lunchtime Back-To-School Basics

  • Unfortunately I’ve cut off my nose to spite my face! I’ve been boycotting Annie’s for a couple of years now since they “sold out” to General Mills.

    • Do you have any other pre-made healthy/organic snacks you like to use instead? We are always interested in what our readers are eating so we can give it try too!

      • Yes! I try to buy from cruelty free companies and also companies that aren’t owned by those that fight GMO labeling, etc. So, it’s been tricky. But, for now we do Garden of Eatin’ chips, Late July crackers and Newman’s Own pretzels, etc. I had been doing Back to Nature but I believe it was Kraft that they sold out to. I just do the best I can as my little family of four aren’t the healthiest eaters so any good/better choices that we make are better than nothing.

  • You really don’t know what is a picky eater. No picky eater will eat any of the food menu you present. As a picky eater mom, you must prepare food as simple as you can so they will eat it. Meat is meat only. Vegetable must be hidden in the pasta or rice that they can not taste it. Add cream or yogurt to a single fruit, no mixed fruit.

    • Yes! Those are such good tips. The tips we have gathered and shared are what have worked for us and other parents that we’ve talked to, so we love hearing how other people are navigating meals with their picky eater. Thanks for sharing!

    • That is not true. My child is very picky and their examples are right on, in my opinion. The food in their example menu is as simple as it gets.

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