How do you pack a lunch for the pickiest eaters_ _ bon appetit

There’s a pleasant whiff of Elmer’s glue and hand sanitizer in the air, because it’s back to school week at Baked chicken parmesan panko bread crumbs Every day we’ll be celebrating the good, not-so-good, and artificially-colored snacks of childhood, school cafeterias, and beyond.

I started to cook professionally because I love food and I am fulfilled by the experience of feeding people. Parmesan chicken hellmans Lately my son Alec has made me reconsider. Garlic parmesan chicken He is a three-year-old culinary tyrant, with tastes that change by the day—sometimes by the minute. Best easy chicken parmesan recipe People assure me that this is completely “normal.” But just because it’s normal for kids to be picky eaters doesn’t mean it won’t drive you insane. What temperature do you bake chicken parmesan If normal means he will eat fistfuls of sliced soppresata but won’t even try one bite of cantaloupe in exchange for a chocolate chip cookie, then I am out.

It wasn’t always like this.

Chicken parmesan sauce recipe Until he turned two, Alec ate most things. Baked chicken parmesan cheese Soup. Chicken parmesan mozzarella Meats not in the shape of a tube or finger. Easy chicken parmesan recipe Pasta with anything on it. Parmesan crusted chicken cheesecake factory Then the “approved” list began to diminish. Recipe parmesan chicken Bye-bye roast chicken for the whole family. Oven chicken parmesan Hello chicken tenders and fruit juice as a form of currency. Parmesan roasted chicken If he doesn’t like what’s in front of him, he’ll choose not to eat at all.

He started preschool this summer, meaning I started packing lunch every day. How to make baked parmesan chicken It’s a daily quest for (cold) foods for a kid who won’t eat sandwiches, salads, or any vegetable other than broccoli, or anything that has touched any other food. Chicken parmesan sandwich So, I decided to make a deal with Alec. Best recipe for chicken parmesan I would include something new with each lunch and in return he could grade how I did at the end of each day for all the world to see (okay, he also got a juice box.) Monday

I went for Shock and Awe and made a PB+J on whole wheat bread. The best chicken parmesan (Made with sunflower seed butter, of course, to spare anyone with allergies). Parmesan crusted chicken pasta I worked at a bakery and deli in high school and I can wrap a sandwich like nobody else, so maybe I just felt like showing off. Chicken parmesan easy quick The subtlety of the perfectly pleated unbleached parchment paper was clearly lost on him. Pan fried chicken parmesan recipe Alec wasn’t buying it. Chicken parmesan italian bread crumbs The juice box and banana disappeared, but the sandwich was literally untouched. Parmesan crusted chicken with sauce His feedback was that he would be open to trying a sandwich if it had marshmallow fluff in it. Best chicken parmesan recipe Um, nice try kid.

After the sandwich debacle I needed an easy win. What goes good with chicken parmesan Alec loves pasta and bow-tie shapes best of all. Simple parmesan chicken (Apparently they look like fish to him, which is a good thing? Why is it that he won’t eat actual fish if it isn’t in stick form then?) I put a tiny bit of basil pesto on it in addition to Parmesan, his standby pasta topping. Chicken parmesan simple recipe And lots of grapes in a separate container. Chicken parmesan without cheese The result? Big win. Baked chicken parmesan pasta He wasn’t sure about the pesto, and did some textbook nose wrinkling when referencing the “green stuff” but if nothing else his hunger won out. Best parmesan chicken I’ll take it.

I got a bit desperate. Chicken parmesan with pasta recipe The fridge was strangely empty and it was only halfway through the week. Chicken parmesan over spaghetti I explained to Alec that I was making him a Ploughman’s lunch, which in England is essentially cheese and bread with a piece of fruit. Parmesan chicken no breadcrumbs He is usually okay with the cheddar we bought, Grafton 2-year, and I subbed his Kashi whole-grain crackers for the bread. Easy oven baked chicken parmesan And some apple slices. Best cheese for chicken parmesan I also had some corn on the cob so I gave him half an ear. How to bread chicken parmesan Probably will win a weird lunch award at some point for this. What sides to make with chicken parmesan There wasn’t room in his lunchbox for his juice so I just left it out. Baked chicken parmesan pasta casserole That is what I am going to blame for the B he gave me. Best parmesan chicken recipe He said he doesn’t like cheese. Chicken parmesan and pasta (Lie).

Developing recipes in the Test Kitchen means I have a lot of leftovers that are completely out of step with the current season. Baked chicken parm recipe easy Which is why I sent a three year-old to school with leftover brown sugar-glazed turkey and potato gratin on a 90-degree day. Easy baked parmesan chicken Maybe it just made sense to me, because that was probably the eighth turkey I had cooked this summer. Chicken parmesan recipe for two Lunch came back that day UNTOUCHED. Parmesan chicken breasts with mayo Alec, not won over by the presence of skin on his turkey, said it looked “like poo poo.” I am surprised I didn’t get a note from the principal.

Again, not trying to make excuses here, but the smoked fish terrine that was leftover from holiday recipe testing did have a certain wow factor in my eyes as an inventive toddler’s lunch. Baked chicken eggplant parmesan But the real wow factor was on its return trip to my kitchen when it hadn’t been refrigerated for half the day. How to cook parmesan chicken breast The other test that day was cantaloupe. Parmesan chicken with spaghetti Alec loves watermelon but wouldn’t try any other kind of melon. Easy chicken parmesan soup He tried it and really liked it! Full disclosure: I knew the school was serving pizza that day so this was really more of a snack.

You need to send flowers to anyone who ever packed your lunch for school. Parmesan crusted chicken recipe longhorn And I think rather than just putting totally new things in front of Alec, I should find things that are small extensions and expansions of things he already likes and make steps towards working in new foods. Parmesan chicken and shrimp Preschool starts again in September, which means more lunches, and some more inevitable F’s. How long do i bake chicken parmesan Worst case, I can always buy some Fluff. How do u make chicken parmesan Dream Big: 25 Quick & Easy School Lunches to Pack for Your Kids