I’ve been making a lot of Chinese food for picky eaters lately. It’s actually really easy to find dishes that are just vegetables or rice with a side dish, like steamed edamame if you want something with protein.
Other things like chicken and beef can be used to season other dishes. If you want to splurge, you can put a little bit of meat in the rice if that’s what your family likes, but I don’t recommend it unless you have someone who will eat it.
My favorite dishes are the dumplings or potstickers. You can make them with whatever ingredients you have in your pantry, which makes them perfectly seasonal. I just make them with whatever vegetables I have on hand.
I’m writing this because I saw some good ideas on another blog about what foods will work best for picky eaters, so I thought this might be a good resource for others as well.
Best 20 Chinese Food For Picky Eaters
You can also use this article as a reference for what kinds of dishes to make that are good for picky eaters or if you have some other ideas you want to comment on. The following is what I’ve gathered over the years; hopefully, it will be useful to others.
1. Chinese Potstickers
Chinese potstickers are a great way to get extra vegetables into your kid when you’re feeding the whole family. You can make the filling with whatever veggies you have in your fridge and use the same pan for cooking the dumplings, leaving it clean for another dish. Add some soy sauce and vinegar to dip them in; they’re tasty too!
Be sure not to overstuff your dumplings, so they fall apart in the pan. I make my own dumpling wrappers using wheat flour, but you can buy those if you prefer ready-made ones. (They’re even easier to find than making your own!)
2. Fried Rice (With Meat)
You can make fried rice with chicken, pork or shrimp. I usually mix some mushrooms or baby bok choy in it for health reasons. I like to add some green onion or chopped peanuts to the top of it too, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t like it. It’s good without that too!
3. Steamed Veggies And Potatoes
You can’t go wrong with steamed veggies, carrots, and potatoes with some soy sauce and vinegar on the side. Make sure you serve it with rice or some type of grain to make the filling. I like to add edamame to the rice, too, if a little one in my family needs a little more meat.
4. Fish (Or Shrimp) And Broccoli Stir Fry
Two of my favorites are the basic stir fry with vegetables and fish and broccoli. You can add either of those to any stir fry dish you like since they just need a few minutes over high heat on the stove.
5. Sweet And Sour Cucumbers
Fresh cucumbers with sweet and sour sauce make a great summertime snack that’s also good for picky eaters. You can put some meat in the sweet and sour sauce to get the protein that way or just serve it as a side dish.
You can also do the same thing with yellow squash if you like it better than cucumber, or both together for extra or a different flavor!
6. Chicken And Rice
This might sound boring, but it’s one of the easiest meals you can make for a picky eater. Just cook some rice, chop up some chicken and steam some bok choy or edamame. I like adding garlic or ginger to the chicken so it’s flavorful and healthy.
8. Quick Stir Fry With Frozen Veggies
Sometimes you have to use whatever veggies you have, including frozen ones. They’re quick to stir fry, too, because there’s no prep work! Add some soy sauce for flavor, and you’re all set!
9. Chinese Egg Rolls (With Cabbage)
Chinese egg rolls are easy, healthy, and tasty for picky eaters of all ages. They can be served as appetizers or snacks with soy sauce on the side.
You can make them with chicken, sausage, or just veggies and tofu. I usually serve egg rolls as an appetizer or a snack, but you can use any leftover filling in a stir fry dish to get rid of it if you have any!
10. Vegetable Soup
This one is really easy to make if you want to give your picky eater more vegetables. It’s hard to go wrong with veggies and chicken broth, so if you need some suggestions for your soup recipe, here’s one that will work for most people.
11. Egg Drop Soup
This is another easy soup that’s good for picky eaters. It’s just some chicken broth, ginger, and eggs. You can add whatever vegetables you want to it too!
12. Chinese Chicken Salad
I like to add leftover chicken or tofu to some Asian salad dressing that I get at the store, then add some fresh veggies to the top. It’s a healthy and tasty lunch option for people who don’t like meat but need a little protein in their diet.
13. Baked Potatoes With Broccoli
This sounds a little funny, but Baked potatoes work well for picky eaters because they’re soft and easy to chew. The broccoli or any other vegetables you have on hand are great too! It may seem unusual, but I had it for lunch today, and it was actually really good!
It may help your picky eater swallow their food if they can just close their mouth around the potato without having to chew it. It’s something different from the usual sandwich or soup that makes them feel like they’re getting a treat.
14. Fried Rice (Without Meat)
I also eat lots of fried rice for lunch and dinner when I don’t have any meat. I usually add soy sauce, sesame oil, and some scallions to it. It’s good on its own or with some rice or noodles. You can never go wrong with fried rice!
15. Fried Noodles With Chicken Or Vegetables
Fried noodles are another one of those dishes that’s easy to make and that can work well with picky eaters. I like to put some veggies in it too, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
I like to mix in some white-meat chicken just because it tastes better than tofu or beef, but you can use either if you prefer.
16. Stir Fried Veggies
This is one of my favorites! You can do a stir fry with any of your favorite veggies and chicken or shrimp for extra protein. You can serve to stir-fried veggies with rice or noodles and a little soy sauce for a quick and healthy meal. You can add edamame to that too if you have some!
17. Coconut Milk Soup
Coconut milk soup is a really popular dish in Thailand. It’s also good for picky eaters because even if they don’t like the veggies, there are still lots of other flavors in it that they might like.
18. Curry Rice
This is another one of those recipes that you can adapt to your own taste. It’s good to get your picky eater used to a certain kind of flavor because they’ll often be able to enjoy something they wouldn’t have been able to eat earlier.
Curry is one of my favorite flavors, but you have lots of options to choose from. Just make sure it’s not too spicy for them!
19. Fried Rice With Lobster And Veggies
This one is a little more specific but still easy to make. The lobster adds some extra protein, which will help your picky eater if they’re trying to get used to new foods.
You can add snow peas if you want or leave them out! I like topping the dish with soy sauce and scallions, but that’s also optional.
20. Stir Fried Chicken Or Tofu With Peppers And Broccoli
Stir-fried veggies are easy and healthy. You can add chicken or tofu to the mix if you want, but the veggies are good on their own too! They’re a little more challenging for picky eaters than some other types of food, but I’ve found that it does still work for them.
The Bottom Line
So there you go, you have tons of ideas for trying to make your picky eater eat more. As long as they’re eating it regularly and still growing and developing, they’ll eventually get used to whatever new foods you’re adding into their diet.
The more they’re exposed to different flavors and textures, the easier it will be for them to accept them. Try not to stress too much about this too much because I know it can be a struggle. Just keep at it and make sure your picky eater gets enough nutrients from eating their regular meals.
If you have any questions or anything to add, feel free to comment below! I hope this is helpful to you and your picky eater!
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