Picky Eaters: The Struggle Is Real!

This post is part of an ongoing sponsored collaboration with Campbell’s Soup. Opinions are genuine and all mine.

This face. This sweet little face is the one I see when I present my daughter with a meal. In case you didn’t know, dinner is THE WORST.

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Four-year-old Kara refused to eat her dinner because:

A. Her belly hurt
B. She was too tired
C. It was too yucky
D. It was too saucy
E. All of the above

If you answered D, all of the above, then you’ve probably had some experience with a picky eater like mine.

Neither of my kids are super adventurous when it comes to food, and while I’d love to be able to wink my nose and make their food aversions disappear, it’s just not that easy. In fact, some nights I’m really tempted to wave the white flag, but I soldier on, because someone has to make sure these kids eat.

I’ve acquired a few survivalist tactics for feeding picky eaters over the years that I’ll share for those of you who can empathize.

1. Use ingredients they love, in a NEW way.

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Kara is obsessed with macaroni and cheese and Evan loves ground beef. I combined these two ingredients along with a can of Campbell’s Healthy Request Cheddar Cheese Soup and cheddar cheese to make these easy and delicious cheeseburger mac cups.

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These little cheeseburger mac cups are not only adorable, they are really quite good!

My kids get their love of cheese from me; I’m a pretty big fan of macaroni and cheese myself. The Campbell’s Healthy Request Cheddar Cheese Soup in this recipe gives it a really nice flavor, and it adds the perfect creamy texture do the dish. Campbell’s Condensed Soups make it so easy to put warm, filling meals on the table for my family.

My second tip is a big one in our house.

2. Make it fun!

Cheeseburger Mac Cups - This easy family dinner idea is perfect for picky eaters. #RealRealLife

Cheesy, beefy mac with more cheese on top, in the shape of a muffin? I’m not a kid and this even sounds like heaven to me! I’ve found that presentation is sometimes everything when it comes to feeding picky eaters, and I often try to find unique ways to prepare and serve their food. Muffin tin recipes are always a big hit for the kids. Adding colorful plates, cups and straws are also great for keeping the kids entertained and happy during dinner. The happier my kids are going into mealtimes the more likely they are to make an effort to eat!

I also like to get creative when it comes to the vegetables on their plate. Broccoli isn’t broccoli at our house. Each little crown is a miniature tree, and I challenge my hungry dinosaurs to devour as many tiny trees as they can.

3. Relax and remember that this is just a phase.

This tip is really geared toward the mamas and the papas. I feel you. The struggle to feed picky eaters is real, and it can begin to wear on you after a while. Just remember—this is a phase. It’s a season that you and your family will endure for a few years, and then that season will pass. Don’t worry, you’ll probably transition into a phase that’s way worse by comparison to your current kid meal struggles. Someday you’ll look back on these days and laugh!

Until you’re laughing (and it may take a while), be sure to grab this not-yucky cheeseburger mac recipe. I hope your little picky eaters enjoy it as much as mine do. :)

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Did you make this recipe?

Cheeseburger Mac Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 10 3/4 oz. can Campbell’s Healthy Request Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1 and 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line twelve regular muffin cups with foil liners.
  2. In a medium skillet, brown ground beef on medium-high heat. Drain and set aside.
  3. Cook macaroni to al dente and drain. Add 3/4 cup of the cheese, ground beef and the soup. Stir until blended.
  4. Fill each muffin cup with mixture and sprinkle remaining cheese over on top. These will be heaping!
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
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14 comments

  1. Picky eaters make meals so hard sometimes! We have one at our house. I constantly remind myself that he won’t starve himself, he will eat when he gets hungry, I serve things I know he likes and he will come around! These cups look really yummy! 

  2. My little picky eaters are so hard to please!  I’ll have to try this recipe on them!

  3. My kids were never to picky when it came to food. This is a great recipe. It is easy to make and looks delicious.

  4. These cheeseburger mac cups look so delicious. My kids are going to love this recipe.

  5. Ooo … this is a tempting idea. Can’t wait to try it out this weekend!

  6. Those Cheeseburger Mac Cups look amazing!  I never would have thought to use soup in them….but will definitely find more ways to use Campbell’s now!  You have my creative juices flowing!

  7. I’ve had my share of picky eaters.  They are so much fun at dinner time.  These are a great idea. 

  8. My daughter was a picky eater when she was little. All she wanted was peanut butter sandwiches and macaroni. I hunk she lived off peanut butter and cheese. These would have been great tips to have back then! 

  9. I have picky kids too, they only will eat certain things. One of them is mac and cheese, I bet they would love this recipe! 

  10. My kids have all had the same reasons to not eat dinner!! I love this idea for a meal my kids would love the cup shape! 

  11. This is a wonderful idea. My daughters can definitely be very picky at times, especially my oldest. She hardly ever eats any meat. I try to sneak it in some of the meals too. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m hoping she’ll eat more when she gets older. 

  12. My youngest two are also picky mcpickies! They smell everything and look at it before even attempting to taste it! 

  13. My son is not a real picky eater I’ve been very lucky in that sense. I do have friends that have kids that are very picky and boy do they do everything creative underneath the sun to try to get their child to eat more.

  14. I have a  picky eater, too, so I am definitely going to try these.  I bet he will love them.

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