How to Feed the 4 Types of Picky Eaters at a Chinese Restaurant

Posted on: 10 April 2018

If you love Chinese cuisine, having a child who's a fussy eater can be a nightmare when it comes to restaurant outings. However, if you can figure out the specific reason your child won't eat certain foods, it's relatively easy to find something for them on a Chinese restaurant menu.

Here are the 4 different types of picky eaters parents encounter and the types of dishes you should order for them.

Dishes That Look Like Favourites for Kids Who Fear New Foods

Do you find yourself cooking the same meals for your child day in day out because they won't try new things? If so, there's a surprisingly easy way to get them to try Chinese food: order dishes that look like the ones they're used to. For example, if your little one loves pasta, try a noodle dish like chow mein. If they only eat chicken nuggets, opt for a battered dish like chicken balls or spring rolls. By the time your child realises it's not the same meal they love at home, they'll already be hooked on the taste.

Dishes with Similar Tastes and Textures to other Favourites for Kids With Taste and Texture Preferences

Some picky eaters are less concerned about whether a food is familiar and more concerned with its 'mouthfeel'—specifically, the food's flavour and texture. Thankfully, there are numerous tastes and textures on every Chinese menu, so you're sure to find something that suits your child's preferences. For kids who only like bland foods chicken and chips, you'll be best off ordering plain fried rice or asking the restaurant to make your child a meal without heavy seasoning. If your child's main problem is 'slimy' textures, they might like options like fried wontons and spring rolls. In general, feel-focused kids will always prefer dishes where sauce is served on the side rather than mixed in with the meal.

Multiple Side Dishes for Kids Who Don't Like Foods Touching

If you always dish up your little one's dinner on a segmented plate because they can't stand foods touching, they're unlikely to be happy with popular Chinese options where noodles, vegetables and meat are all mixed together. Instead, for this type of picky eater, try ordering multiple separate side dishes instead of one main meal. This way, your child can get a good mix of different food groups without worrying about them touching each other.

Simple or New Dishes for Kids Who Need Everything Perfect

Does your child complain if you serve them brown rice instead of white? Will they refuse to eat a sandwich unless the crusts are cut off? Children who need their food prepared 'perfectly' can be difficult to cater for at Chinese restaurants because no parent feels comfortable giving the chef a dozen demands about how the meal should be cooked. Luckily, there are two simple solutions to this pickiness problem. The first is to only order very simple dishes. The less ingredients the meal has, the less special requests you'll have to make. Alternatively, the other option is to order a meal that's completely new to your child. If they've never eaten it before, they won't have a preconceived idea of what it should look or taste like.


Saving Money at Restaurants Without Sacrificing Quality

Hi, my name is Kate, and my absolute favourite thing to do is to eat out at restaurants. However, as a freelance writer, my wallet is not necessarily always overflowing. As a result, I often cannot afford all of the meals I would like. Over the years, I have learned how to dine out without overspending, and I would love to share those tips. If you have a love of fine dining but don't want to spend too much cash, this blog is for you. I have kids as well so some of these tips will focus on saving money when kids are at the table as well. Enjoy and bon appetit!