Putting A Better Spin On Dinnertime

Understanding Picky Eating & Battling the Problem with Kaiser Rolls

Is your young child a picky eater? If so, you are not alone. Many parents often deal with the battle that their picky eaters bring to the table on a daily basis. Fortunately, the problem is not with your cooking. In all reality, the problem is likely related to genetics. The good news is, understanding your child's aversion to certain foods and knowing a few fun recipes to incorporate into mealtimes could help you gain the upper hand.

What Is Neophobia?

Neophobia is a word used to describe a fear of new foods, which many children often suffer from. One report found that neophobia is 78% genetic and only 22% environmental. Furthermore, picky eating and neophobia are common among children between the ages of 2 and 5.

At around 2 years of age, a child's taste buds tend to go through a "shutdown" phase. The shutdown of the taste buds is a completely normal evolutionary process. It eliminates the chances that a child will put anything and everything into their mouth. Although this may cause frustration at the dinner table, it is a safety mechanism that helps protect your child from the hazard of eating things he or she is not supposed to.

Despite the fact that picky eating and neophobia are common among young children, that does not mean you should avoid introducing new foods to your child. Instead, it is better to find ways to incorporate foods into meals they already love. Believe it or not, you can also use new foods to cater to their picky eating habits.

Use Kaiser Rolls to Solve the Problem

Does your child have an aversion to crust? Will they willingly sit down in front of a peanut butter and jelly only to frown at the sight of the brown crust around the edges? Again, you are not alone. According to the research of a bread company, 37% of children request to have their bread without the crust. Rather than cutting off the crust and wasting it, try replacing traditional slices of bread with rolls.

Kaiser rolls do not have a crust. Although the bread of the roll is harder than what your child is used to, there is no crust to cut off. Introduce your child to a roll in order to incorporate the crust-like texture so your child has a chance to get used to it. For smaller children, cut the sandwich into fourths to make it easier for tiny hands to pick up and eat.

Interestingly enough, Kaiser rolls and other foods can be incorporated into meals in order to assist you with handling your picky eater. For instance, if your child likes crunchy foods, you can turn Kaiser rolls into crunchy croutons for a salad. You can also turn the rolls into breadcrumbs. Incorporate your homemade breadcrumbs with finely chopped up vegetables and add them to a meatloaf for a delicious meal that even your picky eater will love.

The trick is to use new foods to make it look as though you are catering to your child's neophobia even though you are really introducing them to new flavors. Keep in mind that your child will likely grow out of their picky eating phase by the time they reach the age of 5. However, if you have concerns regarding your child's nutrition, it is always best to speak to a healthcare provider.

Kid-friendly Recipes

Kaiser Roll Croutons 

Making homemade croutons out of crisp Kaiser rolls is a relatively easy process. In order to do this, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 Kaiser rolls
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (melted)
  • Tsp. of dried herb mixture (oregano, basil, thyme)
  • A pinch of salt

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet to prevent sticking. Cut your rolls into 1-inch cubes and place the cubes on the parchment paper. Using a basting brush, brush the bread cubes with the melted butter. Sprinkle your herb mixture and salt onto the bread cubes and place them in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Allow the crouton to cool and serve to your child with a salad.


In order to make a meatloaf complete with Kaiser roll breadcrumbs and vegetables, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of ground beef
  • 1 cup of finely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of finely chopped celery
  • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 Kaiser rolls
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. of Italian seasoning (oregano, thyme, basil)
  • ½ tsp. of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup of tomato sauce

To begin with, you will need to preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven is warmed up, place your rolls in the oven for approximately 10 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven and place them in a food processor along with your salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings. Blend until the bread is finely ground into breadcrumbs.

Place your hamburger meat and seasoned breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl and begin mixing them together. You will also need to incorporate your egg and finely diced vegetables. Add your ½ cup of tomato sauce to the meat mixture. Using a rectangular pan, press the meat down into the pan rather than forming a loaf.

Transfer the pan of meat into the oven and allow it to bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the edges of the meat start to shrink away from the sides of the pan. Pull the meatloaf out and pour a cup of tomato sauce over the top. Place the meatloaf back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes.

Not only will your child enjoy a delicious meatloaf, but you will also be incorporating a ton of hidden and delicious foods that your picky child might not otherwise eat, such as vegetables.