Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jun 2, 2010 02:16 PM

What do 5-year Old's like to Eat??

My niece is coming to visit next week....they eat alot of basic fast food...

Looking for realistic suggestions...breakfast, lunch and dinner...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would think a 5 year old would eat whatever the people around her are eating, unless there are any dietary restrictions. Of course, some parents only serve their kids buttered pasta or hot dogs. Maybe you can ask her parents for some general direction, and then use the visit as a chance to expose her to new and exciting food dishes - whatever your favorites are I'm sure would be fine.

    1. Enlist her to help you to cook and she'll eat almost anything that she played a role in. Have her peel carrots, apples, etc, or tear lettuce for salad. Let her help you add ingredients and stir batter for muffins or pancakes for breakfast. Make up salad dressing in a jar or cruet with a tight lid, and ask her to shake it. You get the idea.

      1. At work I feed dozens of five year olds a week (and their parents). It's so sad to see the kids who pout and cry until they're given the chicken fingers (with catsup) or the buttered, plain spaghetti.

        The kids who make my job so rewarding are the ones who eat what their parents are having. These little ones want to have fun, too; sometimes I'll arrange their food in a "face" on the plate, or add something familiar (one youngster eats sushi -- and a hot dog) just for fun.

        The five year old who wins the Oscar: the little girl who could pronounce the word "cholesterol" correctly while explaining why she no longer wanted fried chicken wings for dinner.

        1. Forgot to respond to OP:

          I find it helpful to determine if there are any textures/colors that the child is strongly averse to. For some it's "red" food, for others it's "mushy vegetables." Get that information and you'll avoid any possible stumbling blocks.

          Ask the child what her mother, aunt, grandma etc. makes that she likes.

          4 Replies
          1. re: shaogo

            Thanks everyone....I have asked her mother and got the usual....dogs, mac and cheese, chicken fingers....they eat out at Fast Food at LEAST once a day.....

            Hoping for a Spin on what she likes.....????

            1. re: christy1122

              Not looking to change her eating habits...2 days of meals..

              Yet maybe looking for something creative to where she says "Wow, that was fun".

              1. re: christy1122

                Make pancakes into shapes. Mickey Mouse is especially easy - 3 circles.
                Finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off, in little triangles -- they can just be PB & J if she won't eat anything more adventurous.
                Homemade pizza. She can add the cheese & toppings.

            2. I'd have a few of her mom's suggestions on hand - they might not be ideal, but 5 yr olds really love having things the same, and it might help in new surroundings to be able to have nuggets or mac & cheese.

              most kids like to dip things, so she might do veggies with a dip. If you are cooking chicken, for example, having ketchup or the dreaded ranch dressing (kidding!) might interest her, even if you would never think of adding these condiments to yours.

              breakfast - cereal or toast/bagels with butter, pb, jam, cinnamon sugar, etc. My kids were not big on eggs at that age.

              lunch & dinner- plain is good in most cases. My kids also like what they called "multi-lunch" - a plate of a variety of cheese, crackers, peanut butter, pretzels, veggies, dip, grapes, etc. It isn't a traditional meal, but you can make a balance plate pretty easily.

              my just-turned-6 has 3 favorite foods: pizza, cucumbers, and couscous. They all have their quirks, don't worry too much, she won't starve. Enjoy your visit!

              2 Replies
              1. re: elfcook

                Suggestion for one day:

                Fruit salad, toast, and string cheese for breakfast.

                Mac and cheese for lunch with cut up bell peppers or cherry tomatoes and ranch dressing for dipping.

                Chicken cutlets for dinner with baby carrots and rolls or biscuits.

                1. re: elfcook

                  I second the idea of dips: kids love dipping. While not super healthy, you can do worse than a snack of good country bread dipped in olive oil.

                  My impression is that you won't have your own kids there too. That can be another resource, because kids will often do what they see other kids doing willingly.