Christmas dinner is often hailed as the best meal of the year – a true feast worth waiting for. But what if you’re catering for a particularly fussy eater? There are a number of ways that you can adapt Christmas dinner for fussy eaters to ensure that everyone leaves the table with a clean plate. If you know how to keep them happy, cooking for fussy eaters can even turn out to be easier! Try some of our recipes for picky eaters below and keep everyone happy this Christmas.

I don’t like vegetables

This we refuse to believe. A common gripe with vegetables, often many picky eaters only dislike the way in which certain vegetables are cooked. Learning how to flavour, cook or present them in a different way is a great way to disguise or even completely redefine a food so that it can be enjoyed with the rest of the meal. Some vegetables, like carrots, can simply be served raw if your guest doesn’t like them cooked. Or if it’s just the flavour, why not liven them up with some honey or maple syrup. When it comes to greens, adding a bit of salt, pepper, garlic and butter once cooked can greatly improve the flavour of veg that has just been boiled, drained and served on a plate. Finally, mixing your sprouts with chestnuts to give them an extra layer of taste may just result in you having a winner on your hands.

I only like _____ potatoes

Potatoes are a fickle root. Boiled, roasted, mashed, baked, sliced, sautéed – all differ so much from one another that often people’s preferences favour other kinds so much that they won’t touch other forms at all. So how do you get around a picky potato eater? For those that don’t like mash, try adding a few extra touches of something they like to give it a pleasant twist. Any of the following work perfectly to spruce up your mash: bacon bits, garlic, spring onion, cheese, sour cream, apple sauce, herbs, or even pesto. For those who are partial to mash but aren’t fond of boiled potatoes, why not boil them for a touch longer to soften them up, then toss in salt, pepper, herbs and butter.

The Turkey’s too dry

This one can quite often irk many a Christmas dinner eater, picky or not. Given, turkey is a drier meat than many other forms of poultry – but cooking and serving it correctly can make all the difference. If, like many, you’ve carved your bird and feel that the meat is a little on the dry side, all is not lost. Once carved, you can put together a broth and pour this over your meat within a casserole dish. Cover with foil and place back in the oven for around 10 minutes. Your turkey with soak up all the broth and moisten up in no time. 

Gravy’s not for me

Granted this isn’t a common dislike, but there are some people out there that would rather eat a Christmas dinner dry than drown it in gravy – but there are ways to persuade the gravy naysayers with a few small tweaks. Consistency is often a big factor, so thinning or thickening accordingly is a good way to try and introduce gravy to the doubters. Try just using the meat juices with a touch of flour or gravy granules if required for a thin and tasty gravy, or do the reverse and thicken up your gravy by adding extra granules or flour for a thicker, richer flavour. To give a completely different experience, why not add onions for an extra crunch and you might just convert a guest or two.

Recipes for picky eaters don’t have to be drastically different from the meal you’re already going to cook. Simple tweaks to the preparation of your meal or even additions with ingredients you already have can make the world of difference. Tackle Christmas dinner for fussy eaters this year and prove that cooking for fussy eaters doesn’t have to be difficult.