Group aims to transform picky eaters to next generation ‘foodies’

CHICAGO -- Most parents know the challenge of dealing with a picky eater. Just getting a kid to try something new can stretch on for years. But things are changing as more and more foodies become parents who don’t want their kids ordering off kids menus.

So they become little foodies in training.  They learn to appreciate all kinds of food through regular outings together. And apparently, peer pressure on the palate can go a long way.

With these ideas in mind, DC and Alayna Crenshaw created Little Diner’s Crew with their two young sons. DC has worked in food TV and Alayna works in luxury retail. Their monthly events always deliver.

“Peer pressure is kinda cool here because there might be someone who might be hesitant about trying a dish but they see other kids trying it, they try it and end up liking it,” DC said.

“We have a lot of picky eaters in the club. The whole point is to expose them to new foods,” Alayna said. “We’re just really trying to expand the kids’ palates and have some fun while doing it.”

For every outing, crew  members are encouraged to talk about the food and rank each dish in order to earn a new stamp in their Little Diner’s passports.

“We’re also trying to get restaurants to understand, look, you don’t have to have a kids menu that just consists of mac and cheese and chicken fingers. You can create menu based off your adult menu for kids, too,” DC said.

Participating restaurants are urged to allow kids into the kitchen to see how food is prepared. Operators know that little foodies are future customers.

While the kids do their taste testing, there is adult time at a separate table for parents.

The membership fee for the Little Diner’s crew is $65 and each outing can cost between $15 to $25.

For more information visit littledinerscrew.com.