Hi! I’m Anjali. I’m the Nutritionist and Health Coach behind The Picky Eater®. I’m so happy you found me! Here you will find healthy, family-friendly and kid-friendly recipes that are easy to make and taste GREAT!
About Anjali Shah
I am a board certified health coach, wife, mom of two, cookbook author, and self-taught chef who develops all of the recipes on The Picky Eater®, and investigates the truth behind food products on grocery store shelves, so you can find the healthiest options for your family.
I received my undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!) and my nutrition certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I absolutely LOVE food and I am passionate about healthy living for the whole family – including picky eaters!
More About Me! I am…
My husband and I live in Seattle, Washington (by way of Ann Arbor, MI and San Francisco, CA) with our two kids – Layla and Ayan.
About The Picky Eater®
The Picky Eater® is a place where you can browse hundreds of plant-based recipes covering all types of courses, diets and cuisines. In addition, I provide healthy tips, insights, and resources for parents and kids of all ages.
You’ll see nutrition information provided for my recipes, but my philosophy around food isn’t focused on calories. Instead, I prioritize eating lots of plant-based foods with a little indulgence here and there. I am vegetarian, and have raised my kids to be vegetarian, so those are the type of recipes that you’ll see here. (Although I have to say, meat-eaters love my recipes too!)
The Picky Eater® is a place of no-judgement and no-diets. I believe in healthy eating, but I do NOT believe in deprivation. I believe you can have your cake (in moderation!) and eat it too!
The Picky Eater® Has Been Featured In…
Why “The Picky Eater”?
I grew up a “whole wheat” girl: I was raised in the healthy-eating, organic-obsessed, farmer’s market-driven culture of the San Francisco Bay Area. My childhood was filled with fruits, vegetables and home cooked meals; I was raised to be “picky” about what I put into my body and to eat junk food in moderation.
I always thought of myself as a picky eater in the non-traditional sense of the word: that it was all about being choosy about finding healthy options to put into your body.
Then I got married and ended up with a family of TRUE picky eaters – in the traditional sense of the word! I realized that the only way I could convert my family into healthy eaters would be to cook healthy versions of the foods they loved: pizza, pasta, and fast-food.
My blog was inspired by:
- My journey teaching myself to cook, and using my “picky eater” philosophy to help my whole family eat healthier.
- Expanding my family’s palate to enjoy just about every healthy food out there.
- My ability to transform my kids into veggie-loving, sprouted-wheat-bread-eating, health conscious little ones!
- Making healthy food taste good for families all over the world!
What started as a way to catalog my own journey cooking healthy meals that my picky-eating family would love has since turned into an online destination visited by millions of people a year. I’m so grateful for the community we’ve built here, and the connections I’ve built with all of you!
- Browse my delicious recipes
- Try my kid-friendly meals
- Read through my eating guides
- Learn about the Picky Eater philosophy
Keeping In Touch
- Subscribe via email to The Picky Eater to get my newest recipes and tips delivered straight to your inbox.
- FOLLOW The Picky Eater on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food!
I love hearing from my readers or anyone who is interested in learning more about the world of healthy living and flavorful eating. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments or feedback. I respond to every message I get!
I love your blog! Best wishes!
Thank you Himani!!
I have been toying with this idea of dusting off my bookmarked recipe folders and sharing my cooking endeavors with a wider audience( or in other words trying my hand at food blogging) for quite some time now, so today I thought about doing some research on what and how popular food bloggers write and that’s how I found your blog and am I glad… 🙂
I simply loved your blog and honestly cant stop drooling over your ‘putting a piece of you on the paper’ kind of writing, the amazing photographs and ofcourse the recipes….am surely returning here for more..best wishes
Thank you so much for your kind words Panchali! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my blog. Best of luck to you as you start your own blog – keep me posted on how it goes!
I’m a hugely picky eater…its kind of annoying actually so when i found your blog on google i just had to read it! How do you try and incorporate foods that you havent eaten or is scared to eat? That’s the worst thing for me is the fact that im scared to try new foods and my palate is very small!
Hi Shelby! Thanks so much for reaching out to me! Can you tell me a little more about why you’re scared to try new foods? I think exploring the answer to that question will help you be more open to new tastes and flavors. I’m generally not scared of or closed off to new foods as long as they’re vegetarian friendly. I actually love experimenting with new flavors and recipes! I’m a “picky eater” because I’m “picky” about what I put into my body, in that I like to focus on eating healthy, whole foods, and avoiding processed foods. If I’m trying a new food that I’m unfamiliar with, I’ll incorporate it using spices or a recipe I’m familiar with and that I know I like! Let me know if that makes sense and if you’d like to chat about this further I’m more than happy to talk to you – feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can continue the conversation there! Best of luck!
I adore this “about me” section. This is so much like me and my husband. I was raised up in a big time veggies and fruits household. Lots of good protein and LOTS of veggies. Of course there was always pasta, too — my dad is from Guam and is retired Army. He traveled a lot and brought home different cultures and their food. It is amazing! But I married a “white bread” guy who LOVES greasy, fried and anything ‘unhealthy’. Going into marriage like that was really rough on me physically! This year (our 3rd year of marriage) he has eased up on me a little 😉 and is starting to love greens!
I really love your blog.. and that you so honestly said how different the two of you are food wise. I knew I wasn’t the only one out there with a food variation from their husband but it’s still nice to read it occasionally 🙂
Thanks!! Look forward to reading more.
Hi Vicky! Haha it sounds like your husband and my husband are a lot alike! I’m so glad you could relate to my story 🙂 And I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog! It’s great to “meet” you — keep me posted on how you and your husband like my recipes when you try them at home!
Hi Anjali! I tried your Skinny Broccoli cheddar recipe tonight and it was great! I was wondering, are all of your recipes vegetarian? I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 16 years and it sure looks like your recipes cater to that 🙂
Hi Lynnette!! Oh awesome! I’m so glad you liked it! And yes — all of my recipes are vegetarian (lacto-ovo) 🙂 They can be modified to be made vegan (or to be made non-vegetarian) — but they are all 100% veggie! Hope that helps!
It does! Thank you so much 🙂
Great! No problem! 🙂
Do you think a fast food restaurant that uses healthier ingredients for food would do well in this market? Many people go for the taste, but others go for convenience. If there were a restaurant that had this convenience but also served health conscious customers, do you think it would do well?
Hi Kyle! I think a fast food restaurant that used healthier ingredients for their food, but still had food that tasted amazing would do really well! Because after all, most people are just looking for convenient food options that taste good — so if that fast food option was also healthy, that restaurant would capture both the health conscious consumer and the regular/average consumer who just is looking for tasty fast food! Hope that helps!
Hi Anjali, I came a crossed your blog, because I am in search of wanting to live a healthier lifestyle. Rather then just wanting to lose a few pounds. But to enjoy a long life for myself and hopefully someday a helpmate. I just don’t know where to start or how to go about it at all. At first I was counting calories and what not, but even the food was lifeless and dull. I wanna try new flavors and new food other than pizza, and fast food yea know? So where would be a good place to start? I am open to any kind opinion, and suggestion that you may have to offer.
Thank yo for your time
Hi Michael! Thank you so much for reaching out to me – it’s so great to “meet” you! Your attitude and approach to living a healthier lifestyle sounds exactly right — counting calories is definitely not the way to go. And healthy food doesn’t have to be lifeless or dull! So to get started, I’d suggest trying my top 10 most popular recipes, this list for healthier snack options, this list for super easy lunch recipes, this list for healthy breakfast ideas, and this list for tips on how to make healthier swaps without losing any of the flavor! If you’d like more targeted / detailed guidance, I’m happy to chat with you as well. Feel free to email me at email@example.com and we can take it from there. Good luck and happy healthy eating!
Hi, I’m so glad to find your blog. I was just like your husband, I always ate fast foods; but my husband just like you grew up in a farm and he learned me how to cook and eat healthy. Now I can use your experiences, too. You said you like traveling, so I’ll be glad to see you in Iran, we have lots of great foods here.
Hi Shabnam! I’m so glad you like my blog and that you’ve been on a journey to eat healthier! Let me know if you try any of my recipes – would love to know how you like them!
Super cute blog! I was wondering if you have ever tried the nutritious benefits from grinding your own flour? I started milling my own once I got married and started making homemade bread and the difference in taste from store bought to home milled flour is amazing! Also, the flour you buy at the store has had the germ removed to prolong shelf life which is what has all the nutrients in it. So store bought flour is virtually nutritionless! Since I stated grinding my own flour I’ve decided to turn it into a business so more people can reap the nutritional benefits! My husband is a 5th generation farmer and we grow our own wheat here in Northwest Kansas. I’d love for you to check out my website! And if you like I would love to send you some wheat to try and you could blog about it!
Hi Shawnie! Thanks for the tip! I have never grinded my own flour – but I completely agree with you that it would be more nutritious than buying all-purpose flour from the store! I actually don’t use flour as an ingredient that often, since I don’t bake very much, but if I do end up coming across a bread or baked goods recipe then I’d love to try your flour to see how it turns out. Thanks again for reaching out – and best of luck to you! 🙂
I love your blog! My hubby loves food and I am learning to cook for him. I just moved to the US from India and I look at all these veggies (that you don’t get in India) at the supermarket and have no idea as to what to cook with them, but your blog has been so helpful! You have some wonderful recipes and I have to say again, I love it!
Thank you so much Shradha!! I’m so glad that my blog has made it easier for you to cook for your hubby! So happy you’re enjoying my recipes – and it’s wonderful to “meet” you! 🙂
Hi. Its really a nice site. I am a Dietician. I was searching about Healthy Falafel recipe. And after a long search I get a healthy one from your site. Really nice healthy dish. I didn’t gone through all your recipes but some I gone through. They seems really delicious yummy. All the Best.
Thanks so much Chiravi! I’m so glad you liked the Falafel recipe! 🙂
Hi, I commented on your blog a while ago and I amhappy to say that for the last 12 days I have been working out and eating a lot better and a lot less processed foods and I am feeling so much better.
Hi Erin! I’m soo happy to hear that! Kudos to you for sticking to a healthier diet and lifestyle for almost two weeks! Keep it up – so proud of you! 🙂
Anjali, I’m from Brazil and simply loved your blog! I recently visited my sister in California for the first time and wish I could come back soon! I loved California!
I was trying to find some recipie with outmeal and I just found your blog. Wonderful! I’m married and mom of two boys and I try to introduce fresh and nutricional foods for my family. I also try to explain what’s a junk and a heathy food for them. I think it’s working. They love salads and vegetables and doensn’t like mac donald’s stuff.
I also loved your travel photos, specially the ones that are in Brazil. I live in the south of my country but I never went to Amazon forest (just in Magic Kingdom, heheheh), but I pretend to go.
Congratulations for your blog!
Hi Rejane! It’s so great to meet you! Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog – I’m so happy you like my recipes!! It’s wonderful that you’re doing so much for your family to keep them eating healthy foods – it sounds like what you are doing is definitely working 🙂 Oh and yes, I loved my trip to Brazil – it’s a beautiful country! Thanks again Rejane!
I happened to stumble across your blog om a recipe I found and i love how you describe your husband. I grew up “wheat bread”, but my emotional eating started to get outta control about 3 years ago (during which I have had 2 babies) its been really hard to gain control of until recently, I literally started to “detox” from fast food and cooking better for my hubby and I and the kids. I already feel 100% better. I am happy to find this blog for healthy meal ideas because I am not creative in the kitchen! Cant wait to see what I find!
Hi Hayley! Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your story with me! It completely makes sense why you had trouble eating healthy — 2 kids in 3 years can certainly make things a LOT busier! 🙂 But it’s so great that you’ve been able to get back on track. I can’t wait to hear how you like my recipes – keep me posted on how things go!
I just stumbled across your blog while looking for recipes on healthy salads and I must say I love everything you have suggested. I have always wanted to make my own falafels but never knew the right approach for it to be as healthy as possible. Tonight I shall be baking my falafels, very excited.
LOVING YOUR BLOG, PLEASE KEEP IT UP!!!
THANK YOU 🙂
Hi Rujina!! Thank you so much for your kind words! It’s so great to meet you 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how the baked falafel recipe turns out for you – I’m sure you will love it 🙂 Thanks again!!
I just found your blog, congratulations, is great.
I’m a dietitian from Monterrey, México.
My boyfriend lives in San Diego, he’s a Doctor and he is trying to apply to his Medical Residency.
I love your story and I feel identified. Andrés (that’s his name) and I love to travel as well, and to discover new gastronomic concepts.
I personally try to give my patients new ideas for healthy cooking, so I might share some recipes from your blog if that is ok with you.
Thank you in advance and congratulations once again!!!
Hi Luisa!! Thank you so much for your kind words – it is so great to meet you! It sounds like we have a lot in common 🙂 And yes absolutely – you can share as many recipes from my blog as you like with your patients – I hope it helps!! Thank you again!
Just came across your blog and LOVE it! Amazing recipes. I am a certified holistic health coach and I am always looking for new recipes to share.
In health and happiness, Tracy ( http://www.beefitwithtracy.com)
Hi Tracy!! Thank you so much for your kind words – it’s so nice to meet you!! Hope you have a great week! 🙂
So my husband loves veggies and has been trying to get me to eat healthy, I just don’t like veggies especially peppers. I want to get fit and eat healthy and now we live close to a market. How did your husband get over the different texture?
Hi Erin! Thanks so much for reaching out! So with most veggies, my husband’s issue was more about the taste vs. the texture. And so, I found ways to “sneak” more veggies into our meals (e.g. adding them into sauces, as filling, etc.) and adding tons of flavor with spices etc. Do you like crunchy things? If so, keeping the veggies relatively uncooked might be something to try for you — since peppers when they are closer to raw vs. cooked – are super crunchy and juicy. I think I’d have to better understand what about the texture bothers you and then I can give you more specific tips on what to do about it. But in a general sense, find flavors that you love (spices, etc) and cook the veggies you want to eat using those flavors. Combine the veggies with other things you enjoy — e.g. beans, cheese, salsa, guac for Mexican food; tomato sauce and pasta for Italian; etc. If you absolutely cannot stand any veggies at all, try pureeing them and then adding them into your meals — they will become completely absorbed by the sauce or other items in the meal and you may not even notice it! Hope that helps – but I’m happy to chat more in detail if you’d like! (you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk more 🙂 ) Thanks and good luck!
Oh my goodness! Your story sounds exactly like me and my husband. I’m a vegetarian and he’s a pizza and potted-meat (yes, potted-meat) loving Texan. He’s an extremely picky eater – probably because his pallet never got a chance to develop since he only ate a few different things as a kid (no fruits or veggies). For the past four years I’ve been slowly working on expanding what he can eat and making it healthier. When he eats something new, it’s so rewarding, but often it feels like an uphill battle. I think there needs to be a “cooking for picky eaters” support group. Hoping some of your recipes can work for us. I’m very excited to try!
Haha! That is so awesome — you and I really do have the same story! You’re right, both of our husbands just weren’t exposed to things to help “expand” their palate when they were kids, and it’s definitely much harder to do as an adult. But it’s not impossible 🙂 I’m totally with you – when my husband recently stopped eating the frozen pizzas from his childhood I did a little happy dance haha. But yes, it does take a LOT of patience and consistency! You’ll have to keep me posted on how my recipes turn out for you and your husband, and please let me know if you have any questions in the meantime! Good luck!!
I LOVE your blog. I just stumbled upon it today and have been reading your posts for a couple of hours. I am also highly devoted to healthy eating and I especially love Indian food. I was in India last year. I am about to graduate from school and I just got into the blogging scene a couple months ago. I love to blog about healthy eating, living and organizing. I hope to gain inspiration from your posts!
Hi Cristina! Aw thank you so much for your kind words! It sounds like our food philosophies are very similar – I’d love to hear how you like my recipes when you try them!