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Please help me with my picky eaters, I am losing my mind.

Let me just start out by saying that if your child eats like a champ, please, this is not the question to boast about it, I'm so pixxed off right now it might make me pop a vein in my head.

I just made my very picky eaters shake n bake boneless chicken with rice a roni and green beans, they both spit it out and said its disgusting. I'm seriously losing my mind. My son, 2.5, lives on chicken nuggets and mac n cheese and my daughter, 4.5, lives on soup and pasta. They stick their heels in the sand and refuse to try anything, even something as bland and kid friendly as the dinner I made tonight. I don't expect them to eat broiled salmon and black bean salsa, but they won't eat even the most basic kid friendly foods. Help me change this.


Asked by gramsmom at 6:45 PM on Oct. 22, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 22 (13,423 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • My DH is a very picky eater so with my son I couldn't really say he had to eat what I wanted when daddy was getting something else so we made a try it rule. DS had to take a small plate with with one spoonful of everything I made for dinner and if he didn't like it he could have PB&J or cereal but NOT sugary cereal cheerios or kix or corn flakes something "bland". Also agree that kids will not starve themselves I was worried when DS went through a cheerios only for all meals and the DR said let him it lasted a friggen MONTH! By the way DS is now 16 and a healthy eater who easily tries new foods.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 8:50 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Fix one meal. Tell them they can eat it or not, but it will be there when they are hungry enough to eat. Stick to it! No snacks until they eat there meal. They will not starve themselves. When they are hungry enough they will eat.

    They will probably call you a meany and throw tantrums at first, but be strong. No child will starve themself when food is available.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 6:50 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I like that idea, and I can stay strong with my daughter, but how do you explain that to a 2 year old? Does it work when they are that little?

    Answer by gramsmom at 6:59 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • i was a picky eater, you do need to get them to try new stuff but it has to be on there terms, my son was convinsed that spinache would be wonderful after watching that on curious george... i have to say that growing up my mom wasnt the best cook (to be kind i will say it that way) and when i grew up and tried the same foods other people cooked i then liked them... maybe try more premade meals to get them to try them like kids cusine ... good luck ...

    Answer by AmaliaD at 8:19 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I think the son is mimicking what the sister is doing. Feed them separately.  No snacking; don't over do the plate with food. 


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:01 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I gave up on my 5 yr old 2 yrs ago......I don't even bother with family dinner, I bring him to the store once a week and ask him what he wants to buy...typically it's yogurt and pizza lunchables, apples and chocolate milk......I teach him about healthy food and don't buy junk.
    He was so under weight at 3 and a half that the nurse at WIC, she told me to put him on a high fat diet and even ok'd whole milk.

    One thing you need to understand is as long as they eat they will be fine. I look back and think about my power struggles and with every power struggle he eats less and less.
    Now he is in Pre-K and will not eat in the lunch room, will have only a jelly sandwich in the classroom.
    This too shall pass and you need to pick and choose your battles. While you are cooking ask them what part of it they would like.
    My son will not eat elbow shaped pasta because it reminds him of "slugs" but twisty pasta he loves and plain!

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 12:07 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • cont'd

    He will also eat canned pasta only is the chef-boy-ardee guy is on the can
    It is impossiable to feed this kid...he won't even eat vitamans in the shape of a gummy bear!
    He hates everything! once in a while if I make spaghetti with meatballs he will want some meatballs but says no to the "worms"....meaning spaghetti.
    There are certain apples he likes and just a whole bunch of food he doesn't and will choose to go hungry!!!
    I have even had to threaten him to eat at the end of the day because he went all day without food.
    Nothing huge but his father...for whom never gets never get involved, will tell me I'm mean and should just give him what he wants....
    Just know you are not alone and it's all about trial and error...ask then what they would like to eat at the grocery store and if they pick junk, say no and walk over to produce or whatever.......

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 12:15 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • make one meal and don't give another option. your kids won't starve themselves. you choose what to make, they choose what part of it they'll eat and how much. i started this with my girl when she was 2. in nearly 3 years she has only missed 1 meal. turns out there is only one food she has ever tried that she actually doesn't like. also letting her help at the grocery store has helped. i let her choose what kind of apples, potatoes etc.

    Answer by jcsmummy at 3:03 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • I only make one meal and my kids almost always choose to eat it. Not that that will help you right now, but you could aim to work towards that goal (since you are the one unhappy with the way things are going). I have a couple suggestions for you (as mine were too very picky eaters). First, I make what they like a couple times a week. On "new" nights, I always had a very yummy looking desert (cookies, ice cream, brownies, etc). I explained BEFORE dinner that if they ate all their food, this is what was for desert. Usually, that was all it took. Do not turn food into a battle, because the child will ALWAYS win. It is their mouth, their tummy, their decision. Offer the food and if they choose not to eat, that is ok. Take away their plate and put it on the counter and let them leave the table. If they say they are hungry later, offer them their plate again. If they are hungry, they will eat. Otherwise, they go to bed with an...

    Answer by Amber115 at 3:11 AM on Oct. 23, 2009

  • empty tummy. They will eat a good breakfast the next morning. :) DO NOT give in and let them have something else, or else they will know that they don't really need to eat. Offer at least one thing they like with dinner (my kids love carrots with a little brown sugar sprinkled on top). If they truly HATE something, make them take a few bites every time you have it, but have a backup side dish to go with it. Feel free to try new recipes. Google is a great place to get ideas. LOL Good luck!

    Answer by Amber115 at 3:14 AM on Oct. 23, 2009