11 Ways to Raise a Picky Eater

Oct 22, 2010 by

The Spoiled Child -- Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805)

1.  Don’t expect kids to enjoy health-giving, real foods.

2.  Feed them kid food: specially manufactured edibles designed for kids–baby food in a jar or packaged finger foods made for children, instead of real, whole foods. It’s easy, and, like cat food, the flavors are technologically designed to be accepted by kids.  Children are sure to eat them. Also, those edibles get babies used to artificial flavors and sugar early and increases their changes of rejecting real food.

3.  Make one meal for the adults and another for children, because kids don’t like what adults will eat. Stick to the foods kids are generally known to eat, like chicken nuggets, hotdogs, pizza and french fries.

4.  Give children rewards for eating.

5.  Micromanage their eating. If they want more meat, make them eat a bite of carrots first, then a bite of salad.

6.  Don’t trust them to serve or feed themselves or decide what or how much to eat.

7.  Make sure the foods they know and like are always available, in case they won’t eat whatever else is served.

8.  Don’t threaten or traumatize them with new, scary foods.

9.  Let them eat whatever and whenever they will eat, and don’t ever limit their eating. That way they’re sure to fill up on junk and not be hungry for real food at meals.

10.  Make your meals dutiful: bland and plain, and always have dessert. Convey the attitude that we “have to” eat meals and “get to” eat desserts and junk food. A spoonful of sugar helps the “medicine” go down.

11. Worry a lot about your kids’ eating. Fuss at them and make them eat, whether they want to or not.


Other posts on what to do about picky eaters:

Picky kids and the codependent mom: Three tips to break the cycle

Six ways to orchestrate kids’ desire to eat what you want them to eat, Part I


Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

What would happen if we outlawed marketing foods to kids in this way? No more Ronald McDonald, and the rest. No cartoons on processed foods.

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Paul, Wonder what would happen if we outlawed junk food advertising aimed at kids? Of course, we can always turn off the TV. I think with no ads to entice kids to eat junk, we would see a huge change. Kids wouldn't know what to eat for awhile.

Paul Turner
Paul Turner

And when grocery shopping, always buy the cartoon covered "foods" kids cry and/or scream for. These are guaranteed to be perceived as tasting better to your child, so they are more likely fill up on them.