Picky Eaters? Encourage Risk Taking

One of my kids ate mostly hot dogs, Mac and Cheese, and peanut butter for the longest time. Partly explains his father’s baldness. A laugh and then some advice.

picky eat

Thank you Dave Carpenter cartoonist for this one.

Parenting thoughts

My picky eater changed his ways in time, but it took a long time and much work to stay emotionally strong on our part.  One of the things that helped me was a memory of my mother making me sit at the table until I finished a huge pile of lima beans.  After a will struggle lasting for at least an hour, I gave in. However, as soon as she said I could leave the table, I promptly regurgitated the hated lima beans onto the empty plate and ran to my room.

Now I might call that will struggle a Gotcha War.  Gotcha Wars are disagreements where at least one person tries to make the other person go  bonkers and act crazy.  Usually, the victor gives a little smirk of satisfaction when the loser acts crazy.  I am not sure I smirked, or threw up deliberately, but it was certain a will struggle and one I won; Mom never forced me to eat anything again.

Kids do have particular tastes and are attuned to more than just the taste of food. Here is another cartoon suggesting part of the problem:

#Parenting Tips about picky eaters

Thank you Google Images for this one.

Not slimy to a grown up might be slimy to a kid and slime triggers nausea particularly in the young.  It is a primitive sign of potential poison.

Parenting tips

Tip one: Try, but if you don’t succeed don’t try again.  Encourage small tastes, but if revulsion follows apologize, say “When you are more grown up that will taste good” and above all do not try again.

Tip two: Bribe a bit. If a kid can stand to eat mashed potatoes, but just doesn’t like them; make dessert the reward for eating healthy first.

Tip three: Let the your child’s doctor tell you when to worry about a child’s eating habits.  Most study’s show that offering a variety of healthy foods and left to their own tastes most kids get what they need nutritionally.


Ramp up your self-soothing skills so you do not betray anxiety about your child’s bad eating habits. Vitamin pills are useful for dealing with parental concerns; practicing some Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises  helps even more.

Thank you for all you do to Practice Kindness. Liking, commenting, or sharing any social media you find helpful is one way to be kind to me. It may seem like a little, however, doing a little matters a lot.


This post was inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt  Do you love hot and spicy foods or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring? Personally, I love hot and spicy and always keep a handy supply of Tums around for what indulgence brings.


Fear control for children

Picky eaters are fearful eaters. This poster coach applies to all fears; as does the Tame the Test Monster link listed below.

EFTI’s Free Poster coaches are digital downloads designed to  improve Emotional Intelligence by teaching or reinforcing Emotional Fitness Exercises.  Best printed up in color on card stock. they can be posted almost anywhere.  Their intended audience? Anyone who wants to improve their emotional fitness or anyone else’s emotional intelligence.  Parents, teachers, therapists, coaches, fitness trainers, school guidance counselors, preachers, and non-preachers.


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