All’s Quiet on the Picky-Eater Front

The Allied Parent Forces have recently had a significant victory against the Picky Eater Insurrection. After coercive, forceful action failed, The Allies were thrilled when their diplomatic negotiations were peacefully accepted. A truce was struck, and both armies have agreed to a cease-fire.

All that drama is to say that I’ve found a way to get my picky-eater four-year-old to eat what we make for dinner. One night last week, we served fried rice for dinner. I usually try to offer a variety of foods at dinner, and I don’t make them “clean their plates,” just eat some of everything. Well, Princess was not about to eat it, so of course, Little Pea followed suit. HipChick will eat just about anything, so we don’t have to worry about her.

The usual threats were lodged: no dessert, sitting at the table indefinitely; all of which were met with loud whining. Finally, we sent her to her room, where she whined and cried even louder, putting on quite a show for our benefit.

“No fair! HipChick likes everything! She never gets in trouble. It’s not fair, I don’t like rice!”

I went into her room, and sat on the bed with her. A flash of sympathy went through me as I looked into her big brown, teary eyes. She seemed to understand as I explained how we feel when she refuses to eat what we work to provide. Then I said, “How about we make a deal?” Princess loves making deals, so she perked up.

“How about you eat what we put in front of you for the rest of the week, then you get to pick what we eat on Friday? What ever you want except sweets.” You would have thought I offered her a trip to Disney world! She was so excited. She came right out to the table and proceeded to eat all of her fried rice.

She decided that night that we would eat pizza, oranges, and cereal on Friday, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Many of you probably already do this, and you’re wondering what took me so long to figure it out. But I guess we’ve started somewhat of a tradition. It went so well, that we decided to make every Friday “Kid’s Choice.” It’s so cute that every night at dinner, they talk about what we’ll have on Friday night.

Maybe someday in the near future, they’ll rise up again against their benevolent captors, but for now, “All’s Quiet on the Picky-Eater Front.”

How do you squelch the picky-eater rebellion?

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  1. What a wonderful and cute idea!!!!

  2. Have you ever heard of Jessica Seinfeld’s recipe book, Deceptively Delicious? Jessica is Jerry Seinfeld’s wife. This recipe book has been a Godsend for our family! It involves pureeing vegetables and fruits and sneaking them into your recipes. It’s great! I even sneak beats or broccoli into chocolate cake! You can make all the kids’ favorite meals and make them nutritious without them even knowing it. But, as Jessica advises, I do at least put a sprig of broccoli or a carrot on the plate, too, just to give them the opportunity to venture into the vegetable kingdom on their own.

  3. Shopping Giraffe says

    Jessica’s book is OK but SNEAKY CHEF (by Missy Lapine)has more variety in terms of ways to sneak in nutrition. In addition to the pureers, there are high fiber breading for baked chicken nuggets (which is our favorite), snack recipes from vegetables (like chickpeas), and
    lots of other ideas. My kids actually say “Let’s cook something from the healthy cookbook!”