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?


About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. Coma Girl says:

    We used to do that. I don’t remember why we stopped. I think we may have gotten sick of eating meatball heroes all of the time.

    It is a very good idea though. I also liked the idea of cooking breakfast for dinner every once in a while and they LOVED that!


  2. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    LOL – hey, whatever works, right? 🙂
    We do the ‘pick night’ on Fridays too – mostly because by then I’m too wiped out to come up with another dinner option.

    Our picky eater is Hannah – and the only things we’ve found that work so far with her are putting just a teensy bit of rice (or whatever) on her plate that she has to eat all of, instead of negotiating numbers of bites (she’s a shrewd negotiator, so it was for our sanity!). And for some reason she’ll eat whatever’s put on her plate at daycare. She’ll complain at home later, but she’ll eat it there. Now if I could only get her to eat all of her meals there, we’d be all set… 🙂


  3. We just beat them… JK! JK!!

    So far no really picky eaters besides my step-daughter. I try and make foods I know she’ll like when she’s here to avoid the snarling looks as she eats it anyway. My youngest daughter 23 months is a picky eater but only on her own plate. She’ll eat ANYTHING daddy eats off his plate. So for now, it works!


  4. Heart of Wisdom says:

    I forwarded you post to my hubby. We battle picky eating with our 6 yr old. This is worth a try. Thank you for the idea.

    My WFMW is 16 uses for vinegar.


  5. The Young's says:

    OH MY!!! This is a GREAT suggestion. We have a 4 year old boy who NEVER wants to eat dinner. We are going to start trying this TONIGHT!!! Thanks for posting your success!! I hope it works well with us too!


  6. Congratulations! We have yet to determine what it is that will stop the picky eater insurrection on our front.


  7. I think your idea was wonderful. Though I don’t suggest this, it did work. One night Knots and her daddy got in a battle of wills over salad. After quit an ordeal, she had to eat soggy salad for breakfast the next morning. She now likes salad and the next time we had it she told us it taste a lot better at night then it did in the morning. LOL That was one of those times that I held my tongue and would have done it differently, but it did work.


  8. 1. As long as you don’t have the oranges and cereal on the pizza, I guesss it sounds like a pretty good plan.
    2. I think Hipchick has great leadership potential. Start delegating some of that Friday night menu, and cooking! to her.


  9. I just wanted to say that your brilliant idea has worked wonders in our house. THANK YOU for posting it.


  10. Jenne! Thanks so much for telling me that! Woo hoo!


  11. I’m going to try this. I have a picky almost 3 year old. He only wants to snack. Thanks for the tips.


  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness I hope this works… I just came home from an exhasting ten hour day and whipped up a one dish wonder, (spanish rice and smoked sausage) served it to dsd (complete with smoked sausage smiley face) and heard “I doan wanna eat the rice!!! – Which oddly enough she’s eaten a hundered times before with no complaint…. *sigh* oh man, my kingdom for one night with no arguement over dinner!!!


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