The Best Trick to Get Your Picky Eater to Eat Everything

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Fix a Picky Eating Kid Fast

how to end picky eating


Is your child a picky eater?

Learning how to deal with a picky eater can be so frustrating as a mom! You cook and slave away over healthy meals that no one touches. What is the best trick to get your picky eater to be less picky?

You have the power mama. Let’s learn together how to eradicate picky eating from our kids!

“My kid is such a picky eater! He/she will only eat mac n’ cheese.” Or maybe it’s pizza, chicken nuggets, or french fries.

Do you feel like this describes your child?

I hear parents saying this everywhere I go; whether it’s somewhere I’m speaking or when I’m at the park with my daughter.

And it breaks my heart EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

For the longest time, it was only us in the US who made separate meals for our kids. In other cultures, the kids eat what the adults eat. Our poor western diet has since spread, and we’re seeing the results with unhealthy food choices and very poor health around the globe.

I would love to be able to go back in time and learn when we started being told that kids would only eat the junkiest of junk foods. At what point do kids go from eating the healthiest thing possible (breast milk) to only wanting to eat franken-foods?

Nowadays, this idea is everywhere! No matter where you go out to eat, you’ll be hard-pressed to find healthy food on a kids’ menu.

Unfortunately, the kiddos are suffering big time! 

  • For the first time EVER, kids have a lower life expectancy than their parents. (source)
  • 18.5% of kids are obese (source)
  • 27% of kids have a chronic illness (source)
  • 42% increase in ADHD diagnosis over the past 8 years (source)

These sad statistics just keep going and going. These spikes aren’t because of better testing or a larger population. People are sicker than ever before.

And it all starts with food.


    1. Food’s #1 purpose is to give our body what it needs to function properly.
    2. Food is not a comfort or a reward. Not is it a fast fix when we start to get grumpy.
    3. In a nutshell, we’re creating the picky eaters.



So what do we do to avoid having a picky eater?

Make healthy meals the only option

Here’s some tough love for you, but it comes from a good place. A huge part of my mission as a RN and Health Coach is to see kids’ health begin to improve instead of continuing to plummet.

  • WE are the caregivers.
  • We do the grocery shopping and food prep.
  • Which means that we’re the ones buying the junk food, prepping it, and giving it to our kids.
  • Without us, our kids wouldn’t be able to eat it.

I’m not saying kids (or adults) can never have mac n’ cheese or pizza, but these should be the exception on the menu. The rare fun treat during a night out or at a birthday party.

For both kids and adults, our average meal needs to have a clean protein, a healthy fat, fiber, and water. Adjust accordingly for sensitivities and allergies.

I think part of the reason why kids eat junk is that it’s convenient for us to make it. We’re so busy and stressed out that we’re looking for ways to cut corners, but eating disease-causing foods is definitely the wrong area to find ease.

Not to mention, eating healthy IS NOT hard! It’s another thing we’ve made hard with all the info out there about what’s healthy, all the different types of diets, thinking our kids won’t eat what we eat, etc.

KISS!! Keep it simple silly!


What are Healthy Meal Ideas to Please Those Picky Eaters?

So following the guidelines of a clean protein, healthy fat, fiber and water at every meal here are some easy meal ideas:

  1. Scrambled eggs topped with cheese, cucumbers, and water.
  2. Plain grass-fed whole milk yogurt with peanut butter and blueberries.
  3. An uncured grass-fed hot dog, celery with peanut butter and water.
  4. Baked pork chop, sliced apple, green beans cooked in butter and water.
  5. Shredded rotisserie chicken, carrots cooked in coconut oil, a banana, and water.
  6. How about over 100 healthy picky eater pleasing school lunch ideas?

And don’t say, my kids won’t eat that. They will if they know there is no other option and you won’t waiver.


So what is the big secret trick to ending picky eaters that demand junk food?

The #1 most effective way to prevent picky eating is to make healthy meals the only option. 

Remember, part of being a kid is to test the limits and boundaries of the adults closest to them.

So this could look like a little temper tantrum at mealtime when the kid wants the junk food. Mom is tired from momming all day, doesn’t want to hear the whining and caves. Kids just learned all they have to do is whine or throw a fit and mom will give them what they want.

If this pattern has already been established, it may be a little bit of a challenge to undo it but it’s totally possible.

If your kiddo is still in the infant stage, this is the perfect time to develop healthy eating habits for your kid…and yourself.

Go into each meal with the mindset that everyone is going to eat a nutrient-dense meal, that you’re not going to cave, but you’re also not going to get upset or feel anxious about it.


Re-evaluate your own habits

Another thing I’ve noticed when I hear parents saying their kid is picky is that it really has nothing to do with the kids’ choices. It’s the parent who doesn’t want to give up their favorite junk food.

Maybe you think you’re eating the junk food ‘in moderation’. I can almost guarantee that if you use that saying, the amount is way over what can be considered moderate. 

When it comes to poor health, we know that 95% is preventable. Genetics don’t determine our health, our habits do.

So if you want to raise healthy kids but love junk food yourself, something’s gotta give.

Take it from me… a former junk food junkie. Somehow I survived on way too much sugar, fast food, and very little fruit or vegetables. I guess it’s really no wonder that I suffered with so many ailments.

I did NOT want the same fate for my daughter. So I had to make changes to my daily habits.

My daughter could easily be a ‘picky eater’. Truthfully, in some ways she still is. Her foods can’t touch, she doesn’t like foods mixed together (like soups or casseroles), but that’s ok. Because my daughter knows that she will eat her protein and vegetables. She knows that sugar and processed foods like pizza are the exceptions.

Because we’ve established these ‘rules’ over time, mealtimes aren’t a hassle. When I told her I was throwing away the Halloween Candy a week after Halloween, she said ‘ok’ and that was that.


Mealtime tips to rock healthy eating

Remember that with food we’re either healing our bodies or harming them. This will help you stick to the message that your kids will eat the healthy food that’s in front of them.

Also, as you’re grocery shopping ask yourself ‘Will this harm us or help us?’. Asking myself this question has significantly helped me to make better food choices!

Most kids don’t eat enough vegetables which means they’re nutrient deficient. Give a mixture of different types of veggies that are both raw and cooked. Fruit is great too!

Don’t offer food as a reward. Food’s purpose is not to be a reward or comfort, it’s to give our body what it needs to function. Teaching that food is a comfort or a reward will lead to a bad relationship with food now and in the future.

If you’re heading out to eat, order off the adult menu or share your plate. Ask for a side of chopped veggies or fruit. Although, I have found that in some restaurants they don’t have any – which blows my mind! To be on the safe side, bring your own chopped fruits and veggies.


Wrapping Up The Best Trick to End Picky Eating Forever

Remember to keep your cool! I know you want the best for your kiddos, but getting worked up or anxious during mealtime is not in the best interest of anyone. Take a deep breath <3

Which of these tips resonated with you? Let us know below.

For more tips on raising a healthy family, get the free guide here.

As we know better, we do better –



This has been a wonderful guest post from Bri at Hippie Dippie Mom.


More Healthy Food Ideas for Picky Eaters


Fix a Picky Eating Kid Fast

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  1. Thank you for your words… they were hard but encouraging. I have a 5 yr old daughter and she’s very picky with food. An she has a tomato allergy that we found out recently (so that limits her food options). I know my husband and I have developed unhealthy habits with her…and I truly don’t know how to undue it. Do I eliminate her food choices cold turkey? For example, she will only eat a peanut butter sandwich if it had hazelnut spread on it; chicken nuggets are the only “chicken” she thinks is real chicken….although in rare cases she’ll eat chicken breast cut up depending on the spices; mac n cheese is no longer on her menu; she’ll eat fish sticks; white rice is no longer on her menu; hard boiled eggs; she will eat honey with everything (literally); she won’t eat ice cream or ice pops (because it’s cold); it’s rare that she’ll eat oatmeal; she likes raw carrots and bananas (the only vegetables/fruit that she’ll eat); she likes sweets/muffins/cakes; crackers; French fries; she was consistently drinking milk once a day but complainsthat her belly hurts and now she wants nothing to do with it; she will eat the applesauce pouches (so I try to buy the ones that have fruitor veggies in it…and that’s all that she eats right now. I think you can see my concern. How do I help her try new foods when she refuses to try it or eat it. I do want to make only one meal instead of having to prepare another meal for her. And side note: she was starting to try new foods a year ago but then out of nowhere decided that she didn’t like it any more, which was extremely frustrating.

    1. Sorry this took me so long to reply too, the comment got pushed down in my feed. There are so many mamas like you who feel this same way, the food habits have slipped with their kiddos and it feels like a rabbit hole you can’t dig out of. My kids are picky too, but they do eat super healthy overall(with treats allowed of course, they ask once a day “can I have my junk for the day?” today it was ramen lol. They are kids after all). One great tip is to start eliminating the junk a bit at a time. In our house making an out of sight out of mind high cabinet where the cookies, chips, candy, etc are stored helped IMMENSELY. They went from begging for those things all day to barely mentioning them. I would start to “healthy up” things she likes instead of a cold turkey, that’s not sustainable and will be met with resistance. Take one junk off the menu at the time, or add a replacement. For instance my kids could eat that crap mac n cheese all day every day. But they also like my homemade gluten free mac n cheese (even when I add broccoli in!) they just would have never known if I hadn’t made the switch. For more veggies try adding in spices or sauces. Ya smothering every bite in cheese or ranch might not be the healthiest option, but it WILL get more fruits and veggies on her ok list and the toppings can be reduced over time. I think this post might help you a lot… I put it together for a gal in my virtual fit club when we realized their unhealthy habits were affecting her daughter too. https://vigoritout.com/how-to-get-kids-to-eat-healthy-while-at-home/

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