Mazzy likes to eat bananas whole, with it peeled about halfway down before it is handed to her. Then, once she has eaten to the peeled place, she says she is finished. I tell her to peel the rest. I even offer to peel it for her. But nope, she is not interested.
Harlow likes to be offered a whole banana with the peel as well, but then she will break off the top half to eat. It has to happen just like that. I can’t break it off for her. In fact, I’ve tried to give her the bottom half of Mazzy’s banana (always up for grabs) but she rejects it. Even if I turn it over and pretend it’s the top.
I think I mentioned Harlow’s frozen waffle obsession one or ten times. But did you know she needs to have her waffle cut up into four even quadrants? And she wants syrup. Not on the same plate as the waffle though. Syrup must be served in its own separate bowl.
Mazzy loves bagels but will only eat plain bagels. If there is even one seed or piece of onion on it, she won’t go near it. Even if I scrape it all off with a knife, the bagel is still deemed unacceptable for consumption.
Harlow likes cherry tomatoes and grapes but refuses to eat either of them cut in half.
Mazzy likes french fries but won’t touch baked or mashed potatoes.
Don’t you dare try to section Harlow’s orange.
Mazzy won’t tolerate watermelon seeds. I tell her it’s perfectly fine to eat the white ones. I even demonstrate. But she just pushes her plate over so I can pick the white seeds out with my fingernails. As if that is somehow more appetizing.
Harlow will only eat corn if it’s on the cob.
Mazzy will only eat corn if it’s off the cob.
Harlow likes scrambled eggs but only if she cooks them with me and I let her mix the egg. If I try to present her with scrambled eggs without the opportunity to cook them first, it is a no-go.
Mazzy is very specific about how her milk is prepared.
Mazzy doesn’t like any specks of green on her pasta. “The green specks make it tastier!” I say. Mazzy doesn’t buy it. I must try my best to wipe them off with a napkin.
Harlow would prefer all her food come from my plate. Even if we are eating exactly the same thing.
Mazzy thinks she likes strawberry ice cream, even though she has tried and hated strawberry ice cream several times before. Her brain can’t seem to accept the fact that she has rejected something pink, so every few weeks, she asks for it again. “You don’t like strawberry ice cream” I say. “I do, Mom, I do!!!” “Okay, here you go.” “BLECH!!!!”
Both Mazzy and Harlow only eat pasta with butter, no tomato sauce, even though I remind them they like tomato sauce on pizza.
Pizza is the only thing Mazzy will eat with cheese, by the way. She won’t touch grilled cheese. She won’t touch mac and cheese. She won’t touch plain cheese. How pizza got a pass, I do not know.
Harlow won’t eat cheese either, although she loves asking for American Cheese so she can tear the plastic off. Then she gives it back to me.
I think you get the idea. My kids are picky eaters. Not only that— they have weird hang-ups and specific food preferences that make absolutely no sense.
I’d love to hear about your kids’ weird food hang-ups too. In fact, this month I am working with Ella’s Kitchen® to start my very own Picky Eater’s Club.
Do you think your kids should be inducted?
Post a picture of your child on the Mommy Shorts Facebook page (or on instagram hashtagging #pickyeatersclub and tagging @mommyshorts) with your child’s first name and their specific food hang-up in the caption. I’ll make them into graphics and post the funniest ones in follow-up posts.
Plus, over the next month, three members of the Picky Eaters Club will be selected randomly to win $100 worth of products from Ella’s Kitchen, including their new nutritional drink line, sold exclusively at Target in partnership with their “made to matter” program. See the full rules here.
Ella’s Kitchen® has been a longtime favorite baby brand of mine, since they came on the scene when Mazzy was first born. I love how they use only real ingredients with no additives, fortification or any other added chemicals. Plus, those pouches were pretty revolutionary back then!
In addition to their wide array of pouches, Ella’s Kitchen® has expanded to finger foods, toddler meals and now nutritional supplement drinks— Organic Coconut Water Electrolyte* Drinks and Coconut + Milk Nutritional Shakes. They are both perfect ways for picky eaters to get some of the nutrients they’ve been missing out on when they reject all those healthy veggies.
Ella’s Kitchen® Organic Coconut water Electrolyte* Drinks (in Pear Berry and Banana Ginger) are rehydration drinks made with organic coconut water, fruits and veggies with naturally occurring electrolytes to help replenish lost nutrients.
Ella’s Kitchen Organic Coconut + Milk Nutritional Shakes (in Broccoli Plum and Banana Apricot) are a daily nutritional shake made with organic Grade A milk, fruit, veggies and coconut water to help little ones grow bigger and stronger. I know smoothies have been the saving grace of our household, since Harlow refused to drink milk after we took away her bottle at age one.
For more information on Ella’s Kitchen, click here. To purchase Ella’s Kitchen at Target, click here.
Okay, let’s see pictures of those picky eaters!
Mazzy and Harlow don’t want to be the only ones in the club.
This post was sponsored by Ella’s Kitchen but all picky eating problems are my own.
This is hilarious–especially since my daughter shares many of these same weirdo food rules. For example: She won’t eat cheese unless it’s on pizza either. No pieces of cheese, no string cheese, no grilled cheese. WTF?? How did a cheese-hater come out of me? I would eat literally ANYTHING covered in melted cheese…!
The latest is her very specific bacon preference. If it’s “too crispy,” she loses it. It has to be chewy but not “TOO chewy.” And the line between “chewy” and “too chewy” is razor-thin, my friend…
Ah, yes! My boys are the president and VP of the picky eaters club! My oldest and Mazzy would be BFF’s! Watermelon seeds would kill him!!! Or strings on a banana! Cheese on pizza only….it’s not “real” cheese….so it’s different….It’s pizza MOM!! He has been all about “trying new things” to get Daddy to play a level of a game with him. He bit into a cherry tomato and ended up puking up his whole dinner…I guess I should’ve cut it or warned him it was going to explode in his mouth….but if I cut it, he wouldn’t have eaten it b/c of the seeds! Just can’t win with this kid! And of course his younger brother who started off as a great eater and is a little parrot and will do an say anything his brother does!
Its not just kids. I am an adult who likes french fries, but not baked or mashed potatoes. 🙂
My kids are picky and often change the rules! They love cheese, but it has to be yellow..wait, white….no, yellow. Then there are 3 main things they each will eat (ex hot dog, grilled cheese, chicken nugget). Both like a different three things and sometimes will drop one because they no longer like it! Its so frustrating.
My son will only eat fried or boiled eggs, if I try to scramble them or cook them any other they will not be touched. He will gag on mashed or baked potatoes but eats the heck out of french fries, and heaven forbid if the spaghetti sauce has tomato chunks in it (“but I don’t like tomatoes!”)
Any type of vegetables can not be cooked– they have to be raw, crunchy and covered in ranch. He will only accept the regular cut canned green beans and don’t even think about cutting the corn off the cob.
My son is 8 and I am done with his picky habits. Last night was the last straw! Every night I make perfectly good meals and he will only eat the meat out of all the food. So he ate all the chicken and wanted an apple. Usually I let him eat a piece of fruit or a glass of milk but last night was it. I could care less if he was still hungry, go eat the rest of your rice, peas, and carrots if you are still hungry! Know what? He went to bed hungry. FYI, he’ll live! I am not a full service kitchen, you don’t eat your perfectly good food, you don’t eat!
Good for you!! I absolutely hate to hear a mother say that she has to cook dozens of different food options to get a kid to eat. In my house you have two food choices~~ what I cook or nothing at all. No arguments are tolerated. There will always be enough in the meal that everyone can have something they like, but saying no to the main and two veg is not happening. I don’t expect them to like everything they eat, but wasting food is not happening in my home.
My daughter says she loves pizza and always requests it. Then when I put it on her plate she screams and says YUCK! I say what’s the problem, she says take the nasty cheese and toppings off. So basically, we’re left with a triangle piece of bread. EVERY TIME.
Also, she loves celery. But I must pull all those stringy pieces off first.
And somehow she can tell a difference in milk (or so she thinks) from the grocery store vs. a fast food place.
Ahhhhh – this is my house exactly!!!! I want and need it to change before I lose my MIND! Any moms of former picky eaters? How did you break this never ending game????
My 7 year old has eaten a melted cheese sandwich for lunch EVERYDAY for 3 years. He will not touch anything else. This summer his melted cheese sandwiches kept coming home from camp, so I thought he was over them. When I asked him about it he said he wont eat it if the cheese is “leaking” out the sides of the bread! Really! That is just crazy.
He will eat baked chicken as long as there is NO sauce on it. Also the chicken can’t be tinged pink or purple where the bone is. He is one of 5 soon to be 6 and he’s the only one with such strict food rules. I have one kid who legitimately has several food allergies and he will eat just about anything we give him.
I’m going gray from this one.
My kids are starting to outgrow their weird food things. Until recently my 9 year old freaked out about foods on her plate touching each other. My 5 year old wouldn’t eat pepperoni on pizza, but if he got to the package while I was preparing the pizza, he’d eat half the pepperoni in the package. My daughter loves when I bake bread (we go through a loaf in no time) but she won’t eat it in a sandwich, just plain or maybe with jelly. There’s probably a million things I could think of if I gave it some time. But I have to agree with Mazzy on the onion on the bagel. You can pick that crap off, but it taints at least the bite sized portion around it.
As a child I would not eat anything red except for Heinz Tomato soup… and only sandwiches made by my mum… it will get better (I did!!)
Thanks for giving us hope 🙂
My almost 18-month old will eat any strawberries from our garden (mostly unripe, some barely past the flower stage), but won’t touch strawberries in the house. Apparently, they’re an outside food only.
I could on for days about what my oldest deems ok and not ok to eat. LOL. I am glad I am not alone.
Vegetable peelers make quick work of removing the celery strings! The only way my daughter will eat it too!
They used to have a lot of them. But they’ve outgrown them. Your girls will too, I bet. I kind of kick started them on their path to outgrowing their little food oddities (oh, they’re still picky) because with three of them and three special ways of prepping food,my meals would always be cold. So I slowly stopped, here and there. There were fits but they lived.
Talking about eggs immediately made me think of this convo with my daughter. Shes 7 now, probably 5 at the time.
HER: Mom, I know how they make eggs!
Me: Oh, really, please tell me
HER: First, they take the cheese (she thinks its cheese?!?) and roll it into a ball. They they put the white part around it and then they dip it in the crust (shell/crust, same diff, right?!?).
Me: That is such a good guess!
I still haven’t told her the truth. She knows that chicken lay/make eggs. I think she’s convinced there is a chicken sweat shop where underpaid chickens are all making these cheese balls/white stuff/crust dipped eggs!
They’re lucky they’re cute.
Well, so far Dylan is still not fond of solids, and it’s a daily exercise to try to get him to eat a couple of spoonfuls. But today he let me (actually opened his mouth for the spoon!) feed him TWO spoonfuls of pureed peaches. I felt that was a victory!
I recently read “French Kids Eat Everything” and I thought it was pretty cool in describing how that culture approaches food with kids from infancy. However, it does seem to me that you need to physically move to France with your French husband and get berated and judged by relatives so that you have no choice but to make your kids eat like that, in order for it to work. I don’t know, maybe in the future I can apply some of the stuff from there.
My daughter was the pickiest eater until I learned she was allergic to everything, including dairy, eggs, nuts. Fish and sesame seeds!!! It makes you much calmer about picky eaters when you change your perspective. i.e., your not being a jerk, it actually upsets your insides. oooooOOOOoooo
I am sad to say, I am a member of the picky eaters club and I am in my 30s. I too don’t mind tomato sauce on my pizza and pasta items like ravioli- but do not like it on my noodles.
I really like cheese, but not on my pizza (something about the mix with the tomato sauce and melted- the texture is just yuck). BUT the pizza must be cooked with the cheese on top, otherwise its all dry.
I don’t like buns or toppings on my hamburgers.
I don’t like any condiments.
The list could go on…. I like to blame it all on my mother, because that’s what you are supposed to do. But truthfully, she did peel my hotdogs when I was little so that’s enabling the weirdness!
Hi Christina. I married a man with full custody of two small boys. One was very picky. He was picky because everyone allowed him to be picky. Don’t want food? Have some strawberry or chocolate milk instead. Not hungry? Perhaps it was the boxed drinks or processed food snacks you are allowed to have all day. Don’t like red sauce or pesto on your pasta? Here let me just drench it in butter and cheese. Don’t like chicken and vegetables? I will make you grilled cheese instead.
I almost passed out when I learned I was expected to prepare different food for him at each meal. No way! I simply made my regular meals and when he was hungry then he started eating them. He ended up as a super adventurous eater and will try things that even I won’t eat. My young daughter has never had juice, chocolate milk, squeeze packaged food (ew) or fast food and she eats real food and a lot of it. (except kale, she draws the line right there)
Ahh! The strawberry ice cream!! My daughter does the same thing. We live within walking distance of an amazing little ice cream shop called the Ice Cream Cottage. They have tons of flavors of ice cream and sherbet. Every time I walk in there with my 5 year old she insists on either the orange ice cream (sherbet) or pink ice cream – actually cotton candy flavored and it is pretty gross. She rejects it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I refuse to buy it for her anymore, but every once in a while if my father takes her to the ice cream shop, she cons him into buying it for her. It then sits in my freezer for months until it falls out spreading orange goo all over my kitchen floor.
My four year old son with only eat salami if I call it pepperoni. He will not eat pepperoni on a pizza though.
the rule as I was growing up was, ‘You don’t have to eat it, but there are no alternatives.’
Mom figured that if we were hungry enough we’d eat it, and she was right.
My youngest daughter got to eighteen months refusing everything except breastmilk (from the source only) and distilled water in a playtex sippy cup. We are in feeding therapy now (turns out her reflux was terrible so she missed the window to learn to eat). At 21 months she now has organic pediasure, plain yogurt, plain rice, cheese and pudding. I’m thrilled with that. Oddly she potty trained getting chocolate chips as rewards – that she promptly gave to her four year old sister (who at least would cheer like maniac for getting the candy).
My son does not like cheese either – he will only eat it on pizza! And funny enough, he does not like cupcakes, cake, ice cream, cookies or chocolate and asks for fruit for dessert. I guess that’s a pickiness I can get behind!
My 6 yo only eats bread, cheese and chocolate.
I think she’s French.
The pickiness may not end soon. My daughters liked water a certain way which they called “Mommy Water” – half crushed ice and half water. When my oldest (now 27 and married) was home recently she asked for “Mommy Water”, saying, “Somehow, it’s just better.”
The only fruit my 8yo eats are apples, she will only eat the whitest portions of romaine lettuce for her salad, and calls all meat steak. My 5yo has a rotational disgust for food. All fruit is safe with this one, but if her sister shows interest in a food she has to hate it, unless she got to it first. Her vegetables need to be raw, most of the time out of my garden.
After about the third time my child didn’t eat a whole banana, she wouldn’t get another banana. Children are picky because people let them be picky, except in the cases of food allergies (know a few people like that). I have yet to hear of a child starving themselves to death. This is coming from a person that can’t stand tomatoes. I’m fine with my kids not liking certain foods, but you can’t be weird picky. If you say you don’t like cheese but love pizza with cheese, that is weird picky and not allowed in my house.
I don’t have a picky eater in my house because I do not allow him to be he eats what we eat or he doesn’t eat yes he has gone to bed hungry. If you don’t eat all of your banana guess what you don’t get anymore bananas and so on. Sorry to each their own but alot of us make/allow our kids to be picky eaters. The one thing my son (4 years old) does that is picky eating is he doesn’t like meat…yes he gets meat with almost every meal. He will put it in his mouth and chew it but refuses to swallow it. He can hold that piece of meat in his mouth while he eats his other foods, drinks his milk but an hour later that piece of meat will still be in there. This does not happen every meal he will eat it some times but the kicker is if I put that same meat straight off his plate and roll it into a tortilla he will eat all of it and ask for more. Its all a mind thing. FYI your kids will not let themselves starve to death if you deny them foods yes they will go hungry for a day or so but they will finally give and eat what is given to them I promise. And yes I also know there are some foods people just don’t like I can’t stand potatoes but I still eat them.
Perhaps do a little research on texture issues and food aversion. Cheese melted on pizza has a very different texture than uncooked cheese. I don’t think it’s fair to say that kids are picky because their parents let them be. Eating potatoes even though you don’t care for them is very different than someone who gags because of their texture.
My father forced me to eat food with crunchy pieces of onion and pepper in it all my life. At first, I simply didn’t like them, they just tasted bad. He’d tell me I could eat the food, or starve. I would sit at the table, unable to see anything but the kitchen and three walls, for hours on end, alone. By the time I was in my early teens, biting into a bit of onion or pepper would make me gag, and sometimes throw up.
Now I’m in my 30s, and I still gag, and occasionally throw up, if I bite into a piece of onion or pepper, I gag. Sometimes, very rarely, I’ll still throw up. It has completely ruined any chance I had of coming to enjoy something that is cooked in most dishes. Please, be tolerant with your children to a point.
This is hilarious!i will say there is always a picky eater in any family. I have three kids a 5 year old and 1 year old twins. My 5 year old was not a picky eater she would eat anything and now she has decided not to eat most of the things on her plate.She has to have avocado in order for her to eat her food. I try to make her eat what I cook because there is no way i going to be cooking different meals for a picky eater.
How about adult members? My 3 younger siblings are incredibly picky- 2 (age 27 & 20) are like Mazzy and won’t eat cheese except on pizza(the 20 year old will SOMETIMES eat al fredo), 1 (age 25) won’t eat vegetables outside of tomoatoes, peas, and corn (SOMETIMES he’ll try a small amount of something new), the 27 year old only started truly eating vegetables and being willing to try things when he started dating a vegetarian (the things you’ll do for love). The 20 year old won’t eat/use butter (unless its in something- not cooked in but in like cookies), sour cream (including if its cooked into something), and she is anti junk food(and such a treat to grocery shop with- ‘that’s gross’ ‘but if we got this it would be healthier’. The 25 year old won’t eat fish (we live in Maryland- crabs & shrimp are fine but no actual fish). Planning a family meal where everyone eats an entire meal is next to impossible- I can’t imagine what will happen when we start having kids.
Be sure to let Mazzy know that additionally the top of the bagel is not suitable for consumption, only the bottom.
But please don’t tell my 3 year old when his Mommy buys them she takes them all out of the bag, breaks them apart and claims she purchased the bottoms.
My oldest son thinks he likes spinach because Popeye does and his dad was in the Navy and has an anchor tattoo on his arm like Popeye. He tried some raw once and promptly handed back the half eaten leaf. He continues to tell me that he likes spinach, but proceeds to pick it out of everything I make with it. He tries to convince me he likes it by retelling me the story of the one time he ate that bite of raw spinach leaf when his brother’s godfather was there and I made a spinach and strawberry salad. I tricked him once by serving it in stuffed shells and he ate it, but mostly he tells me how much he loves it, but doesn’t need to eat it again because of that ONE time!
Hahahaha! 3 1/2 year olds crack me up!
wow your kids are going to be fucked up when they grow up. why don’t you just tell them to eat it or go hungry. kids are starving in Africa and your whinny brats cannot finish a banana? sooo funny. keep your negligence to yourself… oh wait youre about to release it into the world. thanks for nothing!
Really?. Why bother following and commenting?
My girls (8 next week and 4 1/2) are usually more adventurous than I am, and I could only come up with 1 picky eater story. My oldest was about 6 months old when we first started giving her Cheerios. We’d put a handful out on her high chair tray, and she’d always sort them. The perfect O’s got put in the cup indentation, and the broken ones got dropped off the side of the tray. Once she was done sorting them, she’d go back and eat all the perfect O’s.
She grew out of it really quick, but it was the funniest quirk to see her being so organized (OCD?) at such a young age. 🙂
The “kids are starving in Africa” thing is such tripe AND a straw man argument. My son ate half his ham this evening, what am I supposed to do, put the other half on a plane? News flash, in order to give our children food we’re not snatching it from the mouths of starving African children. Never kind that Africa is a hugely diverse continent and includes kids who have enough to eat… The food problems in the more impoverished places on the planet are to do with infrastructure and investment and other big wide complicated things.
Talk about your unhelpful & ignorant comments…
I have a picky eater who is also a perfectionist and will end up being a great engineer, architect or builder, based on his eating habits.
He eats a slice of cheese by bitting each corner first in order to create a new shape, a cross. He lines up his peas and then eats them one at a time. He sorts multigrain Cheerios by color and only eats one or two colors. He tries to make shapes with his vegetables when lining them up or by bitting around until they have the desired shape.
He will not eat anything orange or red (except ketchup), that is no carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges or tangerines.
He wants his cereal dry and his milk on a cup with chocolate, but the chocolate can’t be any malted type because he says it tastes like hair, and finally, he loves broccoli but he wants to dip it in soy sauce and when the broccoli is gone, he will drink the remaining soy sauce just like water.
Yes, he is extremely picky buy I think he got that from me 🙁
I won’t tell you about my eating habits but my son and I share one thing: we eat one thing at a time.
The foods can slightly touch but not mix. He eats meat first, then pasta, vegetable and dessert. The one good thing he has is that he does like his vegetables.
My son used to be a picky eater – he still has his moments – mostly at dinner when he is tired. After getting sick of cooking 2 meals, or swapping for alternatives I finally worked it out – this kid was playing me because I was letting him. New rule – this is dinner, you eat it or go to bed hungry, there will be no snacks, no dessert – nothing (except water) until breakfast time.
After a week of tantrums – it worked a treat. Sometimes he claims he is full and doesn’t want anymore – then asked for dessert (fruit) and I say – if you are too full for dinner, you are too full for dessert. He either eats it to get dessert or says he is too full and has nothing until breakfast.
I don’t force him to eat – but after a couple of hungry nights – he eats himself. But we do have the rule that you must always try one bite – or its straight to bed after your shower.
Masia refuses to eat pasta unless it’s shaped like Scooby Doo and comes from a red can.
The problem? The Scooby Doo Pastas in the red can were discontinued in 2009. I don’t have the heart to tell her that.
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