4 Tips to Help with Picky Eaters

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“Ew.  Gross.  These are disgusting.  I do not like these anymore.”

The plate of chicken tenders gets pushed and Declan leaves the room.  A plate of THE chicken tenders.  The only chicken tenders Declan will eat.  Blue bag.  Green label.  Don’t buy the blue bag chicken tenders with the RED label.  Those are gross.  They MUST be the GREEN label!

And they must be microwaved.  Don’t DARE put them in the oven.

And now he won’t eat them?



“They taste and smell like cheese.”

Not to let the MULTIPLE bags I have (SO WE NEVER RAN OUT of a staple food in Declan’s diet) go to waste, I tried baking the tenders.


Oh no….what now?

Picky Eating

I look online and I see thousands of benefits of eating clean for people on the autism spectrum.  Foods that have HEALING effects.  Those foods are Non-GMO, organic, gluten-free and casein free.  They are rich in Manganese, Sulfur, Zinc and Iron.

But how do I get them to eat that?  Declan only ate the blue bagged chicken with the green label.  I don’t even know what he is going to eat now.

The issue of picky eating is not a new one.  Especially with people with sensory issues.

When I look online I read stories of kids that do not eat.  Their sensory issues are so strong they have trouble eating anything.

I may have kids that will only eat 5 things and are skinny, BUT they are still willing to eat those 5 things.

So hey, that’s something.

But on my quest to get my kids to try new foods, and for those foods to be clean foods, I’ve found a few things that work:

4 Tips to Help with Picky Eaters

Phone a Friend

Yep – call that friend over.  The one that eats EVERYTHING.  Bobby has tried at least 10 new foods this year thanks to being with his friends.  He has liked about 5 of them – but he TRIED them.

My favorite story?  Recently on a trip to the mountains with his friend and their family he tried chicken pot pie.  My jaw was dropped when he told me.  He saw my bewilderment, and simply said, “I thought they said chicken from Popeye’s.”

But hey – adventuring with friends = foods that I do not normally serve and new opportunities.

Help in the Kitchen

Yep – old faithful!  My girl Catelyn likes control.  If she is in control she is willing to try.  Catelyn’s dinner ranges from a hot dog (no bun) or mac n cheese.  That’s it!  But let her cook, and she is willing to try something new on her terms.  Nice!

The Food Passport

Yes, my older two would give me with “the look” if I told them we were going on a “FLAVOR ADVENTURE” and I would get to stamp their food passport for every new food they tried.  But Declan loves it.  In his preschool last year the Food Passport was implemented and he really enjoyed getting a new stamp in his book every time he tried a new food.

And now that I want to try him on a cleaner diet, what a great time to bring it out again!


You eat it, too!

I am a vegetarian – so whole foods and vegetables adorn my meal plates.  My kids are versed in vegetables because they see me eat them,

And even though my husband is a picky eater, too – he eats a little bit more than the kids.  They know he is a picky eater.  So when they see him eating something, well hey, it must be okay.



Just the other night, Daddy sat down for taco’s.  And his best little buddy came to sit next to him and do what Daddy’s does.

“Daddy, can I have a taco?”

We both looked at Declan with wide eyes as he was given a taco.

“Mmmm, this taco is delicious!”


And a new food is born!


8 thoughts on “4 Tips to Help with Picky Eaters

  1. My father basically ate anything put in front of him! Him eating something made me think it was probably of questionable nature. His mother thought chicken only had to be on the skillet for a few seconds. Raw chicken is not to my taste! Prefer all poultry to be fully cooked! Not into somanela or any other food borne illnesses.

    Have been a picky eater all my life. A peanut butter sandwich is still my go to food! Need a decent source of protein in the diet! Peanut butter and dead cow are my preferences. Getting sick from beef is a lot harder than poultry or pork sources. Want all my meats thouroughly cooked. Do not like eating live creatures.

  2. Hi, I’m autistic, sometimes food and drink are ‘taste tainted’ by something stored near them either at your house or the store. Sometimes they combine badly with a drink and sometimes a taste seems to grow. When I eat yogurt the first day it’s lovely, the second or third it seems lemony and after that it becomes gross. It feels like the bad part of the taste remains and some how builds up. I find fish fingers or any food sold crumbed & frozen starts to taste cheesy after a few weeks. I know its hard but it will get easier as you discover more.

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