There are three areas where a child has the final say:
















You cannot make them fall asleep, eat or go to the bathroom and if you try, you're likely to set yourself up for power struggles.


At the same time, it is important for kids to try new foods, and expand their culinary options. But if your son is a picky eater, it's important to avoid turning meal time into a battle zone. Here's our advice:

  • Let go of trying to control what you do. If your child chooses to eat only a small variety of foods, find a way to be okay with that since the more that you push the issue--the more likely she'll resist it.

  • Don't bribe or force your son to eat, and keep the mood at the table relaxed.

  • Place very small portions on his plate and talk about the color and shape of what's there, rather than fixating on getting him to eat it. Children will often respond well to trying new food that is in the shape of a face, an animal or objects.

  • Some children are hypersensitive to tastes, textures and temperatures. If you identify some of these sensitivities, you can avoid these tastes and textures for a couple of months and then try again later.

  • Jessica Seinfeld's book, "Deceptively Delicious" has received positive feedback from many of our patients. Visit to buy a new or used copy. Some of her recommendations is to take time with sauces, which can mask the flavor of new foods by making them taste familiar or blending foods so their texture is less unusual.

  • Encourage your son to help you shop and prepare the food so he's more invested in the meal. Have fun together with how the meal is placed on the plate. You might even create an interesting table décor, adding fresh flowers or candles sometimes to give dinnertime a "fancy" feeling. In other words, try to associate mealtime as a fun, enjoyable chance to spend time with one another, rather than a tense half an hour where the two of you are engaged in conflict over how many bites he's eaten of something.

  • The dinner table is one of the best places to gather as a family, even if the family consists of just the two of you. Transform this time into a sweet chance to connect, talk, play guessing games, or share interesting things about your day

How to Deal with your Child's Picky Eating

Primary Care Pediatrics with a specialized touch


Children's Healthcare Medical Associates

550 Washington Street, Suite 300

San Diego CA 92103

Phone: (619) 297-5437

Fax: (619) 297-4567 

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Friday: 8:30am to 5:00pm, Saturday: 8:30am to 2:00pm

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