October 9, 2019


Hi Nikki! 

I’m a SUPER PICKY eater. There are a lot of things I really don’t like to eat, and that would be fine except my family makes jokes about me! It makes me feel really bad! I don’t mean to hurt my parents’ feelings when I don’t want to eat what they cook, and I want to eat healthy things, but my pickiness always gets the best of me. What do I do?!

Particular Picky Princess

Hi Particular Picky Princess,

Oh boy, I can totally relate! The other night my mom made a broccoli tuna casserole and I thought I was going to BARF! And that was just from the smell!! 🙁

I wouldn’t say I’m a super picky eater, but there are definitely some things I don’t like. I wish my parents wouldn’t make them, but I guess it’s not fair to expect them to change the entire family’s menu just because of me. And if there are a LOT of things you don’t like, it sounds like it would really limit your family’s options.

As far as your parents’ feelings, I think it would be very helpful for you to tell them how grateful you are for the food they’ve made, and always make an effort to try a tiny bite of something. But your feelings matter too! Explain to them that you don’t want to be picky, but you can’t help how your taste buds react to things, and it only makes mealtimes harder for you (and then everyone else) when they make jokes.

If you want to eat healthy things, try eating snacks and meals that include different food groups like: 

  • Grains (which include bread, pasta, and cereal, to list a few) 
  • Vegetables (carrots, broccoli, and spinach)
  • Fruits (apples, bananas, and grapes)
  • Dairy (cheese, milk, and yogurt)
  • Proteins (meat, nuts, and eggs)

Remember, the more fruits and veggies you eat, the better. Maybe you don’t like lots of veggies, but there are probably some that you DO like. Or you might like them if they were cooked instead of raw. 

Also—and this can be tricky if you LOVE junk food like me—try to limit how much junk food you eat. Yes, that includes chips, candy, pizza, soda pop and ice cream! So, instead of reaching for a bag of Skittles or M&Ms, try grapes or a granola bar instead. And rather than that sugary sweet soda pop, go for a bottled water or some fresh-squeezed fruit juice. Hey, it’s not so bad once you give it a try and discover healthy food you actually like! 🙂

Talk to whoever prepares the meals in your family and see if there might be ways to add more of what you do like onto the menu. Maybe you can learn to prepare some things so you’re not making extra work for your mom, dad, or whoever does the cooking. And when your family sees you making an effort, hopefully they’ll stop teasing you! 

I bet you’re not the only picky eater out there! Who else can admit to being picky when it comes to food? How do you eat healthy? How do you deal with family members that get on your case at mealtime? Tell us in the comments!