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  • Writer's pictureChristie

What to Say When...Your Child Dislikes a Food

After spending time getting a meal ready is there anything more triggering than “Ewww gross! Im not eating that!” ??

You can teach your kids it’s not OK to use words like that when commenting on foods other people eat or have put time into preparing. Assure them they don’t have to eat it but they can use kinder words to assess the situation. Remind them their face and body language also give clues about how they feel about a food, but not everyone will feel the same way they do.

Expectations: You don’t have to like it. You can eat it when you’re ready. You can use kind words to decline & learn a bit more about the food.

Why: When someone puts time into preparing food it can hurt their feelings when you use unkind words to say no thank you.


Although there are many quick sayings we can use here, you want to let your child know that you hear their concerns and that you can solve the problem of a “yucky food” together.

-What can I do to make it better? - dip? temp? cut smaller? smaller portion?

-Let’s see if there is something that is served that you do like most of the time

-You don’t have to take any of that food but you do have to join us at the table for family time

-Can I help you to explore? We can find some new words to describe it (colours, shapes, comparisons)

Kids Can Say:

-No thank you, I’ll pass for now.

-What’s the name of that food? What do you like about it? How did you make it?

-I never had that before. I feel unsure. I’m not ready to eat it yet.

Being picky can feel really alone and scary sometimes. Most kids want to be accepted & included for what they can eat right now.

REMEMBER! Your calm and curious presence is better than any script!

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