How to Get Your Kids to Eat Anything


Think your kids won't eat raw oysters? Do they turn up their noses at liver and onions? You need to read this post.

I had the most interesting conversation with Ceci, the woman who owns our daughter's daycare. She has a few secret tricks up her sleeve to get kids — any kid — to eat anything.

Yes, liver. And yeah, tripe. And, yep, pretty much anything else you can imagine that you think a child would never eat. Octopus. Natto. Pancreas. You name it. All those super-nutrient-dense foods that are going to give your kiddos high cheekbones, a wide, beautiful face, and perfectly straight teeth.

Ceci from Peru

Ceci grew up in Peru on a traditional diet. She told me that she grew up eating all kinds of organ meats, including liver, kidneys, stomach, brains, and glands. She still makes chicken soup from scratch, as well as beans, rice and tamales and pozole for the children at the daycare.

Last week, I was at the daycare chatting with Ceci, when one of the women who works for her came up to us and handed me a bag of coconut candy I had made for my daughter, Kate as part of her afternoon snack. It was fresh coconut, roasted, covered with raw honey, and dried in the dehydrator. (Yum, doesn't that sound good? It was!)

The young woman handed me the Ziploc bag of coconut candy and said, “Kate ate everything from her snack, the cheese, the almonds, the raisins — everything but this coconut.”

I thanked her and she left. I was a little surprised and puzzled by the fact that Kate did not eat the coconut candy. I could understand maybe if it had not been sweetened. When I tried to give her fresh, raw coconut, over the weekend, she wouldn't eat it. She spit it out. However, when I sweetened it with a little raw honey, she loved it. She had eaten a small bowl of it as a snack on Sunday. And now she was not eating it. Why the switch?

I looked at Ceci. She was shaking her head.

Once the girl was out of earshot, Ceci said, “All the children eat anything I give them. Anything. The only time I have trouble with children not eating their food is when I get a new girl. It's always that the girl does not like the food — that's when the children won't eat it.”

“Really?” I asked, fascinated. Ceci's been running this daycare for like 30 years. She has seen it all. “So if the girl doesn't like the food, the kid won't eat it?”

Ceci nodded. “The children know.”

Learning to Love Liverwurst

It occurred to me suddenly that Kate had eaten liverwurst sandwiches with me — and she had eaten them at daycare before, too. But then last week, the same girl who told me that Kate wouldn't eat the coconut candy had also informed me that Kate did not eat her liverwurst-on-sprouted-bread sandwich. I flashed back in my mind of her her handing me two days worth of liverwurst sandwiches.

“She wouldn't eat these,” she said. I remember her face, the look of disdain.

“Ceci,” I said, “Is this why Kate didn't eat her liverwurst last week?”

Ceci's eyes widened. “She didn't eat it? She ate it with me before.”

“No! For two days she wouldn't eat her liverwurst sandwich.”

Ceci nodded knowingly. “It was the girl. She doesn't like liver. I love liver. Kate eats it when she's with me. From now on, you tell me when it is Liver Day. I'll have Kate sit with me when she eats her liver. She'll eat it if she is with me.”

I laughed. “It's a deal!”

I packed a liverwurst sandwich for Kate yesterday. I told Ceci in the morning, “It's Liver Day!” She gave me a conspiratorial wink and told me she'd make sure Kate sat with her to eat her snack. I said, “I made a big sandwich so you can have half.”

When I picked Kate up from daycare, Ceci told me that Kate ate her snack sitting with her. “We shared the sandwich and it was delicious — she ate half and I ate half. We loved it!”

How To Get Your Kids to Eat Anything

Ceci told me her secret.

“One taste,” she said. “I tell the children, take one taste. Then the next time, I tell them, two tastes. Then the next time, three tastes.”

“How many times do you do it?” I asked.

“Until they like it.”

I laughed. “Genius!” And then I asked, “But the mother has to like the food?”

“Yes,” she said, nodding. “If we don't like it, they won't like it.”

In other words, we can't fake it. If we want our kids to eat liver, we have to learn to love it first.

This post is a part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Photo credit: Nir Nussbaum and Savannah Grandfather on Flickr

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

105 thoughts on “How to Get Your Kids to Eat Anything

  1. Ann Marie,

    This is so interesting, I’ve noticed similar things… Partly I think it’s because we’re pushing things we “want to get rid of”, but if we love it too, we’re like, “Oh well, more for me!” Kids totally see through all that! πŸ™‚

    I LOVE this post and it makes me all the more motivated to find more things I LIKE liver in, so the kids eat it, too!

    Kelly p.s. I remember when you were fretting over finding just the right day care for Kate, and now…wow! How blessed are you to have found such an amazing place? I love how you have won them over with your kindness. I know at first they weren’t so sure about all the foods you were bringing in for Kate, and now look at them, they’re so super supportive!
    .-= Kelly the Kitchen Kop´s last blog ..U.S. Wellness Meats Giveaway of Kitchen Kop Favorites – $83 Value! =-.

  2. Thank you Kel – you are so right!!!

    And you know what, I think fundamentally they are supportive because they grew up this way. Ceci grew up eating liver and kidneys and tongue and menudo. The girl who could not get Kate to eat the liver — she is Mexican but she grew up here in the US. She was not fed liver and other organ meats. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  3. I love this! Kids catch on to so much, don’t they?

    I’ll admit that sometimes my kids surprise me with what they like. Like plain yogurt I like, but they think it’s the best thing ever. I usually put raisins in my yogurt, but they think theirs is great plain.
    .-= Cara´s last blog ..Dehydrated Pears =-.

  4. The first bite trick has had mixed results for us because sometimes it is sheer mayhem just trying to get that first bite in. Of course this is dealing with a very stubborn 2Β½ year old who actually, for the most part, will eat what’s in front of her after that first, sometimes impossible bite. I hate to make food such an issue. Maybe I shouldn’t push it so hard with the little one?

  5. Yvonne – the next time we come to Hawaii, I want to come visit you! We loved Maui — had a total blast. Love-love-love Hawaii. But next time we will stay near you so we can visit. Hugs – AM

  6. Hmmm, I think this trick works with the aerage picky child, but not with extreme cases. Out of 5 kids, I have one that is so, so, so picky. Even when everyone else is eating and loving it, he still won’t. It has been a slow process with him, but I am seeing small, gradual changes. For our situation the key has been consistancy and not resorting back to the old SAD way that we used to do things.

  7. BTW, where do you get your liverwurst? Do you make it yourself or order it from somewhere? I’ve never tried it and would love to.

  8. I had a teacher in third and fifth grade. She was my GT teacher. I saw her once a week with the other GT kids. She had almost as big of an influence on me in those two years as my parent have in my life. One of the things she constantly did was let us make a try new foods. We had plantains and purple potatoes. We would make homemade mayo or Chinese dumplings to eat with sauces made form peanuts or fish sauce or soy sauce. It is thanks to her that I am willing to try so many foods. I enjoy things many Americans would instantly turn up their nose at like natto and balut, and it has made my life that much richer.
    .-= Zeke´s last blog ..Eat Natto Now! =-.

  9. @ Kelly & Lanise

    It is so funny — everyone thinks THEIR kid is the exception. But Ceci insisted. There are no exceptions. ALL the children eat what she serves them. They may not eat it right away. But eventually they will come to love it — whatever it is.

    I’ve seen this with pretty much every immigrant I’ve ever met. They always get wistful when I talk to them about Higado Encebollado (liver and onions) or Tacos de Lengua (tongue tacos).

    Also Ceci never “pushes” the children. She’s extremely gentle and loving and very easy about it.

    But I think the key is, she loves the food. Children imitate us and if we don’t like something, they won’t either.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention in my post — when we were talking about the coconut candy, I let Ceci and one of the other teachers who works there taste it. They started eating it and ooohing and aahhhing — “This is so delicious!” Well, guess who ran over and wanted a taste? That’s right — my daughter, Kate! So much for the theory that she wouldn’t eat it.

  10. Lanise – what HAS worked for you?

    My 6yo is so very picky about what he will eat, preferring to go hungry than to give in and have even one bite of something that isn’t on his list of about 6 things that he will eat. (basically chicken and starch. He’ll grudgingly eat a single bite of broccoli most of the time, and frozen peas) He seems to have strong smell and texture aversions that we just haven’t been able to get past. He’ll scarf down one brand of applesauce, but refuses most others, sadly including homemade, no matter how closely I try to replicate the texture.

    I do admit that in the vain hope that he’ll try what we’re eating, we typically under-season foods and often cook in a more plain fashion than what we would do for just the adults. Maybe focus more on foods that we truly love prepared in the most appealing way to us?

  11. @ Christy

    Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head. Make delicious food that you love and enjoy and feed it to your kids!

    By the way, when my daughter refuses to eat something, pushes it away and says, “YUCKY!” I always say the same thing to her. “You don’t have to eat it. But that’s what we’re eating.”

    And then I don’t give her anything else. I don’t make her eat it. And I do not beg, cajole, threaten, or try to manipulate her in any way. That just prolongs the power struggle. All I do is put the plate in front of her then let her decide whether she wants to eat it or not. If she doesn’t eat, she goes to bed hungry.

    Most of the time, she ends up eating it. This is how I got her to love soup. Now she begs for soup — which she first said was yucky and refused to eat!

  12. awesome story! i think another key to getting kids to eat healthy foods isnot having crap foods in a box available, ever,if possible.

    immigrants usually eat so much better, dont they? my dad grew up with immigrant parents, eating a (mostly) traditional eastern european jewish diet. He told me his favorite meals included sweetbreads (organ, not bread), liver with onions, toungue, kidney, etc. his mothers favorite dish was brains, fried in fat.

    both my grandparents lived well into thier 80s, and never had any mental lapses, alzehemiers, heart attacks or the like.
    .-= emily- mpls real food lover´s last blog ..and the winners are… =-.

  13. When I was around 8 years old, my grandma once made a liverwurst and onion sandwich on white bread and mayonnaise. She offered me half. My mom never made these, but this was my grandma who could do nothing wrong. So I ate it, and loved it! We made another one. When I was on my own as young adult, I saw some liverwurst in the store and bought it. I made a sandwich, and couldn’t swallow the first bite, and couldn’t figure out why. Now that I think of it, my husband was gagging and making fun of me! I haven’t tried it again since then.

  14. Ann Marie,

    GT is Gifted and Talented. It is a program for students who have tested to have a higher than average IQ. Most of the time it is designed to challenge and give an outlet for the major curiosity (the I don’t believe just because the teacher said it I want to see it for myself mentality) of these students.

    With having number two on the way I enjoyed this post. My almost 11 month old daughter eats anything. Occasionally she will not like the initial bite (she did that with nori) but once she realized that I am eating and liking it she thinks it is great!

  15. Hmmmmm. I show love to a lot of different foods, but my kids inevitably taste and hate it. I make them eat tastes all the time. I have 5 kids and cannot make different meals for each of my children, so they must eat some of what I cook. And they can only eat snacks I choose for them too, so it’s not like they’re spurning the good stuff and getting their fill of the bad. I do see some differences over time (like when I switched to using honey, my kids turned their noses up. But 2 years later, they much prefer honey to sugar in my muffins). But it takes a much longer time for my kids than even consistent tastes. Still, I do like the approach… Maybe it’s her personality that does the trick πŸ™‚

  16. I ran a home day care a few years back and what I noticed was that the children would eat whatever I gave them because I was not their parent. Children learn to manipulate their parents, but no other authoritative figures. Parents also tend to give in much more often. The parents would tell me all the time that they didn’t understand why they would eat certain foods for me, but not for them. I would tell them that this was what was for lunch, and we don’t waste food. I always made homeade foods, and never gave them more food than they could handle. They also knew that they couldn’t get down from the table and go play again until their food was gone. I only had one or two stubborn ones who sat at the table a long time.

    I had a boy once who was obese (twice the size he should be). Only ate processed foods. Would NOT eat any fruits or veggies. I made homeade sloppy joes one day. He was so grossed out he was gagging and crying. It was so infuriating. But, I did not make him anything else. He went home hungry. The days I had him, I had to try to make a meal in which knew he would eat. I hated catering like that. Thank goodness I didn’t have him often.

  17. Sigh! I’d like to like liver, but I just… it just really tastes bad to me. When we make it, I gulp it down and then instantly stuff something else in my mouth to get rid of the taste – but it’s not just the taste, it’s the texture as well. An all-out unpleasant experience. At least I keep trying. Hopefully I can pass that on to my kids.


    P.S. I found out as an adult that although my mom made us “at least” try everything, she wouldn’t (and still won’t) do it herself! So, sometimes the parents DON’T have to love it. heh.
    .-= Psychic Lunch´s last blog ..The Many Milks =-.

  18. This is so true! All 3 of my kids eat whatever I feed them. They know they don’t have a choice anyway, and eventually they learn to like it. My 2yo hated eggs and it took me a good year of making her eat a bite of mine every day, but now she will eat a whole yolk of fried egg. We’re still working on the white, but the yolk is more important anyway. My 4yo always preferred meat over veggies and fruit but he knew he had to eat a little. He’s learned to enjoy many of them and he’s willing to eat some that he doesn’t enjoy too. My 8yo LOVES avocados and one night he and my husband were “fighting” over the avocados. My 4yo (who was 3 at the time) decided they must be pretty good if people were fighting over them so he wanted some too. It was hilarious to see him say how much he loved it while his face told a completely different story. It was obvious he really didn’t like it but he went on and on about how good it was so he could be like everyone else! LOL! It makes a HUGE difference if Dad will eat it. Research shows that kids with picky dads tend to be picky, whether or not Mom is picky.

    I personally don’t let my kids not eat if they don’t like what we’re having. I’m the parent, and I know best. Kids don’t know what’s good for them. They eat what they’re served without complaining. Since they know that’s the standard, they don’t balk. “Mommy worked hard making this delicious meal and this is what has been provided for us, so you are going to eat it with a thankful heart.” I guess I just know too many people whose kids don’t eat because they’re picky and they end up scrawny and unhealthy. (Of course they also know they’ll get a Pop Tart for breakfast anyway, so they just get used to not eating dinner and their little bodies just get used to it. I know that’s not what you’re advocating :-). Being picky is a luxury of the wealth that we enjoy in the US. Kids all around the world are just happy to have something in their tummies! They don’t have all the options we enjoy!

  19. @ Dan

    I bet the reason the liver tastes bad is the way it is prepared. You can remove most (if not all) of the bitter taste with certain techniques like soaking in milk. I’ve also heard of using garlic to marinate overnight — or lemon, whey/water, etc.

    It also helps to serve organ meats with sauces (Balsamic reduction is my fave) or in sausage.

  20. @ Kaylin


    You spent a whole year encouraging your child to eat eggs.

    That is AWESOME!

    If you can do that, any of us can do it. No more excuses.

    And you’re absolutely right. When a family is poor, there is NO choice. They eat or they go hungry. We are so spoiled in this country!

  21. I said earlier that my daughter eats anything but sometimes she will refuse meat. The other day she threw all of her roast in the floor from her high chair and every time I would try to give her a bite she spit it out and then threw it in the floor. How can I get her to eat meat consistently? I worry about her lacking in protein.

    1. Hi Leah F,

      Does she have any particular favorite meats? If she does, have her eat those until she is used to eating meat.

  22. “Would NOT eat any fruits or veggies. I made homeade sloppy joes one day. He was so grossed out he was gagging and crying. It was so infuriating. But, I did not make him anything else. He went home hungry. The days I had him, I had to try to make a meal in which knew he would eat. I hated catering like that. Thank goodness I didn’t have him often.”

    This is my son exactly – only he’s not obese, and is generally in better health than I am most of the time. “Infuriating” is exactly the word for it. I don’t make special food for him (well, unless I truly botch dinner and can barely gag it down myself. I’ll make an exception then) but in the case of sloppy joes, I’m sure he’d eat the bun and nothing else. He has a lot of meals that consist of nothing but rice. But when I look at his shiny hair, supple skin straight teeth, and notice that he’s sick a whole lot less than I am, “because I said so” is the only reason I can come up with for why he ought to eat the rest of dinner in the first place, and that never turns out well. We’re talking about a kid who when told that he HAD to wish the birthday boy “happy birthday” at preschool to get a piece of cake chose instead to sob for over an hour about the cake he couldn’t have. How on earth do you deal with that?

    1. Wow, Christy! I wonder if your child has leaky gut. Children who have abnormal gut flora often crave carbohydrate foods and won’t eat anything else. Perhaps you would like to look into the GAPS diet.

  23. We use a combination of several methods: First, the “three bites” rule. You have to have three bites of everything before you can have seconds of anything. On nights when there might be a questionable food, I’ll make sure there is an absolutely irresistable side dish. We also have two menu options: take it or leave it. We always say it with a smile, but if you don’t eat what’s offered at a meal, there’s no PB&J between meals just because you’re hungry. Hubby is a fairly picky eater, but he sets a great example by at least trying everything I make.

    Unfortunately, I’m coming to this “real food” thing late in the game, and the “Ooh! It’s so yummy!” tack rarely convinces a teenager. My best advice is to start young! Babies who cut their teeth on liver and tripe grow up loving liver and tripe. Babies who cut their teeth on McNuggets and milkshakes…well…
    .-= Peggy´s last blog ..The Power of Cheese =-.

  24. We have tried everything with my son to eat well. We eat a very clean diet since I’ve been a stay at home mom (for the past year and a half.) We’ve tried the one bite rule, but he will force himself to get worked up and vomit on his plate in order not to try something. Or he will beg to go to bed so not to have to eat anything. He is turning 5 in a month. This has been a two year battle with him and feels never ending. Anyone else have a child as extreme as this?
    Good luck to those this works for!

  25. I loved reading this. I’m a big believer in the power of a parent to influence their kids eating habits. My two girls are normal kids, but they will eat nearly everything because they know:
    A. They have no choice. If they don’t eat what I make they will be hungry until the next meal.
    B. They need to eat one bite to be polite.
    C. If we happen to have dessert that night and they don’t eat their meal, they won’t get dessert.

    My five year old still doesn’t like eggs and every time I make them (nearly every day!) she cries, “Not egg again!” but she will eat the yolk now. Like the previous poster, I don’t care too much about the white.
    I like nearly everything. Now I just need to work on my husband!

  26. Thanks, Ann Marie – I also just saw Local Nourishment’s recipe on making liver delicious, and I’m SURE that’s light years better than the way I’ve ever eaten it. Most of the time, I think, it’s just “dump it in the pan with onions”.

    I will experiment!
    .-= Psychic Lunch´s last blog ..The Many Milks =-.

  27. Sorry. It’s just doesn’t work for every kid. I have 5 children. They have all been fed healthy nutrient dense foods their entire lives without boxed crap in the house. I have one child who ate well and ate everything till 18 mo of age and then just stopped eating a ton of foods. And he WAS fed foods like liver from early on. He’s a good respectful kid. He never complains about what I serve. He tries to be polite but he does not eat it. It doesn’t matter that there are 6 other people wolfing it down and loving it. He doesn’t.

    Telling him he can’t have X,Y or Z are not motivating to him. He will just go hungry and not complain if there is nothing at the meal he likes. But hunger has never motivated him to eat the food. I used to try making him eat a few bites anyway. He would gag and throw it up. I am not making a kid throw up daily. He’s not motivated by peer pressure. I can’t argue that he isn’t healthy because of it either. Because he has always been an extremely healthy child and rarely ever gets sick even when everyone else does. Oh well.

    1. i can subscribe to every word of this e-mail. My husband and I are both cooks and we live in Italy, and we have cooked all kinds of foods for our children – GAPS, macrobiotic, vegetarian, vegan, liver, tongue, heart, foie gras, sprouts, homemade raw yogurt, fermented vegetables, you name it – with all kinds of ingredients. One child eats and tries everything and the other from about 18 months wants only pasta and flour products- bread etc. – and given a choice white flour. We do not use sugar, very little honey, no processed foods ever, we have the best diet of all the families i know but my son only wants pasta with no sauce just butter or oil.
      Hunger does not work either.
      By the way there is no proof that if you try for a year and give small bites, that’s why they will eat the foods in the end. Maybe they would have started eating them anyways.

  28. My grandmother is German and liverwurst was always a special snack for us! I loved it on a piece of toasted rye bread. Looking back it seems like such an odd thing for a little kid to like but it really was as much of a treat as all the cakes and cookies she made for us too.

    I don’t have it much as adult because of the preservatives (I’ll have to check into US Wellness!) but now I am eating it once a week as part of the brewer diet and remember how much I love it. My husband still thinks it is gross but I’m so glad I can at least teach my kids to like one kid of organ meat. Despite my love liverwurst, all other organ meats still kinda gross me out. I know it is mental but getting past that is hard.

  29. So, my husband loves Chorizo Mexican sausage….made with all those …hmm…parts. I’ve always told him it wasn’t good for him and at one point we even switched to soy chorizo….yikes, we no longer eat soy. Could it actually be good for him?
    .-= jana @ Weeekend Vintage´s last blog ..Privacy Policy =-.

  30. I loved this post and all the comments. I had read a long time ago that it takes 12 – 15 introductions of one food to get a kid to like it, so this makes sense. The hard part is surviving through making a food 15 times and having it rejected, until finally your child will eat it. I worked hard, too, when my kids were little to get them to eat healthy foods, and now they are really good eaters. My 3 year old asked me the other day, “Mommy, can I have some spinach on my sandwich?” While I agree that rejecting food is a luxury of a wealthy country, I also realize that here in the US it’s pretty easy to feed your kids chicken nuggets and fries all the time, especially when they are cheaper and more convenient than steamed broccoli. So it really does require the time and energy to fight against American food culture and introduce your kids to healthy, delicious foods!

    My sister-in-law taught me early on about the one-bite rule: she calls it a “no thank you helping.” For any new food, every child is required to have a “no thank you” serving– you can say no thank you, but ONLY after you’ve tried it. I love the idea of increasing the number of “bites” with each new introduction!
    .-= BethPC´s last blog ..The Week of Eating In: Day 2, plus some domestic history =-.

  31. great post anne marie! it’s so true, kids do know if we like something or not. food experiences with kids are variable. i would say that anne marie’s experience is the norm, but there are many kids that fall outside the norm. all some kids need is an enthusiastic guide. others need more. others still could have the best loving nurturing techniques without control and rarely make progress on learning to eat new things. in addition to having an enthusiastic guide, illness, appetite, personality, and genetics all play a role in how much or little a kid likes to eat. some people are “super tasters” and they have many many many more taste buds than non super tasters. these extra taste buds make them overly sensitive to bitter, warm, cold and fat content. over time a super taster can learn to appreciate some or many of these tongue sensations, but it may be slow going during the early childhood years.

    i’d love to interview an MD about this topic, but I wonder if the kids that gag and cry and carry on about food they think they don’t like (or truly don’t like) have other issues going on, besides eating preferences. i don’t think that’s a normal behavior to food, but i’m not a doctor. I never know what to say to parents of those kids who come to my class. I don’t think they need “picky eater” help, I think they need some other kind of assistance.
    .-= jenna Food WIth Kid Appeal´s last blog ..101 Optimal Foods Review & Giveaway =-.

  32. I just recently defrosted our liverwurst from Wellness Meats and I couldn’t eat it fast enough for it not to go bad! Can you defrost half and refreeze? I seem to have that issue every time I try to eat liver or try to get my toddler to eat it…

  33. @ BethPC

    What a fabulous idea about the “no thank you” serving! I love it!

    Yes, you have to try a food several times to overcome a food aversion. In Jeffrey Steingarten’s BRILLIANT book (one of my top 10 favorite books of all time), “The Man Who Ate Everything,” he tells the story in the introduction of how he overcame the majority of his food aversions by exposing himself to the novel foods several times.

  34. Kim, I was eating it almost every day and giving it to Kate a few days a week for her snack and I got through it without it going bad. I thought about doing the same thing — letting it defrost, cutting it in half and then refreezing half. I think that’s a good idea!

  35. @ Jenna

    “…I wonder if the kids that gag and cry and carry on about food they think they don’t like (or truly don’t like) have other issues going on, besides eating preferences.”

    You are absolutely right! Thank you for bringing this up!

    When I read your comment, hidden food allergies immediately sprang to my mind. I have heard so many stories about kids who complained about how their tummies hurt after eating, or they had behavioral problems — and then when the parents put them on an elimination diet and discovered they had food allergies, they stopped refusing to eat or acting up.

    I think most kids don’t have these issues but food allergies are more and more common due to all the stupid antibiotics everyone takes (and eats, via our meat and dairy, since the animals are given so many antibiotics), all the chlorine in our water, and the lack of enzymes and probiotics and fermented food and drink in our modern food supply. Also I think pasteurized milk and unsoaked grains make people allergic as well.

    So you are absolutely right — if the kid is allergic, that may be the reason he or she is gagging, throwing up or absolutely refusing to eat. I’d look in to doing GAPS with those kids.

  36. @ Jenna

    You also made me think of autistic kids — they can be super sensitive to sensations, smells, odors, etc. I remember an autistic kid — a friend’s son — who hated the air freshener in my car. I didn’t even notice it but he complained vociferously every time he rode in my car.

    Back to the gut issues of course — autism is only a symptom of underlying problems with gut flora and digestion.

  37. The allergy thing is definitely something to look into. Many kids have physical reasons their bodies reject foods, but just because a kid gags on a food doesn’t mean there’s necessarily something physically wrong either. My son has gagged on vegetables before just because he convinced himself they were yucky. We told him he was choosing to gag because he didn’t want to eat it and he stopped and finished eating with no problem. It was all in his head.

  38. Good point, Kaylin.

    My daughter always makes a BIG fuss and says YUCKY and pushes the food away when I serve something she is not familiar with.I just don’t engage with her. I don’t react to the “Yucky!” cries. I just say, “This is what we are eating,” and then I ignore her and eat my food. If she chooses not to eat dinner, that’s her right. But she usually ends up eating it.

    PS: You are my hero! A whole year!

  39. Aw, thanks, Ann Marie! Keep up the great work! Eventually you will be rewarded with a child who eats EVERYTHING even when her friends don’t! I had to laugh last Sunday when my 8yo told me that the friend he was sitting with at Potluck wanted to be on “the diet” too (meaning GAPS). My son went up in the line with him so he could show him what was okay to eat. It was so funny because this friend (and all his siblings) are known for being the pickiest kids in the world (and they don’t look healthy at all). He lives on junk, but he wanted to be on “the diet”! Ha!

    We used to live in the LA area and I wish we still did so we could do lunch sometime! Your blog is so encouraging! I’m completely surrounded by people who think that low fat and Splenda are healthy… it’s nice to have “friends” in cyberspace who are likeminded!

  40. The mother of that obese boy in my daycare would justify her son’s food aversions by saying that he had a bad gag reflex, one that he’s had ever since he was a baby. I find it funny though, that he gagged on fruits and veggies, but not on processed, overly sweet junk foods? Hmmmm…. Gag reflex, yeah, that must be it. Did I mention that his mother is severely obese as well?

  41. Interesting about the gag reflex. My son also has a history of “oral defensiveness” and overactive gag reflex documented by the dental hygienist. We didn’t do baby food at all with him, since putting a spoon in his mouth would make him puke all over (regardless of what was on it) – but he could somehow jam his fist halfway down his throat with no problem. Never did make sense to me. For the record, he would nibble at just about any food as long as he was the one putting it in his mouth until 18 months or so.

    I wonder whether having an elevated gag reflex might work WITH the “in your head” part of the gagging. So, the perception that something is “gross” initiates it, but in a person with a normal gag reflex it just wouldn’t go any farther than a thought, but once the gag reflex is conditioned to go off easily, it provokes gagging and possibly puking?
    I know when I had just recently made it through morning sickness, I had an illness where I was coughing all the time, triggering puking. It really felt to me like the only reason that I was throwing up was because my body had such a vivid recent memory of how to do it.

    Not trying to excuse the gaggers – just suggesting that this may be a legitimate obstacle that they need to work to overcome.

  42. Another trick: change the name! To introduce mushrooms, I cooked them in ghee and coconut oil, sprinkled them with salt, and called them Candied Mushrooms. They were a hit! πŸ™‚

  43. I agree with the commenter that said that if there is a picky father involved, it’s kind of a losing battle. I’ve almost given up altogether, its so discouraging. I can’t compete with the flashy boxed sugary extruded cereals. I can choose not to eat them myself, but with a husband that grew up on them and chicken nuggets his entire life, and never had to eat a family meal (they always ate out, so everyone could choose what they wanted) and was cajoled and bribed and prodded by his own mother to “eat a good dinner” so you can have the ice cream–when dinner is junk food (kraft mac n’ cheese?) argh, I get so frustrated! I kind of gave up. I let them eat their froot loops, and make myself and my nursing daughter some nice pastured eggs, soaked oatmeal and raw milk. Yet it eats at me that we are so lucky to have good stuff available to us and they won’t touch it, and I know my sons explosive behavior and frequent colds have to be linked to his poor diet. I thought of just letting him go hungry many a time, but if Dad gets to have Lucky Charms for an after-dinner-snack, why can’t he? And he can hold out until he gets to grandma’s in a few days and have all the juice and fruit snacks and frozen mac n’ cheese he wants.

    sorry, that turned into a major whine session, didn’t it? It’s just so frustrating to know that a solution to a problem is just sitting there for you and you can’t use it!
    By the way, thanks for your awesome blog–I found it and kelly’s last summer when I was pregnant and found the WAPF website, completely changed how I view food and nutrition. Seriously rocked my world.
    The one thing I been able to start doing is get him to take a bit of FCLO before bed–if he gets a homemade marshmallow afterwards he’ll totally do it. Do you think even the tiniest thing like that can help him, or is the marshmallow just cancelling it out?

  44. I’ve used this approach with my daughters, mostly with success, and now they’re 10 & 12 and eat MOST of what I put in front of them. Their tastes constantly change, though. Just when I think I’ve got it down, they decide they don’t like those particular green veggies, or that kind of fish.

    This is tongue-in-cheek, of course, but here’s another way to get them to eat the healthy stuff… (kinda funny, considering this blog’s name!)

    Bon Appetit!
    .-= The Well-Versed Mom´s last blog ..The Art of Persuasion =-.

  45. Hi Megan, that must be SO difficult to not have your husband on board with you. In a calm moment have you tried talking to him about at least only eating the junk when he’s not at home or something?
    I think that the FCLO is worth it, even if the marshmallow is necessary for them to get it down. My kids get 6 chocolate chips. No more. πŸ™‚ Also, they have FCLO gummies now!
    .-= Kelly the Kitchen Kop´s last blog ..Organic Grass-fed Ghee Giveaway – Over $30 Value (Also, Why Grass-fed is so important!) =-.

  46. Just a coincidence but I ate my first bit of liver today. Baked chicken liver with onion, bacon, apple, a little bit of apple butter and mustard. Oh boy, your little girl Kate is braver than me…

    The first time I took a bite, I seriously gagged several times. Of course my boyfriend wasn’t helping at all because he was laughing hysterically at my expense. But even though I’m turning 30 this year, I still adhere to my dad’s rule: always take three bites. I was an extremely picky eater when I was a young girl and this rule helped me to eat normal. Well, dad’s rule didn’t help this time. First bite, gag. Second bite, nose pinched so I would taste it less, gag. Third, same. Even the smell turned me off. All day I was dreading to eat it and it was seriously worse than I thought. Well at least my boyfriend got a good laugh out of it πŸ˜‰ .

    P.S. Thank you for the tips in this topic.

  47. Megan,
    Don’t give up! Your efforts are not in vain! If I were you I would focus on becoming a fabulous cook, so that your husband can’t help but LOVE what you make! And make changes slowly. Don’t start him out on liver and whole grain bread. My dad grew up on white bread so when my mom and dad got married my mom made white bread and slowly started incorporating a little whole wheat, increasing the amount gradually, so that eventually my dad grew to like the whole wheat bread! Surely your husband won’t be able to resist freshly baked white sourdough (which is still better than Wonder Bread!), and once you get him hooked on that you can start SLOWLY incorporating some whole wheat. Good, Better, Best!!!!! Start with the good, and eventually, one small change at a time, you’ll be feeding your family the best and they’ll learn to love it. The same process can work for your children. My husband has finally started making better food choices ON HIS OWN after a loooong time of eating a healthy dinner at home and realizing that he feels a lot better after eating my healthy dinners than he did after eating a junk lunch he bought. He’s given up cereal on his own (Golden Grahams used to be his absolute favorite and he’s lost his taste for them.) and still drinks pop every once in a while, but he’s lost his craving for it for the most part. Take baby steps. One thing at a time. Persevere!!!!!!

  48. Megan,

    I agree with Kaylin! Do NOT give up!

    I just heard from author Rami Nagel about a story of a young girl — I think she was 9 or 10 — who they put on a traditional diet and her palate expanded even at that age. I don’t remember all the details (I asked him to do a guest post soon) but the point is, even with older children, we can GREATLY impact their bone formation and teeth and their future heath.

    The same is true for our husbands. It’s so important to explain to them logically WHY eating this way is critical to their good health.

    My husband does not have time to sit down and read a book — he is too busy, as many husbands are. So I let him listen to lectures on mp3 of Sally Fallon — which he very much enjoyed and he “got” it. You could also order her “Seminar on Traditional Diets” which you can watch with him on DVD. It would also be a good idea to let your husband watch “Food Inc.” — I know that movie has helped many women get their husbands on board. You can watch it on Netflix — instant view (just watch on your computer).

    If he is hesitant to learn at first or doesn’t take you seriously, I suggest you sit down with him, don a very serious look and say, “Honey, this is VERY important to me. I don’t ask for much from you and I’m a good wife. But this is something I believe in with my whole being and I NEED you to understand it. Will you give me an hour or two of your time and let me help you understand?”

    Then put on “Food Inc.” or put on Sally’s DVD — something that’s not YOU talking. Let them convince him.

    Another thing I always do with people is flip through Dr. Weston Price’s “Nutriton and Physical Degeneration”. If you don’t own a copy, you can read the whole book for free online. All you have to do is flip through that book and show your family (both your husband and your kids) the pictures of the people in that book. Show them the faces of the children who ate tradiitonal food and then show them the ones eating industrial food.

    It is our children’s birthright to enjoy optimal health. I truly believe that, as mothers, it is our duty and obligation to protect and preserve that birthright for our children. No matter what lengths we have to go to.

    I see these young kids born in the 1980s and 1990s who have grown up on soybean oils and soymilk and low fat diets and they are so scrawny with such narrow shoulders and hips and faces. I know they are destined for a lifetime of health problems and I feel great empathy for them.

    One more thing: Kaylin is right, you can “trick” them into eating healthy foods. My menu mailer (click the link in the nav bar above that says MENUS BY MAIL) has all the recipes for 3 full meals each week, plus 1 snack, breakfast or dessert that are delicious and healthy. It’s only $7/month.

    I do easy recipes for nachos and french fries and cinnamon toast and coconut cream pie — lots and lots of kid-friendly, family-friendly delicious meals that are super-nutrient dense.

    One week I put a recipe in for fast and easy Mac & Cheese — done the traditional way. One of my subscribers wrote me and told me her son said, “Mom, that was the best mac & cheese ever.” Traditional food does not have to be all oatmeal and eggs. You can do so many delicious foods, prepared the right way, that your family will be thrilled to eat.

    Best of luck to you. Hang in there! It is worth it and your kids and husband will thank you later.

  49. hi,
    this really is super off topic, but you said in your contact portion of your site that you don’t answer emails in a quick manner… and that you answer comments faster. hehe! Anyway…. here is my question:

    Recently I’ve been starting to buy higher quatlity foods (raw milk, raw cheese, etc). I’ve been looking for a good pasture butter, and in the meantime I’ve been buying Trader Joes Organic Butter. I liked the brand because it has simple ingredients but had never read the paragraph on the back of the box until a few days ago. Here is what it says;

    “Trader Joes Organic Butter is made with %100 organic milk from cows raised in fresh green organic pastures, free to roam and graze at will- weather permitting of course! The family farmers that supply the milk for our organic butter feel a strong sense of stewardship toward both their land and thei animals- they’re connected to the rural communities in which they live and committed to helping reconnect people to the feed they consume. And since this butter is 100% organic you can be sure its produced without the use of added hormones, antibiotics or chemicals. Just pure, fresh, delicious, Trader Joes Organic Butter.”

    SO… are the cows really grass fed or is the company just using a play on words? I mean, where do they raise the cows- Alaska where the weather is never permitting? How do I go about researching this? I looked all over the box for a phone number, but there isn’t one. They only have the Trader Joes headquarters address on the box.

    Anyone else feel free to chime in as well πŸ™‚

    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..thankful =-.

  50. Thank you so much for responding to my comment, Kelly, Kaylin and Ann Marie! Your comments are so encouraging, I’m not going to give up. I’ve signed up for the menus by mail, thanks Ann Marie! I’m so excited to try them out.
    My husband and I saw Food, Inc. last year when it was in theaters. He humoured me and we drove to the nearest city to see it. When it was over he said, in all seriousness, “I’m craving a good burger and fries.” πŸ™‚
    I’m lucky on the bread subject–both son and husband will eat my soaked whole wheat. But they both object strongly to the tang of sourdough–even the white variety. Though I love it. No sauces dressings or dips or mayo are allowed to even come near my husbands sandwiches or occasional veggies, so my son has followed suit–even going so far as to reject butter and cream! But I will keep trying! Someone once said they must be super-tasters to have such a limited palate.
    One obstacle I’ve found is that everywhere we go–school, church, the grocery store, auntie’s, grandpa’s–everywhere they offer him candy. It’s like we can’t escape it unless we stay at home! That’s one thing my husband agrees with me on, that candy turns our son into a bear, so he’s good with consuming candy behind closed doors.
    I agree with losing the taste for golden grahams. I used to eat them all the time for breakfast, but after about 8 months of eating differently, they’re just not as good as I remember. Maybe someday we will be to that point with my husband and son–maybe!
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..miribirthollie3 =-.

  51. Hi Ann Marie,

    I have just started the e course with Wardeh and i am new to NT. However i have been a fan of your blog, hers and kimmi for a while now. I would like to ask you a little bit about introduction of solids, i have read the NT book and have just bought some beautiful organic eggs, However i am a bit scared to give my baby raw liver, did you do that with your daughter??? What if the liver comes frozen, do you still keep for 14 days before using it?? Sorry if it silly questions but i really want to follow a bettter diet style and i belive NT has it all!!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge!!!!

  52. Love this! I tell my kids “you have tastebuds in training”… Now that they are 7 and 9, they are much more willing to try new things. They are amazed when I recall stories of how they “hated” wild salmon topped with tomato basil and olive oil topping, how they gagged when they ate garlic carrots cooked in chicken broth, how they would cry and refuse to eat broccoli or the other foods they now readily devour! Its so fun to be shaping our children’s future palate. My son in particular has a keen taste for naturally fermented foods. He begs for pickled beets on his salads or slices of ham rolled with a pickle slice. They both happily slurp down kombucha. Sometimes when they have had a day of pizza or cake at a birthday party, I just remind myself that they eat foods that 99% of their friends have never even heard of, or would be too strong of a taste for them to handle. Thanks for the great post. πŸ™‚

  53. I haven’t read all of the comments yet, but I wanted to say that the “try a bite until you like it” works for adults too. I taught myself to love chopped chicken liver and pate that way. by eating 1 bite about 3 days a week (whenever I was at one of my jobs where we ALWAYS had chopped chicken liver, and I could have a bite to “quality check” it. a little bite. every couple days for about 2 months. the first month, I had to have a spoon of hummus ready to clear the taste. by the end, it was growing on me, and a few months later (with less regular liver eating), I love it.

    If you can make a small amount of the food you want your kids to learn to love, and eat a bite or two every day yourself, you will grow to like it, very likely.

  54. @ Kelly

    Yes, I did what Sally Fallon said to do and I froze the liver for 2 weeks. It was organic grass-fed liver. Then I grated a little bit onto her lightly cooked (runny) egg yolk every day. She ate it up! Until she turned about 14 mos… LOL! Good luck!

  55. Very interesting post!

    My children eat and love everything I make. They are not picky either and are grateful for what they’re served. They almost always get more than two helpings for each meal. It is a blessing to feed them.

    Neither me or my husband are picky eaters and so your article would explain our children’s love for food very much!

    We also eat a lot of raw foods and organ meats. They love sashimi, beg for chicken liver, get very sad if they don’t get a lot of plain kombucha to drink, and more. They can eat anything sour (raw kefir we make), sweet, salty, creamy, mushy, you name it. We eat all types of food in our household as well as when we eat out.

    Both of our families are the same way. We weren’t allowed to be picky and were grateful with what we were served. We also ate a good variety of foods, including myself, with a lot of seafood, organs and such and it was prepared very well.

    I have noticed though that parents who openly scoff at food have children that are afraid to eat food they aren’t familiar with.

    Thank you for the post,

  56. I loved this post – mostly because I worked in childcare for 5 years, and wow, do you ever see the worst/best of what children will eat! At the first daycare I worked at we served lunch – nice standard USDA regulated… it wasn’t bad, mostly because it was all made from scratch, even if it was low-fat/high-carb.

    The next place was worse only because they allowed the children to bring in their own food… seriously, some days we’d trade a child’s lunch for whole wheat PB&J so we didn’t have to deal with the sugar rush/meltdown we KNEW would ensue after the crap they brought from home.

    Unfortunately, the WORST place I worked at was the special needs school – they specialized in autistic children, and as we all know, they can be some of the pickiest. kids. ever. But the parents just fed them “what they’ll eat”… which included 5 Fruit by the Foots, 2 bags of Flaming Cheetos, and 1 diet Pepsi. For one child. Who was 5 years old. I mean, C’MON! And we were never allowed to alter what they ate, because everything was “regulated” by their therapists/parents. I eventually was “let go” because I would regularly talk to parents about their child’s diet, and encourage modification… I was “overstepping, and was not qualified”. *sigh*

    So I came home to “work”. And now my two boys eat healthy, real food. Two liverwurst sandwiches today for lunch, each. Washed down with some raw colostrum from Organic Pastures. I LOVE IT. πŸ™‚
    .-= Meg´s last blog ..Menu for March 7th – 13th =-.

  57. @ Meg

    Wow AMAZING. I can’t believe that is what parents were feeding their autistic children. SO horrible!

    Kudos to you for giving your kids liverwurst. GO you!

    Update: I spoke to Ceci the other day — she said now everytime it’s “Liver Day” Kate happily devours her liverwurst or liver pate on sourdough or crackers. She eats every last bit.

  58. I liked this article, however, I have tried this method of ‘one taste’, ‘two tastes’. It doesn’t work for me. I’m just trying to get my 3 year old little girl to eat half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I tell her to ‘take one bite’. Sometimes she will. I’ll ask her if she likes it. She states ‘yes’. But she won’t eat it on her own. I’ve resorted to bribery. Telling her ‘If you eat your sandwich then you can have (insert her favorite food of the moment here.)’ I’ll even eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with her. I’ll show her. I say ‘look, Mommy is having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I love these!’ Sometimes she will even say ‘i want to try?’ (Meaning, she wants to try and eat some too) I say ‘go ahead’. And she’ll have a very small piece and then put it down. She’ll start crying if I push her to eat more. I don’t know what to do at that point. I’ve also tried telling her that she won’t get anything else until she eats her sandwich. (She didn’t get lunch today as a result. She only ate 2 or 3 bites of her sandwich) I don’t like doing it, but I know it’s not going to harm her to miss a lunch. But the theory is that she’ll eventually be so hungry that she won’t care what she eats. It didn’t work. I tried to get her to eat the rest of her sandwich for dinner. More tears. More ‘no no no’. I tried showing her the rest of her dinner. Saying ‘you can have all these things…. as soon as you eat your sandwich’. She got excited about the idea of having them, but she’s not budging. It’s not working. I don’t know what else to do. She’s 3! I want to be able to feed her a pb and j or a cheese sandwich or even soup sometimes! I’ve only JUST now got her to like dipping her food in a sauce. Any advice?!

  59. Stephanie,

    I think you’re on track with the part where you say “Mommy loves PB&J” and showing her how much you love them. When she says, “I want to try!” by all means let her have a bite.

    Here’s where you are going off the track: Do NOT push her to eat MORE. Let her have the one bite. When you start pushing her to eat more, I’m sure she can see that she has been conned. She’s probably a really smart kid. She’s like, “Ohhh that was just a trick to get me to eat it. I’m not falling for that one again!”

    Let her have the one bite and then snatch it back away from her and say, “Mmmm this is Mommy’s!!!” If she wants more, tell her you’ll make her her own sandwich.

    Telling her she can have a treat if she eats the sandwich or telling her she won’t get anything else until she eats her sandwich are also evidence to her that you are trying to manipulate her. Just say, “This is what we are eating,” and act like you don’t care if she eats it or not.

    Flat, matter-of-fact, that is just what it is. If she doesn’t like it, that’s OK. But this is what we are eating. Don’t offer anything else. Eventually she will eat it. Or she won’t. But she will have to wait for the next meal to eat again.

    And don’t bring out that same sandwich again for dinner. Serve something else. Otherwise it feels like a punishment or a trick. Try serving the food she doesn’t like a few days or a week later. Don’t make her try it every day. The memory is too fresh — I don’t blame her for not wanting it.

    I think the key is she sees you and/or your husband (or partner) enjoying the food, and you don’t make a big deal out of it and never act like you want her to eat it. Just ask her to try one bite. That’s it. A few days or a week later, ask her to take 2 bites. That’s it. If she says no, leave it at that. Ask again the next time. “Want to try it? No? Just try one bite.” If she says no, leave it at that and let her see how much you love and enjoy it. Eventually she will want what you have.

    Finally, why are you wanting her to eat PB&J? It’s actually not a very healthy sandwich. Peanut butter, unless it is soaked and sprouted (homemade) is super high in phytic acid. Read more here:

    White bread has no nutrition. If you’re using wheat bread, it’s got phytic acid too unless it’s made w/ sprouted bread or real sourdough. Jelly also has no real nutritional value. I’d skip that sandwich altogether. We don’t even keep peanut butter in our house (although I am planning to do a post on homemade healthy peanut butter made from soaked peanuts and palm oil).

    Instead of PB&J, how about egg salad or tunafish salad (made with healthy mayonniase w/ real olive oil) or liverwurst? Or a grilled cheese sandwich? Or bacon lettuce & tomato. Lots of other, healthier sandwiches to choose from. Maybe she’s smarter than we realize. πŸ˜‰

    Oh, and PS: an update: I spoke to Ceci, the lady who runs my daughter’s daycare. Kate is eating her liverwurst sandwich very happily all by herself 3 times a week now. Yay!

  60. I actually disagree on the healthfulness of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you are using all fruit jelly, wheat bread, and natural peanut butter, I think it’s a great meal. Jelly has incredible nutritional value if it’s all fruit– all the nutrients of the fruit! If you use blueberry jelly, as we do, that’s all kinds of antioxidants and nutrients– blueberries have a really high ORAC value. Grilled cheese has a ton of saturated fat, and bacon has saturated fat and usually more than half of your daily intake of sodium.
    .-= BethPC´s last blog ..Slimed! =-.

  61. I learned a trick with my nephews (3 & 4). They will sometimes turn up their noses at foods… but not if they have butter and salt on them.

    A lot of foods geared toward children have sugar in them… because most kids will eat them that way.

    Butter and salt, though, engage the same reward centers in the taste buds & brain… and are much healthier. Heck, if those boys won’t eat anything else, they’ll eat pats of my grass-fed organic butter. πŸ™‚ “More butter, please!”

    It makes me happy. I’m a lifelong butter addict, too. Don’t get me started on Nature’s perfect food — bacon! πŸ™‚

  62. BethPC –

    “I actually disagree on the healthfulness of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you are using all fruit jelly, wheat bread, and natural peanut butter, I think it’s a great meal.”

    Please read up on phytic acid. Peanut butter, even “natural peanut butter” is super high in phytic acid. It actually blocks minerals.

    There is a reason most of our kids end up in braces today.

    “Grilled cheese has a ton of saturated fat, and bacon has saturated fat and usually more than half of your daily intake of sodium.”

    Saturated fat is GOOD for you! Cheese and butter and cream are full of fat-soluble activators. You can learn more about this on my blog or go to

  63. Thanks for the info. I did some research on phytic acid, but couldn’t find any reliable sources that describe the issue of mineral blocking as debilitating. On the other hand, there’s research that animal protein causes calcium excretion, so I’m not sure meat with lots of saturated fat is the answer if calcium is the question. I haven’t really seen any good science that suggests that saturated fat is good for you? I don’t really consider Weston Price a reliable source. But any other suggestions for reading in the science behind these claims would be great.
    .-= BethPC´s last blog ..Plant Collars for Slugs and Snails =-.

  64. Mike, your reasoning makes a lot of sense for maintenance, but if a person is already nutritionally depleted from a lifetime of eating empty calories then it would make sense to eat liver (a source of LOTS of vitamins and minerals) much more often to build up the nutrient stores. After that it could be eaten less often. Eating to heal is not always the same as eating to maintain health, and many of our children are born depleted because we didn’t eat the way we were supposed to during pregnancy.

  65. sorry folks, it sounds real nice and all but it doesn’t work any better at getting your kids to want to eat stuff they don’t like. my hubby and i enjoy a wide variety of foods. our kids watch us enthusiastically have at it with just about every veg you can imagine. i always make my kids taste everything we serve. they see us loving it, we do a whole song and dance, but they still complain and refuse. every once in a while they like what they try but most often we keep making them try stuff whether they like it or not. i agree making kids taste a food over and over is an excellent way to get them to appreciate new foods. my mom did it with me and it obviously worked. just don’t read this article thinking “my kid will see me like it and they will magically like it, too and we’ll all go eating healthy and happy ever after” because that, my friends, is a fairy tale.

  66. Hi,
    I have just been reading these comments and I am desperately trying to get some insight on my daughters terrible eating habits. She is 2 years and 9 months and has not had any interest in food. Each meal is a struggle. She has no interest in feeding herself (though she can), and acts bored with the process of eating a meal. This has been going on for a good year. I feel like I have tried everything. She weighs 24 pounds (so lower percentile) and has always been underweight. I always have to end up feeding her her bites so I know she has food in her stomach. I have been told to just starve her until she tells me shes hungrey, and on the other hand have been told to always offer her food at each meal (which I believe is the right thing to do). I am just so at a loss with this eating thing. Any suggestions?

  67. Melissa –

    Is there anything she likes? What about cookies? Mac & cheese? Chicken nuggets? Ice cream?

    It is possible that she has food allergies/intolerances. Have you tried taking her off of wheat and dairy for a period of time? Do you notice that she tends to prefer those foods?

  68. @ Melissa – I agree with AnnMarie… we went off all pasteurized dairy and wheat for a week (just a week!) and noticed a marked improvement in our son’s appetite. He was “starving” for a day and a half, and then promptly sat down at the table and ate a bowl of taco salad (grassfed ground beef, lettuce, lacto-fermented salsa, and soured raw cream). I’m not saying it works every time, but it might be worth a try.

    Also, if you’re still giving her milk/juice during the day, she might just be filling up on that – my 2 yr old would still rather drink a cup of milk than eat anything. πŸ™‚ We had to cut out all drinks other than water for between meals… they only get milk before bed now, and kombucha is the only “juice” they get. We also noticed that our boys’ appetites increased once we added kombucha and kefir to their diets… also, might be worth a try! My kids still like to drink more than eat, and fun straws can help with that too. πŸ™‚
    .-= Meg´s last blog ..Vegetable Frittata =-.

  69. My daughter’s appetite increased dramatically when we cleared up her digestion. And she went from being 10-25th percentile to 50th in a few months. We did the GAPS diet and all kinds of symptoms went away. She’s now happy and healthy, and able to eat wheat (properly prepared) and raw dairy now. I would definitely investigate digestion (which includes allergies and intollerances). I remember telling her chiropractor that I was worried about her because she would only eat a tablespoon or two of food at meals and the chiro kept saying she was fine. She definitely wasn’t. She had pretty severe gut dysbiosis and she’s fine now that it’s all regulated. (She’s only 2 1/2, by the way).

  70. I think it took about 8 months. She had severe constipation and eczema and she became regular and her skin completely cleared up. She also used to get up a few times every night crying for seemingly no reason and after GAPS she started sleeping all night. And I can’t even describe how much happier and sweeter she is! I can’t imagine going through the teen years with her if we hadn’t cleared up her gut issues!

  71. Thanks, Roger! Good luck to you! Be persistent and don’t give up.

    By the way, when my daughter was a baby, she used to eat chicken livers and duck livers sauteed in butter or duck fat like they were going out of style. When she was 1-year-old, I gave her liver pate for her birthday cake. She ate it up!

    Now she won’t touch sauteed livers — but she does like the liverwurst. You can find a way to get organ meats into your little ones!

    And if they absolutely refuse to eat organ meats, fry some clams or oysters — you can dredge them in sprouted flour, or if you’re grain-free, coconut flour breadcrumbs. My daughter loves fried clams and fried oysters — and mollusks are just as nutrient-dense as organ meats.

  72. I WISH this would work! My son, who turns 7 next week, will not eat a vegetable (unless I juice them with apples), beans and will not eat any meat other than beef hot dogs, bacon and salami. I love to cook. I never make anything from a box. I cook organically and even have raw milk in the fridge. Up until the age of 2, he ate everything. He ate every veggie put in front of him and would even pick the veggies out of rice or pasta and eat them first! He even loved spanakopita and his favorite lunch was hummus w/ spinach in it. Everyone said it was a stage and by 4 he’d grow out of it. Then by 5 he would grow out of it and so on. He has gone without dinner, sometimes 4 nights in a row! He would rather not eat than eat the roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli and steamed carrots I prepared. I have tried making him take bites each time and he sits there, almost in tears, faking gagging with each mouse-sized bite.

    We have tried making the items look like animal faces, have taken him shopping to let him pick the veggies out, have had him help prepare meals, and even grew a few things. He sees my 22 mo old devoure everything in front of him and still, nothing. We bought him a book that explains why we eat. We have talked with him explaining why the veggies, beans & meat are so good for us. He has even cried, saying he wants to eat these things but just doesn’t like the taste.

    I am at my wits end. If there is any other miracle remedy out there, I am willing to listen!!!

  73. Dawn,

    I say this with the utmost respect because I know how hard it is to get kids to eat well: it sounds like you are trying too hard.

    Kids are smart and when they know you want them to eat something, they dig their heels in harder.

    Ceci never begs, cajoles, or forces the kids to eat. She just shows them how much she loves it, eats it herself, and puts it down for them to eat. If they don’t eat, they don’t eat.

    I always tell my Kate, “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it.” And I don’t make her. I usually put out a variety of things — some I know she will like, some I’m not so sure about. But they are all good for her. So if she eats some of this, some of that, and not the other thing, that’s OK.

    She will announce that she doesn’t like x and WILL NOT eat it. I say, “OK, you don’t have to.” Totally matter of fact. And sometimes she will actually take a few bites of the offending food. I don’t make a big deal of that either — I basically ignore it.

    They way I play it is: This is dinner. This is what people eat. We are eating this food and we like this food. If you don’t want to eat it, you don’t have to, but this is the food we are eating. End of story.

    Oh, you want cookies or ice cream after dinner? Sure, if you eat your dinner. You didn’t eat your dinner? Then sorry, no dessert.

    That’s it.

    Does she always eat? No. Does she eat everything I give her? Absolutely not.

    But I don’t care. I just want to keep exposing her to new flavors and foods.

    One more thing: vegetables are completely overrated. They are not as nutrient-dense as foods like meat and dairy and fish.

    If you want your kids to eat veggies, cover them in butter or cheese or Hollandaise sauce. I don’t give a whit whether Kate eats veggies or not. I just want to make sure she eats her liverwurst.

  74. Thank you so much for responding so quickly! I took your advice tonight. I made chicken sausage, mashed potatoes (loaded w/ butter & raw milk), and zucchini & onions cooked w/ some olive oil. My son made a face as he approached the table. I told him what dinner was and that all he had to do was take a taste of each thing and if he did not like it, okay. He took a mouse-sized taste of the mashed potatoes and zucchini and did not like them. Then he actually asked me for half of a pc of the sausage and liked it! I also gave him a small pc of bread w/ butter smeared on it. He did not eat all the sausage but it was a start. Now the challenge is lunches for school. But, I just read your post on that and got some good ideas! Thank you, again.

  75. I think this is stupid. Yes I can see having the kid try it before they decide they dont like it, but we dont eat the things that we dont like and neither should they. Forceing myself to eat something that I dont like often makes me sick and it would be wrong to do that to a child. There are healthy options out there that they would like. Just because I fix fish, or oysters for dinner because i like it dosen’t mean my kids should have to eat it. There are cheap and healthy ways that everyone can be happy with what they eat. There has to be controll over what they eat because they dont know how to eat healthy on there own, but that dosen’t require force feeding and treating you child like a POW you sick barbarians.

  76. Very interesting indeed! I don’t know if I agree with making kids take tastes though. Just offering lots of good choices and keeping the crap out!

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