My 7 year old is very picky: Advice?

My seven year old daughter is extremely picky about food and becoming spoiled and entitled, even though I’ve tried hard to prevent that in her life since I grew up poor. I share joint custody with her father, so she is only with me half the time. She tries to make every meal a power struggle when it’s time to eat food I know she likes. I don’t make her eat anything that I know she legitimately hates. Simple things such as pizza, macaroni, and cheese, corn dogs, noodles, chicken nuggets, fruit, vegetables, she will eat one day and then claims she hates it the next so she can go eat junk instead, which I don’t allow. I have tried explaining to her how there are many people who can’t afford food and go hungry and are homeless, which she says she understands, but the behavior continues. I do not let her eat something else after refusing the meal and don’t even require her to clean the plate, only to eat an acceptable portion. I’ve come to start hating when it’s time to eat because she cries and whines, and I feel she’s way too old to be acting like this. What are some ways I can get her to understand how easy she has it and to be grateful?


I think it’s a phase my 7 yo does the same thing, don’t stress. There’s plenty of time to instill gratefulness :slightly_smiling_face:

I used to make meals and let them pick only one thing they dont like and eat the rest it worked pretty good gives them an option but only one

Also try getting her involved in the making the food shed learn and enjoy more i think


As long as she eats somthing don’t waste your energy . My kids all did this to . Next thing you knew they went on a growth spurt with food. I would never suggest making eating an issue in general . Food gets old .


Plan a menu with her and let her help.


Pick your battles wisely

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Have you considered having her help with some of the cooking and meal preparation. My kids are willing to experiment a little more and eat a better variety when they have helped to cook the meal. Even a 7 year old can do some kitchen tasks. Maybe something that she can “cook” herself, like sandwiches, salads, etc. could become her new favorite. Good luck. (As a mom of 2 really picky eaters, I can tell you it does eventually get better.)


My 7 year old is the same :tipping_hand_woman:

Make a pb&j keep it simple

Maybe have her help you make a meal?

Don’t buy junk food.


Okay stop shaming the child today, that’s not helping anyone and you’re invalidating her thoughts and emotions. Telling her they’re wrong and she’s not allowed to have them, knock it off.
Second have her try everything on her plate, one bite of everything and she can choose to make herself a sandwich or eat what’s been prepared. No other options. It will get better but YOU need to be supportive and compassionate. There are tons of reasons for a child’s eating patterns and relationship with food to change, you don’t need to make it worse with more negativity. If you aren’t able to do that, or not willing to do that, find someone who will or the effects could last into adulthood for her.


Just tell her to let you know when she’s hungry, name three options and tell her that when she’s picked one she can let you know. Balls in her court then, she can pick or be hungry… trust me eventually she’ll pick.

I suggest not letting her turn it into a battle. If you know theres at least one thing cooked that she likes just announce that supper is done, when she starts complaining just tell her " you don’t have to eat it" no arguments or dealing, or begging. Let her get up from the table and go. But supper is all there is. No junk food will be available. If she chooses not to eat, don’t comment at all, a 7 year old isn’t going to starve themselves and even if she goes to bed without eating it wont hurt her. Pretend it never happened and offer breakfast the next morning. The trick is to not let it be a deal at all, say you don’t have to eat it and let it go. If she asks for junk just calmly say sorry, if you are hungry theres supper left and walk away.


As said, I would literally take her food away when she refuses and go about your business. As soon as you try to force or coerce her, she has the power. Don’t make a big deal, but don’t let her have anything else. She will learn that she will not get her way over time and that if she doesn’t eat she will go hungry and you won’t give in through an argument because you’ve remained calm. It may take a little while, but she will learn. Good luck x

Don’t buy much junk food. If you do, for occasional snacks or treats, hide them and do it when she doesn’t know. Make dinner tell her it’s done. And that’s all she gets to eat. No dessert. Unless she eats dinner. Let her pick out dinner one night a week. Or help make it etc. Don’t let it behind a huge battle. Kids will sit there not eating for God knows how long lol both my kids, each get to pick dinner one night each. And if they don’t finish dinner any night, they don’t get a snack after. My oldest is picky. He’s on the spectrum though. My youngest, he’ll eat just about everything lol or at least try it once 🤷

Make it very clear that what you offer, and only what you offer is what she will need to eat. No snacks what so ever unless she eats what you feel is an appropriate amount.
If she raises a stink, she can go to her room and stay there until she apologized to you and willing to eat her meal. Tough love. Sometimes it’s the only way to snap them out if it


Make 1 meal she dont eat it tough she gets nothing other than last nights meal for breakfast happened to me its how I learned

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Put her plate in front of her and walk away . Do not pay any mind to her tantrum . When she realizes your not giving in to the fight it will stop … and have a fun activity for just you and her after she finishes like a game or story time a walk etc .