Dear Crabby, My Kids Won’t Eat Healthy Foods!

Dear Crabby,

I can’t get my kids to eat healthy for anything. What is a mother supposed to do to get her kids on the right side of the food pyramid these days?

Sincerely, Helen Healthy

Dear Ms. Healthy,

I know every kid is different, and every situation has it’s own proper solution, but let me tell you about my personal experience with my grand kids. One time, a buddy of mine joined me in taking my three grandsons camping for the weekend. When I went to pick them up, my daughter started in with this list of “the only things her boys would eat.” She even wrote it all down for me, telling me what time of day each boy was to have their special food and how I was to prepare it. I was pleasant, and I even thanked her for all of her hard work. We all hopped in my truck and headed north. Upon arriving to the great north, I decided to use my daughter’s extensive note as a fire starter for our bonfire. My buddy and I pulled out our first meal of steak and cooked it over the open fire, followed by red skin potatoes and sugar glazed carrots to top it off.  As we set the table and sat down to eat, my oldest grandson furrowed his eyebrow and said, “I don’t eat meat, Grandpa!”  I simply responded, “Okay.” Next, my second grandson piped in, “I’m not eating this stuff unless I have that special sauce that I like.” Again, I simply responded, “Okay.” Finally, my third grandson said, “This looks disgusting, Grandpa. Can you just make me a hot dog?” I was quick to reply, “No, our dinner is on the table. If you boys aren’t interested, you can wait till breakfast tomorrow. We’ll eat at 7am.” They all looked a little frazzled, but none of them ate a bite, and we all went to bed shortly after. The next morning, they arose to the smell of scrambled eggs, hash browns, and bacon, cooked over the open fire again. My oldest grandson, was once again the first to protest, “Grandpa, I don’t eat this stuff. Where is my special fruity cereal?” I shook my head, saying, “We have no fruity cereal on this trip, but we have this wonderful tasting breakfast to eat.” The second grandson joined his brother, “Didn’t our mother give you the list of the only foods we would eat?” I slowly nodded my head and told him that I thought I remembered something like that but seemed to have misplaced the list. I told the boys we would be eating again in 5 hours and they were welcome to wait for that meal if they preferred. The youngest finally picked up a fork and started eating. By dinner that night I had three young boys scarfing down just about anything I threw at them. As I dropped them off at home after the weekend, they all began telling their mother how they ate fish and steak and veggies and all sorts of things – and loved it! My daughter was shocked and begged me to tell her what my secret was and what I did with her picky boys. I simply replied, “It’s amazing what they’ll eat when there aren’t many options.” So good luck, and let me know if you want me to take any of your kids camping!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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