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I get awfully tired of hearing the same thing from doctors or nutritional experts on the subject of picky eaters. It always comes down to: “Eventually he’ll get hungry enough to eat whatever you give him.” Not so. In fact, last year we went head to head with my three year-old picky eater on the advice of his pediatrician and he didn’t eat a thing. Not a thing. After about 36 hours I called the ped asking what to do next and received stunned silence. “Well,” He said after a minute or two, “he needs to eat something. Give him something he will eat.” That’s right. The kid won.

I am a firm believer in not coddling kids’ food phobias. I don’t feed them watered down baby food, I don’t cut the crusts off sandwiches, I don’t make a mild version of spicy dinners. My kids are regularly exposed to Mexican food (and we’re not talking the American version here), funky Italian, Thai, Korean, Greek, Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean and any other flavors that come along.

They ate quinoa salad and lentil soup as babies and have snacked on hummus, not ranch dip, with the family for years. They’ve tried all the greens; bok choy, Swiss chard, poblano peppers and a wider variety of fruits than many adults.

I don’t make special food for my picky eater. Unfortunately, the kid just doesn’t eat. He’ll strike whole meals, sometimes more on a regular basis until he can manage to swipe a hot dog from the fridge, which he will eat plain; bun-less and flavorless. His favorite foods are spoiled for him with the addition of anything green or black. That includes herbs or spices of any kind. One of his few standbys, “smashed motatoes” are ruined by the addition of any spice other than salt. Green foods are bad, along with veggies of any kind. Most fruits are yucky. Many meats don’t make the cut. I have no idea what to do with this kid. I’m this close to pulling out Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious hide-the-pureed-veggies recipe book for something other than her fabulous garbanzo bean chocolate chip cookies (yummm) but I’m pretty sure he won’t go for it.

Any suggestions?

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