Got a Picky Eater?

3 Survival Strategies for Parents with Challenged Eaters

By Gina Diamond, Nutrition Strategist™ and local author of Hidden Treasures: Sneaking Love and Health into Every Bite March 13, 2019

It can be maddening, frustrating, worrisome, and downright exhausting. Nobody wants their child to be a picky eater. Nobody wants their child to not get enough nutrition. Nobody wants their children to act out repetitively or struggle in school and yet it is so common. It can be embarrassing when your little one says “No, I won’t eat that!” and you aren’t a bad parent!  

Why I care!

For the first four years of my daughter’s life, she was happy to eat a variety of colorful vegetables and other growing foods. When she began to be exposed to a broader diversity of people and situations, her eating habits began to change. She no longer wanted to eat the variety of nutrient-dense foods, as the allure of highly processed, sugar-laden items was more enticing and addictive. She slowly but steadily began rejecting many of the wonderful foods she had eaten for years and yearned to eat what others packed in their lunches. This scenario is not exclusive to me. Many of you have shared a similar story, and I feel for you because I have obviously been there. Everywhere I go people tell me that they have or had a picky eater. When I wrote my book I did it to share what I had learned and help some families. I had no idea how prevalent this challenge is.

Since I don’t believe in forcing children, or anyone, to eat a certain quantity or type of food, I got creative and began coming up with successful survival strategies for picky eaters that I use and share with clients and I know they will work for you to so keep reading to the end to discover my three top survival strategies for picky eaters.

Everyone can do with a few more growing foods, don’t you agree?

The Problem:

In most cases, the child isn’t doing anything wrong. They need our help, support, and guidance. We live in a toxic world that causes our body to work harder and eventually it begins to malfunction and picky eating is just one system.  I know we can’t change the pollution that exists in our water, air, and food in this moment but there are solutions to this picky eater problem. Please remember that when you feel exhausted, worried, or annoyed. 

The Solution:

The body knows how to heal if it is supported and we must support it if we are going to successfully solve picky eating and get our little one’s healthier one small step at a time. 

First, and the focus of this article, is we need to heal the gut! 

If your child has ever taken antibiotics, breathed in air that is polluted, or drank water that contained chemicals, then their gut is most likely compromised and one of the things that happen when the gut is comprised is that the taste buds don’t work, which in turn sets a course for an unhealthy unadventurous eater. Yes, you can force them to eat and this doesn’t solve the root problem or create meal times that are happy and joyful. Does that matter to you?  

This is easily fixable but in the moment it feels painful.  It can feel like a puzzle but it doesn’t have to be. I offer my three top survival strategies to help get you started:

1. Drink Up 
Offer your children honey, lemon, and ginger water first thing in the morning. It tastes great and will begin to gently cleanse their system. The lemon will enliven the water and make it more hydrating and the honey and ginger have wonderful healing properties. You can start with just honey and lemon and then gradually add a sliver of thinly grated ginger adding a bit more over time. For those extreme picky eaters, blend in a Vitamix or equivalent to make the ginger less visible and serve in an opaque glass. You can get my life-enhancing lemon water recipe by going to

Another option is to serve them celery juice. To learn why celery juice is so sensational, check out my blog post by going to

When you are ready to step into picky eater solution superhero mode serve them both waiting 15 - 30 minutes between drinks with no food in between. To make this fun, serve drinks in their favorite shot glass. Have them pick out their own special glass at a thrift store or while on vacation and then see how many shots they can consume working towards 8-16 ounces of each depending on their size. If you have more than one kid, make it a supportive game where you ask, “Who can help the other drink the most?”

2. Ween them off addictive crap, especially cane sugar!

Did you know that cane sugar, fructose corn syrup, color, and preservatives are addictive, harm the healthy flora in your gut, and change taste buds? If they are eating fake food that contains these ingredients then their brain centers and delicate bodies are most likely getting addictive and they will want more and less of the good stuff. Try making their favorite desserts at home so you can control what is going into their bodies. I have several delicious dessert recipes in my book if you aren’t sure where to start. 

In addition, you can begin giving them honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and lots and lots of fruit to address the sugar cravings. The brain needs glucose but it needs it in it’s best form.  

3. Get them in the kitchen! 

Why is this important? Picky kids want to try the foods that they help make. When kids cook, they get to taste and touch new ingredients in a low-pressure setting.

Which one would you like to try first? Go to and tell me what you choose? I will be waiting.

For more survival strategies and over 90 recipes to try out with your picky eaters, check out my book on Amazon by going to This book is being used in many schools as a fundraiser. Contact me at if you would like me to partner with your kid’s school. 

Survival strategies galore!


About Gina D. Diamond
As the Nutrition Strategist™, Gina Diamond is dedicated to helping people live a more delicious life. By sharing easy-to-implement solutions, she helps her clients feel better, have more energy, and begin to love their bodies. Her work is centered on supporting women and the people they influence so that they and their families experience improved mental, physical, and spiritual health.

Although Diamond loves real food and strives to find simple ways to prepare meals that promote well-being, she once struggled with her own health. After developing numerous conditions, including depression and anxiety, she discovered that her body could heal if she gave it what it needed to function properly. After Diamond had a child and witnessed a typical public school lunch, she became motivated to help by creating mealtime solutions that even the most exhausted parents and teachers could implement.

Diamond wrote Hidden Treasures with her own picky eater in mind. This book offers achievable solutions for those who want to do right by their kids nutritionally. Inspired by Cooking for the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair and with her main solution confirmed by the best aspects of Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious, Diamond knew it was time to share what had worked so well for her family and her wellness coaching clients, which include hundreds of parents, the Port of Seattle, Google, CoolMoms, and One Sky Wellness.

To learn more about nourishing your body, mind, and soul, visit