The Sandwich and The Boy

“Mom, can you make me a sandwich? I want ham, but not ham and cheese…I hate cheese. Use that kinda ham that’s pink and thin, but doesn’t have that hard stuff on it…I hate that kind. Use that bread that’s not brown, but not really white…it’s like a bagel, but it’s not. Then toast it, but not too toasty…or I can’t eat it. Toast it so the toastiness is the same all the way around.  And then when you cut it, cut it so both sides of the sandwich are exactly the same. Thanks, Mom.” Will-10

Poor picky eaters. In their quest for the perfect meal they are often left hungry and disappointed. This I know because I have one.

I wonder if food critics start out as picky eaters? Wide-eyed, tousle-haired children, sitting at their mother’s kitchen table critiquing each meal. Constantly disgusted by the daily parade of sub-par cuisine. “Nope, sorry Mom. I can’t eat this. It’s too saucy, too cheesy, too spicy, too salty, too chewy, too slimy, too squishy, too soupy, too toasty, too crunchy and just plain nasty.”

I used to think this was an act of defiance, even a behavior that could be changed. But I have learned the hard way (think vomit on the floor) that you can not force, beg, bribe, or trick a picky eater into eating something that they find repulsive. I think these picky eaters are born with overly refined pallets, while the rest of us are stuck with trailer trash taste buds. While we are content to eat the too saucy, too cheesy and too toasty meals, these picky eaters are eagerly awaiting something better…food perfection.

Poor picky eaters. Poor parents of picky eaters.


A mother's plight to find the funny in the frustrating and save her sanity.
This entry was posted in funny kid quotes, Humor, kids, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to The Sandwich and The Boy

  1. Lisa Wields Words says:

    Dear Will, here are the ingredients so you can make your own perfect sandwich. Have fun. Love a non-picky eater.

    I feel for you. While Sarah went through a slightly picky stage, we’ve been really lucky. She’s had to learn to be adventurous faced with a family that is part Koren, part Japanese, part Jewish–she’s eaten a lot of “interesting” food.


  2. Dad says:

    For the record, I think your sandwiches are the best. I’ll take one for lunch today. Also, I love your homemade red sauce. Could you whip up a batch at some point today? I promise I will tell you how great it is. By the way, you are a beautiful princess.


  3. Spectra says:

    I had a friend whose children were picky eaters. She would sit them down in front of the TV with bowls of food, healthy, mostly vegetables and fruit. She said they ate better this way, were less picky, and nibbled unconciously as they stared at the tube. This is how she got nutritious food into them. Once they were at the table, the whining and complaints ensued. Her practice made sense to me, after I thought about it.

    And, I was a picky eater, too, though not as picky as yours. Texture could bother me as much as taste. But it turns out, I had food allergies and intolerances, and was mostly compensating for those things which made me feel bad. Good luck!


    • Your friend sounds like a clever lady. Maybe I’ll try putting bowls of brocolli in front of them the next time they’re zombied out in front of the TV.

      As for the allergies, that makes sense, but I don’t think Will has them. He can down a bowl of ice cream no problem.


  4. jacquelincangro says:

    I think I was a picky eater as a child. For example, when my mom would make corn or peas and carrots, I insisted that mine not be heated. I wanted it room temperature. I would eat meatballs but not meatloaf.
    But as I got older I got more adventurous. Maybe Will will be also. Now I heat properly heated peas and carrots! 🙂


    • I can undersatnd your aversion to meatloaf. Especially, after hearing how it’s made in the school cafeteria…

      “Mom, did you know that you should never eat the meatloaf at school? It’s made from the gunk scrapped out from under the cafeteria ladies’ finger nails. They do it because they secretly hate kids. It’s true…I heard it on the bus.”


  5. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    I’m so glad Li’l D hasn’t shown these inclinations yet! I hope, hope, hope I’ll be able to say the same about his sibling, when he has one. (That might be a little while in the making.)

    I’m glad I have plain ol’ ordinary taste buds. 🙂


  6. cooper says:

    here’s the peanut butter, here’s the jelly….have a party.


  7. I’m not a very picky eater, but I have to agree with him on the whole thinly sliced ham thing. I’ll take the cheese though!


  8. muddledmom says:

    I have written about the very same things, and I came up with the very same conclusions. You can’t force food down someone’s throat. I’ve begged. I’ve paced. We’ve all cried. Mine eats from every food group. There’s just not much variety. And I am quite certain she will be a food critic when she grows up. She is already becoming quite skilled. We moms know. ; )


  9. I’m not a picky eater – just want everything prepared to my taste. My mother solved that be having me begin to cook at a young age. By high school I was the main cook in the family. I got the food the way I wanted it, and she got to pull the weeds my dad assigned to me.


  10. Fun write! I’m “too saucy” myself. 🙂


  11. Great post! I just pictured my daughter when you wrote “Then toast it, but not too toasty” :-O


  12. Nancy, i sure hope he comes to appreciate some of the finer tastes in cuisine some day. continue…


  13. John Erickson says:

    “Poor picky eaters?” Not sure I agree with you on that, but DEFINITELY agree on the “poor parents of picky eaters”! (From a picky eater, no less. 😉 )
    Good luck with the toast. My toaster seems to have two settings – lightly warmed and post-Vietnam-era-napalm-strike.


    • So, how picky are you? Will you eat the chunks of tomato in spaghetti sauce or do you feel compelled to pick them out and wipe them on the table? How about chicken noodle soup? Do you avoid the carrots and celery at all cost? Does the sight of an onion make you cry? 😉


      • John Erickson says:

        Tomato chunks are okay, though I prefer none, and onions can pass mustard … er … muster. But it’s chicken noodle soup, so ONLY chicken and noodles, THANK YOU! Carrots, celery, and all those other alien organisms need not apply. 😀
        And spaghetti sauce better be COMPLETELY uniform, down to the microscopic level, or else…..
        But other than that, I’m not all that picky – as long as you don’t feed me fish, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, rhubarb, carrots, seafood, …….. 😉


  14. Has Will been watching When Harry Met Sally?


  15. kvetchmom says:

    I have a very picky eater and I feel so bad for him. I know he must be sick of eating the same thing day after day, and it really isn’t fun for him to eat out. I’m hopeful that he’ll outgrow this phase & discover the world of delicious food!


  16. Karen says:

    How about poor pickie-sibling eaters? My son will not eat his meal or drink his drink if his little sister has “touched” it in any way but I think that could be a whole different diagnosis and post!!


  17. artjen1971 says:

    Here Here! I got one of those, too. Can they survive on candy and chips?


    • Yes they can, but just don’t mention this to your dentist or pediatrician. 😉
      When we’ve had a candy and chip day, I always pour a big glass of milk for them to drink. It makes me feel like they’ve gotten something of substance in their body for the day.


  18. Carrie says:

    Well, maybe I have finally lucked out.


    I don’t have kids, so no picky eaters. And I’m not a picky eater.

    I remember my grandmother fixing my plate when we’d go to her house and lots of times most everything kinda swirled together. I made the mistake of giving her the old, “Ewww…I’m not eating that bread if it’s touching those beans!” one too many times.

    I regularly heard, “Zip it up and you ARE eating everything here. It all goes down the same tube anyway!”


  19. says:

    It’s even worse when they only want the same thing everyday with no variation. 🙂


    • You’d think you would start to resemble your food after eating the same thing day in and day out. “Man, have you noticed that Will’s complexion is beginning to resemble a piece of salami?”
      Goeber, I tried to leave a comment on your site, but was having a hard time. I’m not sure it went through. Love the comic and will try again!


  20. Maybe you need to be a worse cook? 🙂 My kids will eat anything. Because when I cook… well, my son actually said this one time: “I can’t even hear my stomach burning!”


  21. I was with him right up to the plating part.
    I prefer mine cut in thirds.
    *Are you impressed by how I incorporated ‘plating’ into this comment? Like I have the first clue? Garnish. There’s another foodie sounding word. Boom.*


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