Is it okay to lie to your kids about what you’re feeding them?

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Is it okay to lie to your kids about what you are feeding them for dinner?  Let's discuss at

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My youngest is a picky eater. There are certain foods that she firmly refuses to eat. It’s not a taste issue or me not allowing her to be an individual with her own opinions. Nope – this is an overly stubborn five year old who objects to an item because of the color, scent, strange sounding name or something she’s heard about it from one of her pre-school friends. This is a kid who’s eaten pork chops (and loved them), but since she was old enough to have solid food, she’s objected to the word “pork”. I’ve stopped trying to reason with her, embracing that I do not wish to drive myself completely insane and have figured out how to get around it.

I’ve become a bit of a salesman when it comes to answering the question of, “What are we eating for dinner?” I’ll give you a few example dishes that I have “reframed” just for her:

Instead of “Spaghetti and Meatballs, we have “Turkey Crumble with Noodles.”

Pork Chops with Cream of Mushroom Soup (from the crock pot) has become “Turkey Chops with Gravy”

And Spinach Lasagna is now “Noodles and Mashed Peas with Cheese

She loves all three of the dished above. However, if I called them by their proper name and disclosed to her that she was actually eating a pork chop or spinach, it would all be over quicker than I can say Momma’s a big, fat liar.

I refuse to make two separate dinners for my family. I don’t have the time or energy to accomplish this on a nightly basis. My concession to this quirk is to alter her meal slightly from the rest of ours so that she feels she is eating what SHE wants, and I actually get to eat dinner instead of fighting with her.

However, I have taught my daughters that lying is unacceptable. It’s the only circumstance where the consequences are pretty significant and they understand that there are no excuses to lie. This lesson has come from me since they were very young. As I was prepping my dinner for tonight (the previously mentioned crock pot meal), I realized that I was the liar in my house. The thing that I have been teaching them not to do, I am guilty of. Not wanting to deal with the fight at the dinner table after a long day, I have taken the path of least resistance with my youngest and just told her what she needed to hear in order to eat her meal.

Does that let me off the hook? Or does it make me one gigantic hypocrite? I’m not sure, but now that I’m aware of it, something has to change.


  1. says

    If you are feeling like a giant hypocrite, try to stretch the truth instead of giving the “proper name” – like calling pork “pig” or “pig steak” – you can even try it out on her before you prepare the meal and give her choices. “Do you want pig steak tonight or pork chops?”
    Same with the spinach. Call it something else that it totally is; “green stuff” – “garden leaves” – “Popeye Power” – something that you can prove is true without giving her the word that is offensive to her.

    Now – I am ALL for pureeing spinach and putting in brownies and just calling them “brownies” too. ;-)

  2. Jay Taylor says

    Whatever you need to do to keep them healthy and eat right… GO FOR IT! You can deal with the consequences
    9if there are any) later!!

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