This Mom’s Way Of Dealing With A Picky Eater Will Inspire You To Elevate Your Food-Face Game

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A November miracle: sleeping in until 9.

A photo posted by Erin Jang (@theindigobunting) on

  Kids are confusing. One day they want to eat everything you put in front of them, and the next day suddenly they will only eat chicken nuggets with the breading pulled off. There are whole children’s books about the struggle to get a kid to put something in his or her mouth, and of course the brilliant “My Kid Can’t Eat This” Instagram meme that records the uneaten toddler meals of the world and why they were rejected. (Broken Wheat Thins are poison, obviously.) But one mother responded to her son’s refusal to eat anything in a creative way that could probably inspire some picky adult eaters to expand their palates. Writing in Lucky Peach, Erin Jang says her son Miles was steadfastly refusing to put any food in his mouth at breakfast. But then she discovered that if she made the food into a face, he would eat it right up. Seeing how well that worked made Jang wonder if the “food face” plate could convince her son to eat other foods, because it worked so well to get him to eat his breakfast. It turns out that it did.

“I started making food faces because my three-year-old Miles was driving me crazy by refusing to eat breakfast,” she said. “When I made his food look like a face—frozen mini waffle eyes, banana nose, syrupy smile—he gobbled it up. I wondered what other foods I could get him to eat with the same trick.”

OK, it probably doesn’t hurt that Jang is really, really good at making food faces.

Pears look like noses.

A photo posted by Erin Jang (@theindigobunting) on


But what worked for getting him to eat typically kid-friendly food like waffles and grapes and pears also worked when she started trying it with foods like fancy mushrooms and garlic scapes and even baby squid.


From today’s market haul. #milesfoodfaces


A photo posted by Erin Jang (@theindigobunting) on

Jang says Miles ate up the yellow oyster mushrooms in this face’s hairdo.

Stuff in the fridge to make dinner. #milesfoodfaces A photo posted by Erin Jang (@theindigobunting) on

 And loved the garlic scapes that made this face’s googly eyeglasses.

The food-face trick even worked for some foods that give adults pause, like razor clams, baby squid, and salmon eggs, which Jang put together for a “fishy food face.” The raw oysters she used made nice eyes, but even that was not enough to get Miles to eat them. He did, however, love the salmon eggs, which he popped in his mouth and said, “Mmm! Fish juice!”


This looks like a lot of fun, and if Miles does not want his oysters, I will take them. You can see all of Jang’s food faces on Instagram at #milesfoodfaces,