All Bets are Off Boy vs Food

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A little back story. My son, the lovely Mattison, 8 years old, our first born, stubborn as a mule. He won’t eat meat. No chicken, no beef, no fish (even though it’s forbidden in the house), no pork. The only thing he’ll eat that even remotely resembles meat is pepperoni – can you even classify that as meat? Our pediatrician (who we no longer see for other reasons) told us, “oh he’ll grow out of it”….that was 7 1/2 years ago. Our current pediatrician said, “yep, he’ll grow out of it.” …that was 2 years ago. A few months ago we once again told her, HE’S NOT GROWING OUT OF IT! She tells us fine, put your foot down, don’t cater to his wants, either he eats what you make for dinner or goes to bed hungry.

We gave her idea a shot and went to bed a few too many times without food for my comfort. Then came our ‘plan’. Bribery.

This is what a lost bet looks like.


The other night I made this scrumptious little chicken pot pie bake for dinner. Being the stubborn kid he is wouldn’t touch any of it because the chicken had touched it. My husband, full well knowing there’s nothing on this Earth that could make this kid eat meat made a bet with the odds in his favor.

Mattison, if you eat one piece of chicken, I’ll take you to K-Mart right now and buy you that skateboard you’ve been begging for.

This kid’s eyes lit up so bright you’d swear they were radioactive. After a little fussing and a trip to his bedroom, the bet was off, my husband had won, but really, is there a winner when you’re kid goes to bed hungry? Not 5 minutes later he comes out of his room with a smile and tells me he’ll eat the chicken. Shocked by his change of heart I just knew there had to be some kind of trick up his sleeve. But…I can’t be fooled. I was the pickiest eater and had all the tricks – spit in the napkin, take a huge bite and go to the bathroom and spit it out, hide it under the table, you name it I did it to avoid food.

I set the timer to 5 minutes and off he went, nibbling bite after bite of the chicken chunk. No gagging noises, no crying, no puking at the table. I was SHOCKED! When I asked him why he could eat it this time without puking – unlike so many times in the past….his response? “I told myself in my head I would like it.”

And now he’s the brand new owner of this skateboarding death contraption.

I have a feeling my husband won’t be making anymore dinner bets.



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  1. says

    ya bets don’t always seem to be good in my house either! My baby that’s 2 hates meat too. I have no idea why , but this girl will not eat any kind of meat at all! I try to hide it in sauces and things not she spits it right back at me ! I sure hope she grows out of it too. Death contraption they are , they freak me out ! I hate watching my boys on them! Have a great night Cat

  2. says

    I’m so glad my step kids are not picky..I sure hope Sarah isnt picky. I don’t know what to do with my niece half the time she won’t eat anything but a chicken nugget or noodles…spoiled…now she did eat Crab when we took her to Red Lobster..but Who in the world has that kind of money to cater to a kiddo like that LOL

  3. says

    have a daughter who will not eat meat or chicken but give her a hamburger she is happy. Dont understand it but she is 18 now so I guess we got by somehow

  4. says


    It sure appears as if Mattison is enjoying his new toy. Man, I’m probably the last person you should read from regarding making him eat meat. It’s too bad the doctor didn’t also offer some meat alternatives. Did you ever ask Mattison why he doesn’t eat/like meat? I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian and instead of forcing my kids to eat as I do (my husband eats meat), I serve meat to them (vegetables too – lots) and allow them to eat it or not while being sure they get the nutrients they need. Fortunately, I like to cook, so I have a good assortment of recipes that I make. I do happen to lean more towards vegetarian meals, but I stick some meat in there every once in a while to satisfy that appetite.

    It sounds like you may have a new eater at the table. With a growing boy, all I have to add is you better make more food to serve.

    • says

      For the most part we’ve given up on forcing the issue. He’s not underweight, growing nice and tall so I figure he’s getting what he needs with all those grilled cheeses, veggies and spaghetti.

  5. Crystal Allen says

    your story cracks me up! it looks like your son won and he knows how to rock a skateboard! next time you make chicken something, tell him, you ate chicken once, it didn’t kill you.. now you can eat it again. it’s good.

    ps… let me know if that works! haha

  6. says

    Ha! That is hilarious. I know all about stubborn, but sounds like he has the ability to set his mind on something and achieve it. Way to go for him!

    He is looking pretty comfy on that skateboard!

  7. says

    OmG that’s so funny! Really backfired didn’t it? Funny too because the same thing happened in my house tonight….not the bribery part but the going to bed hungry. Kids are so picky sometimes. Hope he enjoys his new death trap and stays safe while on it. You might need a blindfold for you though.

    • says

      Ha ha yeah those are the good pictures. I’ve got a dozen more of him just second from falling on his head…thus the snazzy little helmet there. Hubby wouldn’t let me deck him out in knee pads and elbow pads, he thinks I’ve dorkified him enough.

  8. says

    Too cute!!
    My almost 2 year old is not crazy about most meats right now.
    His meat of choice is venison ( yuck!)
    I will remerber this story and only try top bribe with stickers or cookies! :)

  9. says

    So funny. Both my boys are total meat eaters. They will eat their meat and nothing else. So do you think this is a sign of what’s to come? He sure does look good on his new skateboard, I think it was a GOOD bribe :)

  10. Chelsea says

    Thats hilarious! i have a really hard time getting my son to eat meat too, but he is only 2 and I think he probably will grow out of it since my husband and i are both meat-lovers!

  11. says

    OK wheres the ELbow pads? Knee pads and bubble wrap for around his body?
    That’s on the skateboard issue.

    on the food MEAT issue let me tell you what my son allergist told me. Sometimes kids have an food everision due to allergies. You may not know that he’s allergic to them because he doesn’t eat them.
    I think given time he’ll either start to eat them or he’ll not. Maybe Tofoe. (did I spell that right) they have them shaped like burgers have you tried them? Other than That there are so may places for him to get the proper nutriction (sp?) I personally wouldn’t worry about it.
    My G is actually allergic to all MEATs. I don’ t force him. He started eating nuggest out of the clear blue one day. He can have it 3x a week and its not so bad. G’ loves VEggies, fruit, pastas and we usally have 1 of those in a meal so he just gets more of it I don’t let it bother me and you shouldn’t either.

    Now stop being so over protective of that boy of yours my daugther has had a skateboard since she was 7. NO bubble wrap either. My 3 yr old jumps on it and off he goes.Now there something that scared me :)
    Funny my cranky pants is the opposite he’s the MEAT eater. LOl

  12. says

    Now that is positive reinforcement at it’s best-I love that: ‘I told myself in my head I would like it.’

  13. says

    My daughter goes trough those fazes, for a while she was eating everything I make, than she slowly started picking…we have months without meat of any kind, than months of no veggies, no fruit, can you believe for weeks this summer all she would eat was macaroni?! But macaroni without anything no cheese no souse nothing. Some days it drives me nuts!
    BTW thanks to the giveaway I won on your site I was able to force some food into her last week :D those color changing spoons are my best friends now LOL
    Hope he grows out of it! Otherwise he’ll have more cool stuff LOL and you and your hubby well…what can I say you’ll buy cool stuff LOL

  14. says

    Wow.. I have a picky eater also. As far as meat goes I was like that as a child too. I did grow out of it and am a nice size to show for it. *GRIN*

  15. says

    Love the deck — great paint job, my boys would really love it!! He looks like he’s doing a great job on it, and very glad he’s wearing his helmet!!
    As for eating, I do think he will eventually grow out of it, as long as he is not malnurished (has any doctor done blood tests?) and he is growing properly, which he looks like he is, and he is eating a variety of other foods, I think he’ll do fine. The most important thing is that you keep offering and that you are on top of it and you and daddy seem to be. He can get protein from dark leafy greens, beens and nuts.
    Good luck!

  16. says

    That is just too funny. When my daughter was little she used to eat everything. Guess what? She grew out of it. Now at the wise age of 20 she is picky. She started getting picky at about 15. Now she won’t eat pork or ham loaf (my favorite). Urg!! I could care less if she goes to bed hungry, her being 20, she can fend for herself. lol Wow, that sounded bad. Does that make me a bad mommy?

  17. says

    That is too funny. Maddisyn, my two year old daughter, won’t eat meat either and i have tried everything. So instead of putting myself through that battle i just give her an iron supplement and hope she will start eating it soon, she would at first but now she won’t for anything.

    Mental note to self NO BETS!!!!!

  18. Nancy says

    Sounds like everyone won on this one. Sometimes kids just think they don’t like this or that! Good for you!