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Explore nutrition tips, kids’ meal plans, kids’ activities, recipes and more from pediatric nutritionist, Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE.

Picky Nicky

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Picky Nicky

Picky Nicky is a picture book that has simple words with fantastic pictures to tell the story, and flashcards to make learning easy and fun for toddlers and beginner readers!

by Cathy East Dubowski and Mark Dubowski

What is the book about?

The title says it all. Picky Nicky refuses to eat the dinner her mom and dad cooked. She would rather eat “bees and parrots” than peas and carrots, or “apes and bears” rather than grapes and pears. She wants to eat spaghetti at her friend Freddy’s house. When she goes to Freddy’s for dinner, she finds out that along with the spaghetti, Freddy’s mom is serving: peas, carrots, grapes, and pears. Picky Nicky has no choice, so she decides to take a spoon of each and put them under her spaghetti, and she eats it all. She tells her family that now she will eat anything as long as she can hide it under her spaghetti.

This book addresses the struggle parents have with picky eaters, and teaches kids social skills. Sometimes kids will eat foods at their friend’s house, or other environments, that they will not eat at home. Sometimes it is a good idea to allow them to make good decisions on their own.

After reading this book with your child:

  • Ask your child to name their favorite food.
  • Try placing food they do not like under the food they do like.
  • Make a play date with another parent whose child eats what your child doesn’t like.

Picky Nicky by Cathy East Dubowski and Mark Dubowski. Grosset & Dunlap, New York: 1996.

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