Tried of battling your picky eater to eat nutritious foods like broccoli, instead of chicken nuggets and mac 'n' cheese? Copy this mom's absolutely genius idea.

By Marisa Cohen
Updated February 09, 2018
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Pile of pizza boxes
Credit: Bet_Noire/Getty Images

It is one of the never-ending battles of parenthood—how to get your picky eater to sit in his high chair at home and eat as enthusiastically as he does when you take him out to his favorite fast-food or pizza joint.

Well, one British mom has come up with an ingenious plan for getting her kid to eat, and we give you full permission to steal her idea and bring it over to this side of the Atlantic.

Her secret? Takeout pizza boxes.

“He thinks he’s got takeaway…(pizza boxes bought on Ebay),” wrote Terri Munro, of Essex, England, when she posted a picture of her son on Facebook page of the mom web site The Motherload.

Instead of being horrified by her less-than-perfect parenting move, the other moms on the site reacted with whistles and cheers, calling it a brilliant idea, and wondering if it might work with 14-year-olds. Munro later edited her post to add (we hope tongue-in-check), “It was such a success I may have to put his milk in a coke bottle now!”

Now, we can debate the wisdom of psychologically conditioning your child to respond only to takeout boxes, but when you’ve been trying to get your kid to eat his dinner for 45 minutes, and half of it is on the floor (and the rest is on the wall), those pizza boxes are going to look like the most brilliant invention ever created!

In the end, it seems like a fairly inexpensive investment in your mom sanity: You can purchase 50 boxes for $22 on Amazon, and rotate through them for years. Just take whatever dinner you’ve made—chicken fingers, hot dogs, or yes, frozen pizza—put it in the box, then ring the doorbell and make a big show of shouting “Delivery’s here!”

Your kid’s not into pizza? Serve up dinner in a Chinese takeout container, or sweet-talk your way in to nabbing some extra McDonalds containers next time you’re buying lunch, which you can then fill with your own healthier versions of burgers and fries.

Hey, whatever works, right!