The Real Cost of Picky Eating: Understanding The Financial Impact

cost of picky eating

As parents, we’re always juggling priorities, and one of the trickier ones is managing the dining habits of a picky eater. If you’re nodding along, knowing the frustration of preparing a meal only to see it pushed around the plate or outright refused, you’re not alone. But beyond the frustration, have you ever considered the real cost of picky eating? It’s not just about uneaten broccoli or the sighs around the table—it’s about money, and surprisingly more than just a few cents.

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Food Waste Adds Up

First, let’s talk about food waste. It’s easy to dismiss a few spoonfuls here and there, but when you start to tally it up, it becomes a considerable expense. Imagine you spend about $200 on groceries each week. If your picky eater isn’t touching 20% of what’s on their plate, that’s $40 per week spiraling down the drain. Over a year, you’re looking at over $2,000 in food that ends up in the trash instead of nourishing your child. That’s not just food waste; it’s wallet waste!

The Dining Out Dilemma

Then, consider those times you decide to skip the kitchen for a restaurant, because sometimes you just need a night away from cooking! If your family eats out a couple of times a week, spending around $60 each meal, and again, if 25% of that food isn’t eaten, the math isn’t pretty. That’s $15 per meal wasted, adding up to about $1,560 a year on restaurant bills for food that never gets eaten. Eating out should be a treat, not a financial burden with a side of leftovers.

Feeding Therapy Costs

For some families, picky eating goes beyond a minor inconvenience and steps into the territory where professional help is needed. Feeding therapy is an excellent resource, but it’s not without its costs. Even with insurance, you might be looking at a co-pay of $30 per session. Weekly visits? That’s another $1,560 per year invested in attempting to resolve the picky eating puzzle.

Total Impact

When you add it all up — $2,080 on wasted groceries, $1,560 on partially eaten restaurant meals, and $1,560 on therapy — we’re talking about an eye-watering total of $5,200 each year. That’s a significant chunk of change that could be spent on family vacations, savings, or even investing in experiences that enrich your family’s life far beyond the dinner table.

Make a Change with Picky Plate to Clean Slate

If these numbers have you rethinking your approach to your child’s picky eating habits, you’re not alone. It’s why we created Picky Plate to Clean Slate. Our community and resources are tailored to help families like yours transform mealtime from a battle zone to a peaceful, nourishing part of the day. By joining us, you’re not just reclaiming your grocery budget — you’re reclaiming joy at your family table. This program will pay for itself many times over with the food savings you will experience with your kids eating what you eat at home. The goal with this course is to teach parents how to break the negative food cycle and get kids to start loving food. 

Ready to stop the cycle of picky eating and wasted food? Join us at Picky Plate to Clean Slate. Together, we’ll help you create a fresh start with food that will save both your sanity and your bank account. Say goodbye to the stress of uneaten plates and hello to a new chapter of enjoyable, healthful family meals.

Sign Up Here & Learn More — and start saving more than just your sanity today.

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