Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup: Faux Foodie #1 + HELP! I have a picky eater!

I have a confession… I have a picky eater. Yea, she’s cute, but she won’t eat jack squat. I wish this post was all about how this awesome recipe I found was able to combat her pickiness but it’s not. I actually need YOUR advice about that part. But first, I will tell you an awesome recipe I found and tweaked to make the easiest, yummy dinner.

I’m really trying to turn over a new leaf and STOP eating out all the time. I don’t have cooking skills but I’m willing to learn.

Sadly, I don’t have time or patients to chop a ton of stuff every night and buy fresh organic produce for each and every meal. I just don’t. Maybe someday, but not right now.

So when I found a recipe on AllRecipes.com called “Six Can Tortilla Soup” with great ratings, I had to try it.

The one thing I don’t like about that site (app, is actually what I use) is that in the reviews EVERYONE wants to add what they changed to make it so good. It’s overwhelming for someone like me who just wants to make it like the directions say and not have to remember a ton of different alternatives. I did find one consistent alternative though so I swapped out one can of chicken broth for a can of cream of chicken soup. Ok I lied… then I also added shredded cheese and tortilla chips.

I know if you’re reading my blog you’re not coming to find the latest and greatest fancy recipes. But I do know a number of you claim to be domestically challenged like myself, and I’m delighted to help in any way I can, while at the same time, improving my own skills.

Here’s the recipe I ended up with and seriously, the easiest thing you’d ever make.


1 10oz Can of chunky chicken (or half a rotisserie chicken you cut up)

1 Can of cream of chicken soup (10.5oz)

1 Can of chicken broth (14oz)

1 Can of whole kettle corn (15oz)

1 Can of black beans (15oz)

1 Can of diced tomatoes with green chilli peppers (Rotel)(10oz)

Shredded cheese mix

Tortilla chips


Step 1: Strain the can of corn, then dump that, and all the other cans in a pot and bring to medium heat. Once the chicken is warm it’s ready.

Step 2: Add shredded cheese and tortilla chips to taste and serve!

How easy is that?! My husband loved it, and I had three bowls myself. Lil’ J wouldn’t even TRY it, which drove me nuts. I still have her bowl sitting at the table, and I’m hoping she’ll eat some before bed. I made fruit salad sorta thing for our side and she’s eaten most all of that, and some milk so I know she won’t go to bed starving, but still, it’s frigging annoying.

She’s always been a bit picky but it’s gotten really bad. She won’t even taste something she doesn’t recognize. Last night my husband made tuna noodle casserole, and she LOVES noodles but was disgusted that there was other stuff in the mix. She loves pasta but doesn’t want pasta sauce. She’s like me, in not wanting things touching, but to the extreme, as in ketchup can’t even touch a fry. Eventually she gave in and ate some but tonight she won’t budge.

I remembered the words from our pediatrician that we shouldn’t give in and make her something entirely different because it starts a bad habit. In the past I just always made her things she liked at home because my husband and I were eating out or eating things I didn’t particularly want her eating. So now she just wants her usual foods.

As badly as I wanted to give in when she went to the fridge for the third time asking me to make her a quesadilla, or to the pantry, pointing to the pasta, I refused, and keep offering her her dinner, still at the table. There are huge chicken chunks in there I know she’d love but she doesn’t even want to try when I pull them out… I think because they’ve been “tainted” in the soup.

Have you dealt with a picky eater before? I’d love any words of advice/ encouragement. It’s hard enough to motivate myself to cook but when a third of our family won’t eat it (two thirds when my husband is working all night) it makes me want to give up before I even really get going. Anyway, I guess the good news is I cooked something, and I survived to tell you about it.

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  1. I have two-picky eaters. My oldest son, was not as picky as I thought. I remember when he started daycare and I would ask how he ate and everyday they told me he asked for seconds and I realized he was pulling one over on me! I then stopped being a short-order cook. I let him know that he would eat what we ate or he would be hungry. Of course, I didn’t go all mean mommy all at once. I would put something that he recognized (but only a small amount of it) along with the new food to try. Sometimes he ate it, and sometimes he didn’t. When my second son came along, he was even pickier! I learned to call everything chicken to get him to at least try it. I got lots of “Mommy, I don’t like this chicken. I want the chicken we had the other day.” However, I did the same thing with adding one of his favorite foods along with the new food. As they’ve become older (8 and 5), we’ve discussed that it is rude to complain about the food, especially if they haven’t tried it. I also had to change the way I thought about it. As their mother, it is my job to provide healthy and nutritious food. It is their job to eat it. If they’re hungry enough they do. I think the fact that I don’t fuss as much about it has made it more likely that they will eat it. One last tidbit (sorry for the novella), their pediatrician told me to give them apricots (from the can) and peaches when we were going through the phase of them not eating their vegetables. She told us that it was the same as eating vegetables. We just offered it along with vegetables. I keep trying to get them to try stuff that they refused in the past. I think they have to see it like 15 times before it becomes “familiar” to them. Persistence is key! Hang in there.

  2. Look up the book “Deceptively Delicious” its by Jerry Seinfeld’s wife.
    It was my go-to when my son was Lil J’s age and was picky beyond belief!
    He’s still somewhat picky…it took us over 5 years to get him to eat meat! (That WASNT in nugget form!)

  3. GMy job n so many words is to talk to moms about their picky eaters… well not really but it does take up a good portion of my day. What I tell my moms is that for the most part it is about control. These r ur first arguments. She is the only one that controls her mouth and what goes in it. Give her what u prepared. If she does not eat then it will b there for her later. It is hard but she will b fine. I have seen kids that have gotten sick from having a parent make what they like. You need to eat a variety of things in order to have a balanced diet, fruits and beg come in a variety of colors for a reason. The Md is right. Right now ur setting urself up for issues. Remember taste is not inherited and eating habits can b taught. Id only be concerned if she lost weight.if you r worriedu can make fruit n beg smoothies, or blened a Veg puree and hide it in Pasta sauce or something.

  4. I agree with your peds. Don’t give in because it’ll become a habit of her not eating what everyone else is having. I’ve it seen this in action and the battles aren’t pretty. Moo didn’t start off a picky eater but earlier this summer she started with a list of stuff she didn’t want to eat and I quickly nipped that in the bud by not budging.

    It’s hard enough cooking when she has food allergies and now she wanted to cut even more foods out of her diet. At the end of the day, she’s learned to eat what I put before her because it’s good and it’s healthy for her. Maybe, having J help you cook would help her loss some of that pickiness.

  5. Oh goodness can I relate. If you believe the books about this stage/age, they tell you that it’s the first way that your toddler can express herself – by refusing food. They learn it’s both a powerful and effective way to get your attention and also say “no”.

    My 2.5 year old is picky. Picky picky picky. He eats fruits and veg (veg more unreliably in his 3rd year), only chicken only sometimes, cheese or PB-only sandwiches on wheat, quesadillas, scrambled eggs, mac & cheese, plain (dry) pasta, baked beans, french fries. . . that’s about it, other than snacks.

    I just keep introducing foods as much as I can. Sometimes he’ll try it, sometimes he won’t. Last night, he ate gnocchi for the first time ever, which amounts to his first taste of potato anything ever (I don’t count french fries).

    By continually introducing new things over and over (although the food waste and the fight to “just try it” get both exhausting and infuriating), his list of foods continues to grow – very slowwwwwly.

    And recently I’ve stopped preparing something special for him. He gets what we get. It helps us all have dinner at the same time (rather than his own little special meal first), it helps him see that “mommy and daddy are eating it too”, and I think it encourages better eating habits altogether.

    Good luck!

  6. This looks like something my husband could make! (He can’t cook. At all.) I dunno if he’d eat it because he’s a picky eater but he could cook it. (Corn is sacred. It is forbidden for it to be sullied by being mixed into anything. Ever.)

    Uhm….I don’t have any tips because one of my picky eaters is turning 28 next month and the other one will do monkey see monkey do behind his daddy and eat what he eats. I know for both of them a lot of it is textures. DSS doesn’t like to feel grapes squish in his mouth, DH doesn’t like the way strawberries feel in his mouth (but loves strawberry milk). Do any of her favorites have similar textures? Similar tastes?

  7. My son and daughter are still kind of going through this stage and they are 9 and 7! I have been a single mom most of their lives so I never thought to be a short order cook for them. Working full time to provide for them doesn’t leave much time for cooking one meal much less 3. In the beginning when they were toddlers I told them they had to try at least one bite of a new food but didn’t have to finish it. I would wait a few weeks before introducing it again and would rotate all new foods like this. Now that they are older if they tell me they don’t like something I tell them they have to at least finish what I put on their plates. It’s an ongoing battle to keep providing variety but I’ve always stood firm and they’ve realized no matter how stubborn they are mom is more so!

  8. Ok, first of all – the recipe looks delicious. And quick! I’ll definitely have to try it.

    Secondly…my daughter’s only one, so we’re not sure how picky she’ll be just yet BUT I have a brother that has always been a picky eater. We’re talking pasta with butter, rice, and candy. Not exactly nutritious. Amazingly enough, he’s still going strong (at 12 years old!). I’m pretty sure my mom has tried every trick in the book, but it ultimately comes down to what other people have said – you just present them with a healthy meal and they can eat it or not. No short order cooking, etc. After years of this, my brother is *finally* eating new food. Good luck, though! If I end up having a picky eater, I’ll definitely need some advice myself!

  9. I’ve gone to a couple local toddler nutrition panels with my meet-up moms’ group that have been really helpful. No longer am I a short order cook – Nia eats what my husband and I eat and if she doesn’t want it she’s done and that’s it. Kitchen closed! Eventually she’ll figure out that if she’s hungry she’ll need to eat what/when we do. Additionally, I don’t give up on something I think Nia doesn’t like. I didn’t think she’d ever drink cow’s milk or eggs but eventually she one days just started liking both. We keep trying things over and over in many different ways. It took adding vanilla protein powder for her to drink cow’s milk and now she drinks it plain and can’t get enough – we even had to cut back! Another tip we tried that works is engaging Nia in exploring the sensory aspects of food instead of just plunking the food down in front of her and expecting her to eat it we ask her what color it is, what is smells like, feel like etc. This warms her up to eventually tasting it. Good luck!

  10. With my kids, I make sure I give them something I KNOW they will eat at each meal (although my 2 year old son changes his mind on a minute by minute basis so I’m usually wrong about him) and something that they don’t necessarily like. After being served something numerous times, I can usually get them to try a new thing.
    My 2 year old son is beyond being a picky eater, but I found a way to get him to happily eat fruits and veggies everyday! http://supermommyornot.blogspot.com/2012/04/miracle.html

  11. Yeah, my oldest was a super picky eater for almost 4 years. I finally stopped giving in, made the rule that he (and all my kids now) have to at least try something, at least one bite. If they don’t then they don’t get anything else to eat, and after a very long struggle, it worked. Now even my daughter will say “I don’t like that” before she even tries it, then she tries it, and is like, he I like that. It’s just going to take much time 🙂 (and a WHOLE LOT of patience on mommy and daddys part )

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  13. My son has always been a picky eater. Always! . Even when he was a year old, he would never ever put things in his mouth like other kids did. I thought that was great, until my doc told me that it wasn’t normal. Anyway, now he is a bit less picky, but before, for every meal, I’d have to make him like 10 things. It was insane. finally, here’s what I started to do. After cooking, instead of begging him to eat, I would just sit the food on his table, put the tv on, and act like I wasn’t paying attention. That little cutie not only ate, he finished his whole plate. I noticed when I didn’t pester him to eat, he ate.

  14. Made this for dinner tonight…yum! Thanks for sharing! It was super easy and not expensive! Perfect for a SAHM on a budget with two kiddos that keep me busy! 🙂

  15. I happened across your blog and love it! I am the mother of 4 adult children and now, grandmother of 4. My 3 yo gd spends TONS of time with me (she’s in the high chair eating breakfast now). She too is a picky eater. It can be frustrating, but DO NOT give in. One thing… kids go through growth spurts. They will go so long without eating you would think they will about starve, and you’re certain they aren’t getting the needed nutrients to grow healthy. During those times, I try to offer things I know she likes, and try to keep it as healthy as possible. Even if it’s just a couple of apple slices and a little bit of peanut butter. I try not to give her any candy or sugary stuff because she’ll eat that, then not even an apple slice. These phases can last up to a few weeks. Then it’ll kind of turn around and she’ll eat pretty well for a few weeks. During that time, we encourage “new” things. We don’t get caught up in calling things the “proper” names, but will call foods silly names or call it something we know she likes. We use her favorite shows and books to get to her, too. Like, she LOVES the Dr. Seuss book, “Green Eggs and Ham.” The moral of the story escaped her for a long time – which was fine because she loved the story. Now, I point out if you just TRY something, you might really like it…like in the story. Don’t be too worried about it…this is very common. MOST children outgrow it. Just try to keep the sweets to a minimum (or she’ll develop a sweet tooth). Keep offering healthy foods – eat what you offer her and make a big deal about how delicious it is (even use some reverse psychology sometimes…”no, you don’t want this…this is for big people and you are still a baby” – eat some and go on about how wonderful it is, and let her watch. She’ll want some in no time!). Don’t make special foods for her – you do NOT want to make yourself a short order cook! Don’t worry that she is hungry…if she is, she’ll eat! Oh…also milk is filling, and will knock the edge off hunger. If you are giving her milk through the day, I suggest cutting it back a while before meals. I won’t put the milk glass within reach – she’ll drink it and not eat. Your little girl is soooo beautiful!

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