Dear Blake,

My 6 year old niece is a very picky eater. Very picky! About a month from now, my sister and her husband are going on their second honeymoon, and they want me to take care of their daughter for ten days. I agreed to do it, but I now realize it is going to be quite a challenge. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Signed, Tawana

From Eugene, Oregon

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Dear Tawana,

Trying to get a child to dine that has critical taste buds, can be very frustrating. If the child you were taking care of was a little boy, I would recommend you punching him in the face if he didn’t eat everything set before him. Physical punishment may be too severe for a little girl, so in this case, just starve her. To further that point. If she complains about any of your meals, stop feeding her. Tell her you want to see how many of her ribs her parents will be able to see when they come back. Also tell her she won’t be able to go to the beach when she gets older, because most men think skeletons look gross in bikinis. Open up a can of dog food in front of her and tell her that’s for dinner. If you do that often enough, it’ll be a matter of time before she’ll be begging for whatever you have in the oven. If she insists on a large variety placed in front of her so she can choose, give her a knife, a spoon, and a fork, and take her to the nearest dumpster. And then remind her that after she eats, she’ll be getting a tetanus shot. I was thinking about you force feeding her, but kids nowadays are tattle tales, and most of them know how to dial 911. But if you want avoid all the drama, this is the best solution. If you know a nurse, have her feed the young child through an intravenous tube while she sleeps. At the very least you’ll get a few laughs at the expression of your nitpicking niece when she wakes up each morning, trying to figure why she feels full. I hope this helps.