01 Apr
How To Stop a Child From Eating Boogers

Dear Mouthy Housewives

Please, please, please tell me how to stop my kids from picking their noses and then eating the boogers. It’s so disgusting! I’ve told them a million times to stop. Nothing works. Help.


Disgusted in Denver


Dear Disgusted in Denver,

I feel your pain. And nausea. I have a nose-picker/booger eating child too, and if I had a glass of wine for every time I told him to stop, I would be too drunk to write this.

Obviously, our current tactic to stop this repulsive habit isn’t working. So what can we do differently?

We can lie.

We already lie about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, leprechauns, whether or not we inhaled…the list is endless! What’s one more lie? I’m convinced we should come up with fake reasons why our kids must not eat their boogers. I suggest the following:

#1 Eating boogers leads to blindness and insanity. (Just like masturbation!)

#2 Every time you eat your boogers, a child in Africa goes hungry. (This is partly true and shouldn’t count against us as a full lie.)

#3 Santa Claus breaks a toy every time you eat your boogers. (Two lies in one, score!)

#4 Eating boogers depletes the vitamins in your body. You now must eat an extra helping of broccoli to make up for it. (Punishment through food is always a wise parental choice.)

#5 When you eat your boogers, Satan eats a puppy. (Using the religion/fear combo to make people do what you want is an ancient tactic…because it works.)

Hopefully our readers will offer even more booger-eating lies and I’m sure our children will be on a booger-free diet in no time.


Heather, TMH

59 Responses to “How To Stop a Child From Eating Boogers”


Comment by coftheu.

Google pictures of ringworm and tell them that you get it from eating boogers. It worked for my daughter.

Amy Reply:

But is it true??! That is the one my mom used.

My daughter is a picker, GROSS.

Bestest mom Reply:

I have researched this topic and the doctors say that picking AND eating your boogers are good for you immune system. Even though it’s gross, it is healthy and they say you should encourage them. Trust me, I’m a mom and when my daughter found out I put the presents under the tree she wouldn’t talk to me forEVER.

cml Reply:

this is a great idea…Im going to try it with my 4 yr old son

Anonymous Reply:

All of these comments are terrible. Why lie to your children when you could simply be honest to them by giving them real FACTUAL reasons as to why they should stop doing something. What type of example do you think this sets for your children? That its okay to lie because you cannot support something with solid fact or are too lazy to?

Mommy Reply:

i agree…but i also have a booger-eating child, so i do need to find something that work, healthy or not, it is not lady like and i will not encourage my Children to keep a pickin’.
however i would never tell my kids that Santa will break their gifts, or make them think that children in Africa will go hungry, or the Satan thing, really bad idea by the way…just as long as it is not harmful i think this will pass
-chelsi, louisville, KY

Wiierd Reply:

You are a horrible person. Leave your child alone. It will be fine. You are a horrible person for wanting to and lying to your child like that. Just stop being an insecure person and tell them they won’t have friends if they do it public. Tell the truth you spineless loser.

chourtnii Reply:

to all the moms that where pissed off for Heather telling discusted in denver to lie to her child about booger eating, you take life way to seriously and really need to take a chill booger. Heather was just trying to make light of a discusting situation. just because your husbands have been giving the nookie to someone else doesnt mean you need to put the blame on someone trying to help you and your pathetic lives. go suck a booger. I got your back Heather.


Comment by Marinka, The Mouthy Housewives.

When one of my kids partook in this delicacy, my mother mock-picked her own nose and said, “I have some more if you’re still hungry.”

MrsM. Reply:

omg, i just puked in my mouth a little!! But that is awesome!


Comment by Karen at French Skinny.

I have a booger eater. So glad to know I’m not alone.
I’ve tried everything. Except lies!!!! I’m totally inspired.
I’m going to try the Satan eats a puppy lie today.

Ashley Reply:

I strongly recommend not lying to the children about anything religious. It breaks down the foundation of truth you give them and then they will question the truth of the word as they get older. As mothers our role is to teach strengthen and sharpen our children in the truth love and word of God not create doubt they will have their own if that. Doubt will come just by simply living in the Godless world we live in now we have to give them the tools they need to stay faithful


Comment by Erin at Im Gonna Kill Him.

Those boogers will congeal in your stomach until you wind up pooping your pants in front of your classmates. Then they will all know you eat your boogers and will pelt you with their own. (fear of degradation by peers is a powerful motivator)


Comment by Plano Mom.

One thing is for certain. The more you say something, the longer they will do it. Just quit nagging about it. Don’t say a word about it. Go have that glass of wine and to hell with writing the post. Within 2 weeks, you will suddenly realize that you haven’t seen any booger snacking in a while.

At least, that’s how it worked for me – he’s 11 now, and has moved on to flinging his boogers on his newly painted bedroom wall.


Comment by Wendi.

On the plus side, Boogers are worth only 1 point on the Weight Watchers plan.

Marinka, The Mouthy Housewives Reply:

Yeah, but who can stop at just one serving?

Nikki Reply:

Omg… This is too funny!! Thanks for the laugh! It made my day. I have a booger eater doing as I write and I’m thinking of telling him every time he eats one no sweet treat for him for the day! Let’s see which he would prefer boogers or a ice cream cone!


Comment by supanerdstef.

When my oldest was 7 he was a picker and an eater. I cant name a time in which he wasnt doing one or the other…. had I thought of ANY of those brilliant “lies” I probably wouldnt have dealt with a good almost 2 years of watching him dig for gold and then eat it.

PS. personally I love #5!


Comment by Vodka Tonic.

How about a positive reinforcement? A booger chart? Let the kids smear them on a progress chart, collect 20 and it’s out for ice cream… eh?


Comment by shannans.

So I keep catching my son eating his boogies. I’ve threatened him, tried to gross him out and nothing seems to work. I think I even told him he could die from the germs.


Comment by shannans.

So I keep catching my son eating his boogies. I’ve threatened him, tried to gross him out and nothing seems to work. I think I even told him he could die from the germs. So we caught him again today and finally had enough, he got grounded, lectured, and i made him write a 500 word essay, to follow(and there may be some more lies to use in here for you moms!! (LOL)>….WHY NOT EAT YOUR BOOGERS by Shayne
Picking your nose and eating it is bad. Eating boogies can cause diseases. You can die from eating your boogers. Eating your boogers is disgusting and its like eating dirt or poop. Eating your boogers can make you extremely sick.
When you feel the erge to pick your nose you should get a tissue and get them boogies out. Your body is trying to get rid of the boogies in your nose and when you eat your boogers your just putting them back into your system. Eating our boogers is disgusting and no one wants to see you do it. I promise to never pick my nose again.
Another reason you shouldnt pick your nose is because tape worms can grow in your stomach. Tape worms can grow anywhere from 1 inch to 9 feet. Tapeworms live and grow by eating your inside organs and intestins. A tapeworm can form from you eating your boogers,
You have nose hairs for a reason. Nose hairs catch all the germs and other harmful things that shouldnt go into your body.You put them back into your system when you pick your nose and eat it. You should use a tissue to clean your nose hairs out. 5-6 kids have died this yr in Sweden from picking their noses and eating it.
LOL There it is moms!! Hopefully the lies work!!!

gertrude Reply:

This are are hilarious, but I will have to try them with my daughter because she has this nasty habit too that is driving crazy. I particularly like the essay strategy. I keep telling her how gross it is and how her friends will make fun of her. Nothing seems to work thus far.

Ryno Reply:

Well, I tried to use that 1, and found out all of the friends are doing it also. I said, I really hope yall not sharing them. LMAO to myself bc we all know we were doing the same thing at that age. I also am looking forward to the devil lie, but mines gonna be with kitty cats. YUP!!!!!!

discusted mommy Reply:

I Love it! MY (eh-hum) 10 year old still does this!!! It’s so gross I tell him all the time his classmates will find a nickname like Booger Boy and brand him with it so he better stop. But he still does it. Now it’s just a bad habit. I love the essay. He hates to write so next time I see him do it I’m nailing him with this one! Thanks!

Hmmm, just a thought, maybe I should start calling him Booger Boy in front of his friends (evil I know, just saying)


Comment by sampson69cs.

Just used one and so far it has worked but it might be mean of me. Dont eat your boogers other wise the monsters will get you at night.


Comment by you suck.

just saw 30 year old eat boogers


Comment by you suck.

old man eating sont


Comment by chayla.

Well my boyfriend just turn 20 and I have seen him eat his boogers what do I say to him or how do I help him?


Comment by Mirian.

I’m ten I just looked up something random, and this broke my heart. :'(

nj Reply:

Why is your heart broken- because grown adults feel the need to be dishonest to their children in order to gain control? Funny but sad, eh? Yes, in the end a lie is a lie. And Karma repays those too. 😉

someone Reply:

This is really wrong. So you just lie to your child, right? and there is nothing wrong with that. Yes go ahead and be dishonest to your children. I wonder what will happen when they find out all of this is really untrue.


Comment by Faith.

OMG, I am laughing my butt off right now! Some of these tactics are awesome! I’m going to try some of these with my 4 yr old son and see if they work.


Comment by Same problem.

I told my child that if they eat it then worms will grow in their tummy so we will see if that works i know it worked on my middle child but hopefully it works on my oldest

Same problem Reply:

I also showed him what happens to people that get tape worms and whatit does to their body and some have died from it too


Comment by Tee.

My son eats his boogers so I told him the next time I catch him eating his boogers, he was going to eat my boogers too. His sister caught him so I pulled out a juicy booger and shoved it in his mouth. He gagged and choked and ran to the bathroom and about threw up. He gagged forever and said he would never eat another booger. We will see. If he does, I dig for more of mine. If he likes his, he can eat mine too!!

brokendreams Reply:

OH wow I love this one!!!! Hilarious…love your parenting tactics!!


Comment by My Twelve Year Old Still Picks His Nose! | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] have a 12 year old who has a very bad habit of picking his nose. How can I stop this […]


Comment by Exiled in Romper Room.

Oh thanks sooo much for the laughs! I really needed some fun and it is much too early for wine. I love the satirical ‘reality check.’

Just say no to helecopter parenting.


Comment by Tee.

When I caught my son eating his boogers and wouldn’t stopped I told him if I caught him eating his boogers again, he was going to eat mine too! He ate his boogers again so I dug in my nose and pulled out a big juicy booger and stuck it in his mouth. He gagged and coughed and almost threw up. He was over the toilet for a good 15 minutes gagging. Voila! No more booger eating and that was 8 months ago.


Comment by someone.

So from your point of view: Just a lie does the trick! Are your children doing something irritating? just lie to them and it wont happen again! how great is that?



Comment by Toddler Nose-Picking Problem | Austin Moms Blog.

[…] More importantly, how can we stop this bad habit?  Unfortunately, if you’re the parent of a booger-eating toddler you’re SOL unless you’re willing to put hot sauce on your little one’s fingers.  The best and most recommended “trick” to booger-eating remission is logic and embarrassment.  I’m not making this up!  Seriously, 9/10 of the web sites I visited recommend waiting until your son/daughter understands that their friends will laugh at them or that “If they eat boogers, Santa will not bring them presents.” […]


Comment by Blasphemeous.

Everytime you eat yo get closer to dying… (since everyone dies it doesnt count as a lie according to ur book)… Every time you eat your boogers the big bad wolf decapitates a fairy (2 lies in one… I score too)…


Comment by debbied.

I never had this problem with any of my four children who all have grown and have children of their own, but I run a Preschool and I have come up with a way to at least have them do it with out getting caught…I have certain things that the children either get or get to do…when they are big boys and girls…like graduating from a sippy cup to a straw cup, operating the soap dispenser, not wearing a bib, etc. If they are caught eating boogars, they are reminded that only babies eat boogars…and they lose big boy or big girl privileges…usually after a few meals drinking from a sippy cup after having graduated to the straw cup does the trick…I wouldn’t recommend doing this with older children but with two and three year olds…it works very well cause they all want to be big boys and girls.


Comment by Janette.

No need to lie to your little darlings. Provided they are at least 3 1/2 and can be reason with (a little). Make a big deal out of it everytime you catch them in the act! e.g. “eeeew! Gross!”, “That’s dirty and there’s a lot of germs in that thing! You’ll get sick!” Just like potty training, it takes time. Pretty soon your little one will think twice before he/she does it. And who knows says the same thing to another kid when he/she sees another kid “dialing!”


Comment by AOK.

This is really gross information. I am 13 and this is disgusting! It’s gross how you guys are blogging about this stuff. Talk about it to your kid, not to other adults who don’t even still “dig for gold!” GROSS! Oh, and I just got on this page randomly. Also, really, you are just teaching your kids lying is GOOD. That’s BAD! Bad parenting I would say, and I’m not doing that when I have my own kids!

logan Reply:

We will see about that when your a parent, might change your mind. BTW you sound like a insecure brat social deprived 7th grader


Comment by jlocher11.

Dip their fingers in nail polish remover and don’t let them wash their hands. TRUST ME. Have you ever tasted that stuff? YUCK!!! It’ll stay on their hands long enough to make them think twice!!


Comment by Jay Doherty.

Is Santa claus actually not real because my children is asking me this and I say yes he is real.

sandy white Reply:

i have a grandson who is 11 or 12 years old he picks his boogers inside grandmas house that is so grose he is eating his brain cells and has scabs all over him self and makes them bleed and that is really sick and i told my grandson that i am going to put hot sauce on his fingers that might stop him from doing that grosely sickness stuff.


Comment by Ham.

Explain to your older toddler that consuming boogers can actually make him sick. Sit the child down and remind him how boring and icky it was the last time he had a cold or the flu. Let him know that eating boogers can lead to another nasty cold that could keep him from that sleepover planned for Friday night. Reasoning is lost on a younger toddler, so just watch him carefully and tell him “no” calmly and gently when you notice the unwanted behavior.

Step 2
Keep your child’s nose clean. Periodically help an older toddler or preschooler blow her nose and clean out the inside with a tissue. A younger toddler doesn’t always grasp the complexities of blowing her nose, so don’t hesitate to drag out the dreaded nasal aspirator and suck out all that excess phlegm.

Step 3
Remind your toddler that nose-picking and the subsequent consumption of the “nose gold” is unacceptable. KidsHealth cautions against making the child feel bad for performing the habit. Instead, give him a heads up by reminding your child that booger-eating is unhealthy and doesn’t look good, and Mommy doesn’t like it.

Step 4
Provide your child with a distraction and an alternative to picking her nose. Parenting.com recommends giving your older toddler a clever alternative, such as tapping the end of her nose. When in doubt, you can always distract your child by taking her outside for a quick game of catch or coloring a picture together.

Step 5
Moisten your child’s nose with saline spray or run a humidifier in his room at night. Parenting.com points out that a dry, irritated nose can often start the cycle of picking and eating boogers.


Comment by christina.

i’ve done all of those things for almost 2 years it doesn’t work. Nothing works..i’ve even told her if she likes it so much she should lick the tissue after blowing her nose. She just says its gross..and then i explain its gross with eating right from your nose. She tells me it’s gross but continues to do it. It makes no sense to me. And it really makes me look at her differently.


Comment by Chuck.

Explain to them what goes into a booger or even go as far as making a booger in front of them. All u need is mucus dirt and air. I’m sure after seeing how its made it will become unappetizing for them.


Comment by Destiny.

Wow I really hope I turn out as a better parent than some of you. Lying to your kid to get them to stop? Because that’s not hypocritical or wrong at all. Just be straight up with them. “It’s gross; kids are gonna remember when you’re older and make fun of you” etc etc. Man up guys.


Comment by chelsey.

You should NEVER use food as a punishment. Don’t you want your cold to enjoy eating healthy? Using food restriction or forcing a child to eat a certain for because they did something you didn’t like is cruel and leads to food anxiety in some adolescents. This anxiety can create eating disorders (fear of food because it was a punishment) our over eating (food restriction used as punishment makes the child want to sneak foodand/or eat more than what is healthy).

Honestly… Although it is embarrassing for you right now, and perhaps you’re child does it too much, its a natural thing for children to do and they WILL grow out of it. Some children pick excessively as a nervous habit like nail biting or hair twirling. It is a subconscious reaction to a stress trigger so when you get onto them… Especially as young as 2… They dont know they have done it really and are very confused and stressed by your reprimand which in turn leads them to doing it more out of nervous habit.

I say dont get upset with your child or draw attention to the behavior. Just have them wash their hands frequently and try to not let them get stessed or bored if it really bothers you a whole lot. 🙂


Comment by MrsL.

My 8 year step-son old does it too. I have tried to tell him about all the germs that are in his nose and he didn’t care. Matter of fact yesterday during his scout meeting, I was sitting in the back and while he was standing in front of EVERYONE getting ready for the end prayer her picked his nose and ate it 2x’s. I almost threw up. He didn’t even try to hide it. I know that some people say that it’s OK for a child to do this and it will pass, but it’s gross. He has done it while we were at a restaurant and a lady sitting across from us got up and left. It might be “normal” but there is a thing called manners and I can’t take it anymore.


Comment by ShiloRives.

i was a childhood booger eater for EVER! I was bullied perpetually for it until I graduated high school.

I asked the kid in question about her friends at school and she said she had no friends because she picked her nose!

If I can stop this train wreck of bullying I will, I will do what I can.

I pointed out to her about people will shun you because nose picking spreads germs and no one wants to be sick.

I don’t know if it will work.


Comment by ShiloRives.

I would also like to mention that kids eat boogers because they want something salty, so maybe providing salty snacks will shift the course of events.


Comment by Toto.

I’m 14 and I’m happy my parents never told me lies about picking and eating. They just told me to constrict it to my bedroom cause people didn’t like it and it wasn’t polite. When I was 11-12 years old I read a lot about germs and stuff so I stopped doing it cause I felt grossed out.
NEVER lie to your children = that’s teaching them it’s okay to lie and it’s NOT

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