Mom's Genius 'Disney Food' Hack Is Tricking Toddlers Like a Boss

Spaghetti squash with Disney sticker
Jane Stine/Facebook

Every now and then, a truly clever parenting hack will go viral and leave you wondering why you didn't think of it. Well, prepare to be amazed by the latest parenting hack to take social media by storm -- it's being referred to as the "sticker hack," and it was invented by a mom named Jane Stine, who has the entire internet bowing at her feet this week.

  • The clever mom shared the "hack" Monday on Facebook, where it's since been shared more than 100K times.

    "Here’s my best parenting hack," her post began, before explaining a common parenting dilemma. 

    "You know how kids always want Paw Patrol yogurt or Disney waffles or whatever?" she asked.

    Well, there's now a solution for that. 

    "Bring your own stickers to the grocery store and start sticking," she continued. "Today we’re having Winnie the Pooh brand spaghetti squash. It goes perfectly with Toy Story broccoli."

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  • Stine tells CafeMom that inspiration for the hack suddenly came to her a few weeks ago while she was at the grocery store.

    "I bought a pineapple that had a Frozen 2 hanging tag on it, and I thought it was hilarious," she recalls. "Like, a pineapple couldn't have less to do with Frozen 2."
    Still, it got her thinking.

    "Obviously, it's there because it works," she continues. "So I thought it might just make the grocery store more fun if I put stickers on the things we wanted to buy and had my son help pick them out."
  • Stine says she returned to the grocery store with her 3-year-old son last week to give it a try, and admitted it was "way fun."

    Jane Stine and son
    Jane Stine

    "So I think we're going to keep doing it," she shares.

    "My son grew up in Thailand, so this is his first experience with US grocery stores and all the branding!" Stine tells CafeMom, explaining that after several years living abroad, they are now back to living in the US. "So this has made grocery shopping easier and more fun for sure."

    She admits that her son isn't a super picky eater, so she doesn't struggle with this quite as much as other parents might. 

    "But I figure it you can make something kind of fun and magical for basically no cost and almost no effort, why not?" Stine says. "I think it could actually really save money if you're choosing branded items because your kids will eat them."

  • But there's also another reason she's inspired to keep going with it.

    Turns out, after a little research, her little "hack" might actually be backed up by science.

    "I learned about a study out of Cornell that suggests it might actually be really effective," she says, referencing a study from 2012, in which researchers found kids were more likely to add an apple to their school lunch if it featured an Elmo sticker on it.

    (Go figure!)

  • As soon as she shared the little "hack," people's minds were BLOWN.

    "OMG that’s so smart!" one person wrote.

    "This is some genius level parenting right here," added another.

    "Wicked!" someone else chimed in. "I'm well gonna be pulling this one off."

  • Literally thousands of people tagged their partner or BFFs in the post to share the good news.

    "We have to try this!" one mom said.

    "Think the kids will fall for it??" another asked her partner.

  • Of course, this being the internet (where we can't have nice things), there were several negative comments that seemed to throw shade.

    "Orrrr we could just stop giving our kids everything they absolutely want," one person wrote. "I've seen so many children throw fits in stores when they don't get something. Life is not all about catering to children. Don't get me wrong, loving on your children and getting them gifts from time to time is great and only strengthens the all around love but to cater to a child constantly is not always healthy."

    (Oof. Talk about a buzzkill.)

  • Overall, though, people LOVED the simple yet genius trick.

    After all, every parent knows that dealing with picky eaters at breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be soul-sucking. So anything to make things easier and have them eating healthy is pretty much a win-win for everybody, isn't it?

  • Stine, who works as managing director of Loop Abroad, a pre-veterinary study abroad program, says she's stunned by how popular the "hack" has been.

    "It's been so cool to see people finding it helpful," she tells CafeMom. "I noticed some parents mentioned doing the same thing with other household items, like putting stickers of their kid's favorite cartoon on hairbrushes, toothbrushes, or other items to make kids get excited about them. I'm all for it!"

    She also hopes that if her little viral post sends a message to parents about anything, it's that "we're all in this together." 

    "I think one huge benefit to modern parenting is the ability to connect with other parents who are going through the same thing as you, to share your frustrations and victories, and to support one another," she says. "Parenting a 3-year-old is like trying to teach a duck to play the piano: It's impossible. So you just have to enjoy it."

    Talk about some wise words!