Poll: Are You a Picky Eater?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  110 comments   :  24,439 Views

Confession: I am what some may consider to be a picky eater. I am not one to be adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, but I have made progress and include more varieties of food in my meals. When my husband and I were dating, I wouldn't ever think about eating things like chicken, bell peppers, or onions (just to name a few). Fortunately though, since then, I have broadened my range in foods that I will eat, and bell peppers are now one of my favorite food items that I have a hard time not eating, especially on my homemade wheat pizza. I even eat chicken and depending on the dish, I will even eat onions.

Even though I have learned to like more food items, there are still things that I just cannot consider trying, such as seafood. I do however enjoy a range of fruits and vegetables, so I know that I am eating a rainbow and getting a variety of nutrients in what I do eat.

My picky eating habits come from not liking the smells, tastes, and textures of certain foods, not just simply because I don't want to try something new. My husband on the other hand, loves many foods and has no problem trying new things and doesn't have any issues with smells, taste, or textures.

My being "picky" can sometimes create problems when it comes to deciding what we will have for dinner. It really is difficult coming up with a menu that satisfies my pickiness, while allowing my husband to get more of a variety in his meals. I admire people like my husband who don't have issues with trying new food and including such a wide variety in their meals. I don't consider myself to be a "freaky eater," but I like to think of myself as a picky eater who is working on becoming more adventurous in trying new foods. I know I'm not the only picky eater in the world, but I do wonder how many people consider themselves to be a picky eater.

Do you consider yourself a picky eater? Do you have any foods that you don't like or won't try? If so, what are they?

Are you a picky or an adventurous eater?

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    I'm forced to be an extremely picky eater, not completely by choice but mostly due to my health. I have too many food allergies to afford to not be picky, and since I'm not big on meat it really doesn't leave me with many options left to choose from anyway. - 5/12/2012   11:06:17 PM
    I'm not a picky eater at all! My motto is, "I'll try anything once, but I won't try everything twice" lol - 5/29/2011   11:52:13 PM
    I have never understood picky eaters. Trying things is the spice of life, whether it is visiting a new place, going into a new store, or trying a new food. I have taught my daughter from the beginning "you must TRY it." She doesn't have to like it, and she won't have to eat a full plate of what ever it is, but she has to take a bite and try it. It didn't take long to teach her this, as we started early, and insisted she could not leave the table, have seconds, dessert, whatever until she tried a bite. It didn't hurt her, and now she is proud to try new things. Every child ought to be taught to try. - 4/14/2011   4:48:21 PM
  • 107
    No, Never, and Do NOT plan to ever be...A PICKY EATER.... - 4/8/2011   10:03:14 AM
    I was lucky enough to grow up in a house parented by two great cooks who had few food issues, so I was exposed to a lot of different things. We grew veggies in a backyard garden, went fishing, gathered shellfish during our summer beach trips, went for nuts and mushrooms in the fall and picked berries in the summer, and everyone in the family cooks. So variety and adventure and community were all tied into food for me very early. My father would get interested in a new cuisine every couple of years and investigate it, hunt down ingredients, and we'd spend weekend doing cooking experiments.

    That said, all of us in the family have allergies and preferences within the ranges, just as I'm seeing here. I'm fascinated by different peoples' likes and dislikes, and especially how we all categorize the things we don't like. Eggy, woodsy, slimy, creamy, raw X or cooked Y. So interesting.

    For myself, I'm a nose-to-tail protein eater, now adore the eggs I loathed as a child, and have yet to meet a fruit or veggie I didn't like. With two exceptions--steamed okra (wrong, just wrong) and green peppers (a digestions thiing, plus they taste super bitter in an unpleasant way to me, although I love Cajun food and use them when I cook it).

    I think it's great to open up and try new things, but not to bully people who don't want to. One of my best friends eats nothing green except guacamole (although in front of her children, she'll eat all kinds of veggies to set an example), and it hasn't hurt our friendship yet. - 4/7/2011   8:13:44 PM
    No I am not a picky eater! I like everything but, I watch what I eat because of my allergies. - 4/7/2011   6:42:43 PM
    I'm some what picky, but will eat certain things even though I dont like it because it is good for me. For example I dont like chicken, turkey for fish but I will eat it because it is better for me than beef. I will only eat ocean fish because it doesnt have that fishy taste. I cant bring myself to eat anything that comes out of the lake. I'm allergic to MSG and Aspartame so most Chinese food is out and all diet drinks, flavored chips and sugar free foods are a no go. I would love to be able to drink diet cola and light version of most foods, but its not worth the side effects. - 4/6/2011   3:27:36 PM
  • 103
    I am slightly a picky eater. My family doesnt agree with the slightly part. I dont eat mayo, sour cream, ranch, blue cheese, milk, eggs, cheese, 1000 island, pork, nor beef. Nothing that has or look to have a mayo base, nor stuff that looks thick. No dairy due to lactose. Have tried soy dont care for it. Just choose not to eat beef nor pork. I wouldnt say my eating is boring. I really like seafood, chicken, spinach, broccoli, basiclly all veggies, friut, & nuts. - 4/6/2011   9:38:51 AM
    I am an extremely picky eater. There are many things that I just don't like for a variety of reasons. Smell, taste, texture, look... there are many reasons.
    I'd love to be more diverse with different foods as my fiance is the same way; he likes any and all kinds of food. We go to a restaurant and I always get the same things. Sometimes it's frustrating as so many things sound good but me being picky gets in the way.
    I need to figure out a way to get over this hurdle. - 4/6/2011   9:06:15 AM
    I wouldn't call you a picky eater, your taste buds are probably more sensitive to certain foods, thank goodness we have a wide selection of food to get all our nutrients. In my own journey of weight-loss/weight-gain/weight plateau I've found I've had to tried foods many times or prepared in a different way to develop a tastebud somewhere on my tongue instead of politely moving it to my napkin because the taste was horrific. That happend out of necessity-I was pretty sure I wouldn't be successful in keeping the weight off eating only carrots and corn as my vegetable. - 4/5/2011   7:19:56 PM
  • 100
    I think you can be picky and adventurous at the same time. I'm willing to try anything. I've traveled all over the world and have eaten some pretty interesting things. However, I find that I have a very strong intolerance to onion and peppers. And I HATE tomatoes. In that regard I'm picky. I'll still try new things and I don't have a hard time eating what others have cooked. I find that I can always pick out the parts I don't like. So I don't think it has to be an either/or type of thing. - 4/5/2011   2:57:24 PM
  • 99
    I love to eat. That is my problem! In a way you might say I am a picky eater because I love to nibble. Pick, pick, pick! I will try almost anything that is not a creepy crawler or looking at me! I am now trying not to be a mindless picky eater! - 4/5/2011   2:55:30 PM
    I had to vote right in the middle... I am very picky against certain things: pickles, ketchup, tomatoes, fennel, no bone-in meat, etc... (I may have written out a list before). However, if there is something adventurous in front of me, that does not include something I can't stand, I will definitely give it a shot! Over Christmas, I tried escargot for the first time, and it was a bit weird, but not bad! I'd eat it again! I love trying new things, but I don't like what I don't like! - 4/5/2011   1:26:01 PM
    I love "fun" foods like burgers, fries, pizza and so on. So when it comes to eating healthier I have a hard time eating veggies and sticking with it. I have found a few that I can learn to love so I keep them in stock so I get a good round meal from time to time :-) But you will never find a pea on my plate! - 4/5/2011   1:14:33 PM
  • 96
    I don't think I'm a picky eater- but other people do! The things I don't eat are really common, such as meat (I'm a vegetarian) and melted cheese (the stringy texture grosses me out). Beyond that, I LOVE fruits and veggies, and there's nothing (that's vegetarian!) that I won't try at least once. I think I eat a lot of things that other people don't (oatmeal, tofu, any kind of fruit or vegetable put in front of me) but that just aren't offered as often! - 4/5/2011   12:32:13 PM
  • 95
    I'm semi-picky. I cannot eat onions or peppers without major gastric issues, so when I go out, I need to make sure there aren't any in whatever I order. I'm kind of adventurous and like to try new things, but I don't get much chance to. My roommate is even pickier than my cat and is convinced that herbs, spices, and sauces were invented to hide the fact that the meat is old, so she's reluctant to use or eat them. - 4/5/2011   12:28:57 PM
  • 94
    I'm slightly adventurous...I am a visual eater; if it looks good, I'll try it. Lately I've been hooked on Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal and this morning, I tried it with chia seeds... sooo very yummy!! - 4/5/2011   9:49:49 AM
  • 93
    I am as picky as picky gets. I love most fruits but my vege palette is seriously lacking. I have done much better considering but I too dont like most things because of texture, onions and coconut are my top hated LoL. I also have to say no to chinese, seafood, and most mexican. Theres not much I do actually like, but with my new lifestyle and eating healthy 85% of the time I feel so much better :)) - 4/5/2011   9:16:33 AM
  • 92
    I am a picky eater. This is somewhat to do with my food allergies. I do not like cooked veggies (only a cooked potato, carrots, celery and onions) I love summer because if the wide variety of fresh veggies. Thanks for sharing! - 4/5/2011   8:26:09 AM
  • 91
    I'll try just about anything once, there are somethings that I will put my foot down on. Can't stand anything with mushrooms (or things that taste like them, like snails.), extremely chewy, or have a soggy texture to them. Can't stand the dumplings in chicken noodle soup, but I love the Chinese dumplings. I won't try any raw meats, for health issues. - 4/5/2011   7:56:50 AM
    I love to try new foods as long as they look good and smell good. - 4/4/2011   9:30:23 PM
  • 89
    I was picky as a child. My family teased me that I wouldn't eat anything with flavor, and lived on apple sauce, american cheese, and hot dogs. Now, I'm the total opposite! I'm a die-hard foodie who loves to cook, try new ingredients, and eat anything I'm offered. Raw octopus? Sure! Fiddlehead ferns? Yes, please! Nothing is off limits to me any more. - 4/4/2011   3:34:06 PM
  • 88
    I just don't like certain foods. when I go out w/friends we have to pick a place that has something basic like chicken or hamburgers. I try but smells and textures make me run the other way. - 4/4/2011   1:48:00 PM
    I love to try new foods; some I may never eat again but many I have adopted as favorites. I am very picky though when it comes to how something is prepared--I do not like fried foods (all I can taste is the grease/fat!); I do not like very much salt, if any, in foods; I don't care for "creamy" sauces, etc.; and I don't care much for beef. I do have to admit that my "pickiness" comes from eating in a low-fat, low-sodium way for @ 30 years as I used to love fried foods, creamy sauces, etc., etc., but coming from a farm family that's the way we always ate. Sometimes you just need to get accustomed to the "new" tastes and get beyond the old tastes you used to love. - 4/4/2011   1:39:20 PM
  • 86
    I am not a picky eater by all means, I will try just about anything, but my husband on the other hand is... I have such a hard time making food that we will both eat. Living in an 18 wheeler, makes it hard to cook lots of varieties, as well as keeping fresh fruit and veggies on hand. We live out of a 40qt cooler... But... I do my best to get in the healthiest meals I can. - 4/4/2011   12:43:19 PM
  • 85
    I am slightly picky, but I can cook many of the items for my family. They are picky in different areas. I cannot eat peas - just do not like the smell - but my husband loves them and my children like them. They will never know until they live somewhere else if they like eggplant or liver, those smell too bad to have in the house. - 4/4/2011   12:27:07 PM
    My boyfriend drives me nuts with his picky eating. His pickiness doesn't even have any logic to it at all. He won't eat any berries or nuts, hates practically any fruits, but when you ask him why, he gets all flustered like a child and says "I just don't!"

    I am the complete opposite, I will eat anything once! Spiders, urchins, eels, chicken hearts, trotters ... lemme at em! YUM! - 4/4/2011   11:51:27 AM
  • 83
    I love to eat, but don't like some textures, i.e. tofu, oysters..certain things like that. I don't like anything that feels slimy. - 4/4/2011   11:34:37 AM
    It is not so much that I am picky as it is I am allergic to many things. No, I will not eat things that are alive or things that wiggle, or bugs. NO! I love mushrooms, but they hate me, I stop breathing, even the vapors can put me in the emergency room. You can't call things you can't eat for one reason or another as being picky. Also I am allergic to so many things; I will not eat new things until I know what is in them, so you really can't call that not being adventurous. People call me picky but I myself know better. As far as spices go, eating even a good amount of black pepper starts my chest and stomach to hurt. So no, I would not say I am picky. If it is rather plain, I will eat poultry, most fish and shell fish, beef, pork, and other game meat. I even tried buffalo and deer, moose, and rabbit. I am told I eat enough vegetables that I will turn into a rabbit myself some day. I am not sure which my favorit is, Fruit or vegetables. I also love eggs and dairy products. Some yogurts are stomach turning for me, but I eat it sometimes anyways.
    My real problems stem from chocolate, bread, coca cola, spaghetti, cheddar cheese and Kens Italian dressing (It has no oregano which I am allergic to, but the light version has so I can't even have that). I have chocolate once in a while, but I am always craving the other five. Make things plain and I am happy. I say No I am not picky!
    - 4/4/2011   10:48:42 AM
  • 81
    LOVE trying new things! Keeps it interesting... - 4/4/2011   9:01:36 AM
  • 80
    It's sad how picky I am but I am willing to try new foods but I usually do not like them it takes a long while for me to change - 4/4/2011   7:47:52 AM
  • 79
    I never thought of myself as a picky eater. Oh there are some random foods that I dont not enjoy (raw onions & mushrooms) and others I will NOT try ( raw oysters or slimy seafood, anything that I would kill with a flyswatter!) but after reading some of the entries here I would have to say I am not an adventourous eater thats for sure. It is good I dont travel out of the country because I dont think I would be able to try exotic food of any sort. I eat a huge variety of food and like certain foods simply becasue of the texture ( tapioca pudding, rice, oatmeal ) love spicy foods, mexican, italian, chinese, thai but you will never see me eating an internal organ, insect or a slimy thing that resembles something the cat coughed up !
    Yummy, now I'm ready for breakfast :) - 4/4/2011   7:17:45 AM
  • 78
    I'll try anything and the only things I won't eat are brussel sprouts & sea urchins (sp?). - 4/4/2011   3:30:02 AM
  • 77
    I don't normally think of myself as a picky eater or even a particularly adventuresome. Like everyone, there are foods I really don't like (oatmeal, for example) and I can be... dubious sometimes when trying new things. But I try to keep an open mind about food, especially when traveling, and will try most things at least once. There have even been some things that I tried several times even though I didn't like them at first (humus for example) and finally found a version or preparation that I did in fact like (zucchini is another example).

    There are a few things that I just can't bring myself to try... for example, no matter how the anthropologist in me knows that insects are an excellent nutritional source and that I know chocolate covered grasshoppers are considered a delicacy, I just can't bring myself to eat them. No can do. Same goes for Huitlacoche--a delicacy made from corn fungus (I love mushrooms, but I just can't bring myself to eat that.) And I avoid spicy foods because I have a pretty low spice tolerance.

    But that still leaves me with a wide range of cuisine I do enjoy. - 4/4/2011   12:12:12 AM
  • 76
    Hi, I really enjoyed reading this article. I was a little picky for many years about vegetables. We had home grown organic vegetables. Once I got married, I didn't have access to such wonderfully tasting foods. (At least I thought I didn't). Over time I learned to accept and like the frozen stuff, even though it took years for me to adapt. However, the past year I have adopted a little secret. I do one major grocery trip every two weeks. On this trip I purpose to pick up 1-2 new vegetables that I and my family hasn't tried yet. I also try 1 new fruit. It is easy for us to like fruit in my house since they are typically sweet. When my kids were little I would require them to eat one tbsp. of at least two vegetables and one meat at dinner time. They learned to eat what was prepared for them. My mom, and their friends' mom loved cooking for them because they ate well. This is one of a few things that I feel I got right in parenting. Also, I had to first be a good role model, before they would follow. - 4/3/2011   11:09:30 PM
  • 75
    I some food sensitivites bordering on allergies SO YES I am a picky eater if THAT'S what you want to call it then so be it. I do refuse to eat certain ETHNIC foods and I DO NOT APOLOGISE TO ANYONE for it. Having said that I can symoathise with other memebers who were forced to eat foods as children. I was TOO and I think that borders on abuse especially when they KNOW you don't like it. As far as hot foods I enjoy them more than I should as I know they have hurt me lots in the past but that won't stop me. As far as eating GAME, I have NO PROBLEM with it- these animals have had a LOT BETTER life than most "farmed" animals and are generally dispatched in a more humane manner. - 4/3/2011   6:20:21 PM
  • 74
    I'm not a very picky eater. There are few foods (unless something completely bizarre) that I don't eat. My husband on the other hand is extremely picky which makes it very difficult to prepare meals. - 4/3/2011   5:14:38 PM
  • 73
    I don't consider myself a picky eater. But there are certain foods I don't like because of the texture-applesauce (but I will use it in cooking),, hummus, raw seafood. I have tried these things over and over but the texture just grosses me out. - 4/3/2011   3:50:20 PM
  • 72
    I'm a slightly picky eater. I don't like olives (yes, I've tried them many times), so I have trouble with strong tasting olive oil. Don't like really hot spicy foods, just the mild stuff. Okra? Ick - slimy texture! I don't mind trying some new things, but I admit I tend to stick to my comfort zone most of the time. - 4/3/2011   2:18:11 PM
  • 71
    My husband and I just hosted a young couple (not teenagers, they were ages 27 and 25) from South America in our home for the last four months. We were very excited to show them how Americans enjoy the culinary experience, however, trying to feed them turned into a nightmare because of their horribly picky eating habits. We tried to work with them, he wouldn't eat fish or vegetables, and she wouldn't eat anything with seasoning or anything that combined sweet and salty, like a corn casserole, and she would dissect a piece of meat like a surgeon trying to cut out the tiniest piece of fat. Most disappointing was that their choice of foods was pure junk! They would sit with us while we were preparing dinner and down a big bag of chips. Then they would turn up their noses when dinner was served. Trying to feed them became so exhausting, we finally gave up and just let them exist on their cookies, chips and candy. We found the experience rather horrifying. - 4/3/2011   1:57:14 PM
  • 70
    I'll try about anything, but DH is very picky about veggies. He only eats corn, beets, lettuce & carrots, though now he'll eat spinach if it's not cooked. - 4/3/2011   1:24:15 PM
  • 69
    I've learned to OWN my pickiness - being picky to me means that I won't eat that pastry or chip just because it's there because I really don't LOVE them. Being picky means that I'm not going to eat that really fatty processed item because I know how I will feel later. I eat what I love and what I know I can and ignore the rest. I'm not saying I won't try new things but I'm not going to continue eating food I'm not enjoying. If you want to call me picky go right on ahead because I own it. - 4/3/2011   12:23:46 PM
    I'm a very picky eater about vegetables (although there are about 18 - in rainbow colours - that I eat regularly) but am quite adventurous about everything else. - 4/3/2011   10:51:04 AM
    I am not a picky eater at all-I will try anything, and usually end up liking it! Unfortunately, I have GERD, which means I have to be careful with certain kinds of food, such as those that are spicy, acidic, or fried. - 4/3/2011   10:46:14 AM
  • 66
    I truly am a picky eater. I really don't have any urge to try seafood.........(I must have been a fish in an earlier life) I basically stick to the foods that I do like......although when I was younger, I HATED broccoli.........now it's my favorite veggie! Chicken/Beef/Pork is what I was raised on.........and pretty much stick to.....I have tried different foods on occassion, but I think it's a texture thing..... - 4/3/2011   9:10:03 AM
  • 65
    Just like the rest of the cells in your body, your taste buds are refreshed about every 3 weeks, so you can actually retrain your palate to a certain extent. Also, just like with children, it can take up to 20 exposures to a new food to learn to like it! - 4/3/2011   2:23:39 AM
  • 64
    Not picky. As long as it's not an animal or animal product, I'll eat it. :) Exception: eggplant. I can't handle eggplant or super duper spicy chilis. I'm a big wuss about spicy stuff. All other plants - this herbivore is down.

    I DO, however, get bothered by folks who are so keen to list all the different species of dead animal they've eaten. I do not understand why it's seen as exotic to consume and exploit even more animals than we already do. Killing chickens, fish, cattle and pigs isn't enough? But those folks who eat horses and dogs... monsterous, right? - 4/3/2011   1:01:24 AM
  • 63
    I honestly don't get adult picky eaters. Of course, to each his own, but I don't understand it and I refuse to eat out with anyone like that. It's just too hard to decide on a cuisine or restaurant with someone who has a litany of foods they wont even try. And I rather believe that people's attitudes towards foods are representative of their attitudes towards many other things. - 4/2/2011   10:58:32 PM
  • 62
    I am a very picky eater, but its because growing up we DID NOT have a variety, we were poor and had very little food, what we did have was not healthy. So I stick to what I can stand, hate certain textures (like mushrooms) and nothing seafood or fishy at all. I figure, if I am going to utlize my calories, it better taste good. I will reject food that is not served hot (if its suppose to be hot) or cold, (if its suppose to be cold) Back in my french fry days, I would make them cook my fries fresh - and I watched to see that they did. - 4/2/2011   10:42:47 PM
  • 61
    People say I am a picky eater, because I hate mushy food (cooked or frozen veggies or fruit included - yeck). However, I am and adventurous and love to try new things - go figure.

    Growing up, I was forced to at least try everything, but that didn't change me - I can't stand certain things. Won't even eat a salad if there are cucumbers or olives in it. My family now puts those items in separate dishes, so everyone can have what they want. I've tried turtle, shark, seaweed.....and will keep trying new things - at least once.. :) - 4/2/2011   9:59:31 PM

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