When Picky Eating Becomes a Bigger Problem

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
7/16/2010 12:21 PM   :  169 comments   :  20,896 Views

See More: news, healthy eating, diet,
Growing up, I remember my mom had a friend who would not eat anything green. She had tried, but it was almost like she couldn't force herself to take a bite of something if it was green. When we talk about picky eaters, the first thought that usually comes to mind is a child who won't try anything new. But many adults who have been labeled as "picky" aren't being particular by choice; some have diets that are so limited it interferes with relationships and has a significant impact on their lives.

Up to this point, doctors have been unsure how to classify picky eaters because they don't fit the traditional definition of an eating disorder. Most of these people don't limit their diets because they are trying to lose weight, but their behaviors are still considered a type of disorder. Researchers from Duke University and the University of Pittsburgh recently launched the first national public registry of healthy eating. According to the researchers, "It will allow people to log in and report on their unusual eating preferences and habits. Doctors hope the effort will spur the development of improved treatment techniques for adult picky eaters."

For these folks, picky eating doesn't just mean they don't eat green foods or won't eat any seafood (like me.) Many of them only have a small handful of foods they eat regularly, which can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies and health problems. Since their food choices aren't motivated by weight loss, what causes some people to be so selective with their food choices? Doctors theorize that many picky eaters are more sensitive to texture and smell than the average person.

"A taskforce studying how to categorize eating disorders for the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due out in 2013, is considering recognizing for the first time a disorder to be called "selective eating" that could apply to adults as well as children."

Although most of us would not fall into a category of picky eating that is this severe, a lot of people have strong preferences about foods that can make it difficult to make dietary changes. If you're someone who has never liked fruits and vegetables, for example, learning to incorporate these foods into your daily diet can be a challenge. It can also be a challenge for your family and friends. I have some relatives who are very picky and cooking for them or choosing a restaurant that all of us can enjoy is a huge headache.

Are you a picky eater? Is it something you're trying to change, or have you just learned to adapt? Does it affect your family or friends?


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Comments

  • JLHOFERT
    169
    I am a VERY picky eater and have been all my life. As I grew older it became a real issue; I was/am ebarrassed when going out to dinner with friends/family. This was also the case when just going to a friend/family member house for dinner. I do not eat any fruit. The only vegetables I eat are pototoes(don't count), corn(don't count) and raw celery and raw cauliflower. I put no condiments on any of my foods. I order everything plain. I am so completely tired of this but I am unable to do anything about it. No one understands that I watch people eat, and what they eat looks really good, sometimes smells really good, but I am physically unable to put a bite in my mouth to try it. I swear, if someone could just hypnotize me and give me some kind of suggestion that would open up those passage ways that would make it so I like all food, it would be a miracle. I am always looking for articles on this problem and ways that I can fix it. My doctors suggestion was trying to make a habit out of different food, but this does not work for me. I was in contact with a therapist about using hypnotherapy but I couldn't afford it. :( - 1/16/2014   12:24:24 PM
  • 168
    I've always been a picky eater. That's why this diet is such a big challenge. Most of the foods that is suppose to be healthy for me normally turns my stomach. - 3/2/2012   3:07:02 PM
  • 167
    I'm picky but only because I'm pescatarian and I'm trying to lose weight which my boyfriend considers very picky. He on the other hand doesn't eat any vegetables and hardly any fruit. Given that those are some of my favorite things it's incredibley frustrating for me to watch him only eat things like meat, pasta, chips, pizza, candy, etc. I try to convince him to eat healthier things at least occasionally but thus far all I can get out of him is an occasional caesar salad =\ - 7/26/2011   11:30:51 PM
  • 166
    I'm not at all picky about food. My short list of foods I dislike is very short. But I do recall a time as a child when I was berated by a neighbour because I didn't like hard boiled eggs. She shamed me in front of a the 30 or 40 people at the church potluck because I didn't want a slice of her hard boiled egg stuffed lasagna. Sheesh. She was in the wrong, defiling lasagna in such a disgusting way!

    But seriously, I've met people who don't like certain strong food smells, or textures, or even colours. I can't imagine the misery explaining to people not liking onions (which tends to be in everything) or meat (especially if the veggie choices are limited to salads -- with meat). - 1/25/2011   8:00:28 PM
  • 165
    My husband WON'T eat fruit or vegetable pieces, making meal time a challenge. No texture, ever. The man would exist on meat, cheese, mayo, bread, and beer. The best gift I ever received was a food processor, so I could puree veggies and have harmony in our home. Most of the time. - 9/28/2010   8:03:18 PM
  • 164
    This is the story of my life. It is nice to see that I am not alone and have been vindicated! I am an almost 49 year old female, and for as long as i can remember, the only kinds of food I could mostly eat were plain pastas, breads, cereal, french fries, cheese on everything and doughnuts. So many other foods just smell too gross or feel too gross on my tongue. Some other foods I could eat, as long as they were cooked soft and mushy, not hard and crunchy. Alcohol and seafood are just about the worst smells in the world. As far as i am concerned, if it breaths water, it is only good for cat food! Any smell of an alcoholic drink or alcohol in food makes me super nauseous. My mom is always after me to eat more fruits, veggies, etc., but I just can't stand the way too many foods smell! If anything has tomatoes in it, i will sit there and pick out every last miniscule drop. If they touch my tongue, it makes me spit them out. Whenever my husband and I have a very infrequent meal out, i am very meticulous with picking out every teeny weeny drop of anything and everything icky. Of course, it all goes on his plate, because he is anti-picky and will eat virtually ANYTHING! EWWW! - 9/2/2010   9:32:20 AM
  • 163
    I was a picky eater as a child, and had some serious power struggles with my Mother over cleaning my plate before leaving the table. My Grandmother hit upon the notion of letting me cook. She showed me how to pull the skin off chicken, and trim away all the fat and gristle from meat, and the yucky bits off vegetables. I was hooked! Food had no secrets from me. I would eat what I had inspected and passed. I still cook that way...slowly and carefully. If I eat away from home, I order what I can identify, and check it thoroughly for unacceptable bits! - 8/2/2010   1:02:52 PM
  • 162
    I don't think being a picky eater refers to those who choose not to eat certain foods, or even not like certain foods.

    I am a picky eater in that I can't swallow foods of certain textures. I try new foods all of the time! I can put it in my mouth and chew it, but when I try to swallow it, I gag and I can't get it down. I have tried tasting the same food over and over, but it continues to happen. I eat a lot of food that is bad for me, because I can eat it. I don't even really like the taste of a lot of this food.

    I want to love, or even just be able to swallow vegetables! I try new recipes, different cuts and cooking methods, and the only thing that works is pureeing the vegetable. This is to time intensive for my schedule(particularly for a girl with a full-time job, a part-time job, and a full-time student).
    - 7/29/2010   5:36:43 PM
  • 161
    I am so glad to know that I'm not alone. I feel I have gotten some what better since getting older, but still feel picky in what I eat, especially vegetables. I love fruit and tend to eat a lot to make up for my lack of vegetables, especially during the summer months when all of the fresh fruit is around. My boyfriend doesn't get why I am so picky. I have tried new foods here and there and told him that I would be up for trying something new if he cooked it, yet he never wants to cook. Since I tend to do all of the grocery shopping it's not even in the house. I can't justify buying something since I don't know how to cook it and don't want to feel like I wasted my money on it - especially hard when you're ona budget. I also think culture has a lot to do with it. Growing up in the North East, we are not always introduced to a lot of Southern foods - which is where I live now. - 7/28/2010   11:20:35 PM
  • 160
    I am a very picky eater. Perhaps being Jewish is half the problem, but food must be kosher. No meat and dairy within 6 hours of each other, and certainly food that is not prepared kosher is off limits. I am also funny about food touching each other on my plate. Mostly because I do not like any type of sauce to blend into another food. My husband had a hard time getting used to my finickiness but he adjusted. - 7/27/2010   3:10:33 AM
  • 159
    I have difficulty with texture... mushrooms, gristle, etc. makes me gag. I also have difficulty with raw sour dairy, such as cottage cheese or buttermilk. I think I might starve to death before eating cottage cheese.

    My husband has similar problems with fish, and he won't eat vegetables unless they are prepared just right, and only if someone else makes them. - 7/24/2010   7:36:54 PM
  • UTLADYDZ
    158
    I fall into patterns easily. Once I know that something works (calories-wise and healthy-wise) I keep eating it. For instance, I am all over tuna sandwiches right now. I must admit I hate branching out. - 7/22/2010   10:25:45 AM
  • 157
    I must admit to being a picky eater. Not through choice I just physically can't eat some things and on occasion I'll be sick if I unknowingly eat them. For example: onions, mushrooms, cucumber, peppers, lettuce. Some people may think this is an avoidance tactic for eating veg...but it's not. Although I hate lettuce, rockets and other green leaves aren't a problem at all.

    I wish I knew what caused such an extremely dislike to certain foods for me. Some people have suggested I may be a super taster. But it really is a big problem in my life. Eating out especially can be a nightmare! - 7/22/2010   9:36:37 AM
  • 156
    Lots of us Sparkers are picky eaters in another way - we want the stuff that is free of HFCS, trans-fats, added salt, added sugar...we want stuff that is grown locally and organically, and we want it prepared in such a way that brings out the best of the food's nutritional and tastiness value! - 7/21/2010   2:54:27 PM
  • 155
    One of my dear friends was a "picky eater" who literally had a phobia of unfamiliar foods. As he grew into adulthood, he became very frustrated with his inability to try new foods. He knew it was irrational, but he just couldn't overcome his fear and make himself do it -- the mark of a true phobia.

    Finally, he moved from the US to South Korea for a job, and decided to face his phobia head-on -- he made himself take a bite of everything he was offered, no matter how scared he was. He found that although he might not love everything he tried, the unfamiliar food wasn't so terrifying after all. He still prefers to eat the foods he grew up with, but he no longer panics when faced with something new and different.

    I wonder how many "picky eaters" have a true phobia of new food like my friend did. It implies that really severe picky eaters who want to overcome it could succeed by treating it as a phobia -- gradually increasing exposure to the thing they're afraid of until they're desensitized to it. - 7/21/2010   2:34:29 PM
  • BRANDESTAUBYN
    154
    I am an extremely picky eater and have been for most of my life. I do not like the smell of many foods and can't stomach certain textures. This leaves me only eating breads and pastas for the most part, with a lot of dairy products. While I have cut back my portions, moved to organic pastas, and tried the wheat brands of bread... I still can't force myself to eat vegetables or fruits. I am not a major meat eater, maybe twice a week, but I could make a meal from just a pasta dish. It's really hard for me to lose weight this way. - 7/21/2010   1:55:25 PM
  • 153
    I won't eat seafood (or any fish for that matter), and spicy is out of the questions (which everyone tells me is a shame, since I live minutes from the border and Mexican food rules in San Diego). That's pretty much where my picky eating ends (although I am no fan of unhealthy, fried, or fatty foods either).
    My boyfriend is the opposite of me - he loves fast food, enjoys seafood, and will eat peppers in their raw form. :P
    Believe me, finding a meal or place to eat for the both of us has put strain on our relationship at times. - 7/21/2010   1:36:27 PM
  • 152
    As a speech-language pathologist, I have seen some pretty severe picky eaters in feeding therapy. Many of these kids have sensory-processing difficulties (making them more sensitive/reactive to textures). Lots of these "picky eaters" don't have at least 10 foods in each of the following categories--fruits/veg, grain, protein. And many react to new foods by gagging or vomiting and it has a huge impact on their families, as eating is such a social time. Glad to hear it is being acknowledged as a true disorder. - 7/21/2010   12:56:49 PM
  • 151
    I would have never thought being a picky eater would someday be an eating disorder. YES I am very picky eater, I won't do seafood of any kind, my pasta is very limited, I won't eat brussel sprouts, peas, pie, and more I can't think of. I do like lots of fruits and veggies too. - 7/21/2010   12:33:40 PM
  • 150
    The only food I won't eat is calamari, having been on fishing boats where squid were used as bait and smelling their awful odor. Also, the rubbery texture does nothing for me and what most people like is the coating and frying. Yuck! - 7/21/2010   9:45:26 AM
  • 149
    I am a very picky eater, :) okay I have multiple food allergies and then there are the foods I just won't eat along with foods I would prefer to eat ie. wheat vs. white, ect so I sympathize with others who have this problem. My dear SIL made a complete lactose free , low sodium, meal for xmas one year. I love her more for doing this and I know she will never do it again :)
    - 7/21/2010   4:30:08 AM
  • 148
    I have an eating disorder, so it goes a little beyond the bounds of picky eating.

    That said, I'll try most foods. There are foods I refuse to eat, like bread. - 7/20/2010   1:36:16 PM
  • OKRASIN
    147
    I am a super picky eater. I don't like anything with a weird texture and I am also sensitive to the smells of a lot of foods.
    However I have made it a mission to make sure my kids eat a large variety of foods. The great thing is as they have gotten older they also will eat foods that at one time they didn't like much. I am really proud of myself for getting them to eat a lot more variety than I will eat. - 7/20/2010   1:14:22 PM
  • 146
    I am not and I love it. - 7/20/2010   12:46:46 PM
  • 145
    I'm not a picky eater at all in any sense, but there are somethings I won't eat for particular reasons. There are foods with certain textures that I can not get past. Like coconut, I don't mind the taste of it but I can't get past the texture. If I'm eating something that has a little coconut in it its okay, but if it is mainly coconut I can't do it. Same with squash and peas pudding (traditional Newfoundland dish my family makes, like a thicker version of pea soup). If something is too stringy I can't eat it. Also, I hate pineapple, I can not eat it, no way, no how! - 7/20/2010   12:05:57 PM
  • ASINGH527
    144
    I'm considered a picky eater by my friends, but I don't really consider myself one (maybe I'm in denial?). In any case, I do try a lot of different foods as long as they aren't green and wilted looking (spinach or any cooked leaf), smell bad (steamed broccoli), and isn't mushy or worse have a skin and mushy in the middle (beans, peas). I eat all sorts of different cuisines, but I only have challenges on specific things. It took years before I could eat rice pudding. The first time I ate it, I didn't think it was going to stay in my stomach. The liquid and then the rice texture drove me crazy. But I liked the flavor of it. So, I started with only the liquid of the pudding and then after a long time I tried to have just one rice (minus the liquid) and then eventually I could eat it. It's extremely challenging to overcome my initial reaction to certain foods.

    I think it really depends on the person as to how picky they are and if they are up to the challenge of beating it every once in awhile (more than that would be too much stress). - 7/20/2010   10:13:29 AM
  • 143
    I know two boys who will only eat pasta and pesto. They're the children of French parents who cook absolutely amazing food, but these kids will *throw up* anything but pasta and pesto (and that includes mashed potato and fries). They're both very skinny and far too short for their age (while their dad is 6'2"!). What on earth do you do about something like that? - 7/20/2010   8:12:36 AM
  • 142
    This is for those who have picky eaters. A girlfriend has done this with her picky eater boyfriend. Start by introducing the flavor, very mildly, in something they like and then keep increasing. Ex: Onions Ė use onion powder or salt at first, go to onions basically juiced, next VERY finely chopped. If he sees it, he still will not eat it but it is a start. This will not work for everything but she has done other creative cooking, like making beef stew with vegetables so chopped up there is no way he can pick them out and he loves the stew. - 7/20/2010   1:47:38 AM
  • 141
    I am a picky eater. I think a lot of it has to do with texture of foods. I have pretty severe allergies and usually have a stuffy nose, which I think makes my taste buds less sharp (I have a horrible palette). I've come to realize that texture affects my opinion of foods more than other people (ie-- watermelon. I like the flavor but HATE the texture). It is definitely hard when trying to eat healthier. I've also realized that I like more vegetables than fruit, which at first I found weird because I've always believed fruit to be naturally sweeter than vegetables, but now I'm starting to realize it's probably because I can cook vegetables and that changes their texture. - 7/20/2010   12:10:26 AM
  • DANABEV2
    140
    My boyfriend is a picky eater. We've been together for over two years and while I've normally been very conscious about eating a healthy, varied diet, he eats the same five things. But the thing is he has never been motivated to change his eating habits because, while he is lacking a lot of nutrients, he has never really been overweight. He gets stressed out at family dinners because there's never anything he eats there and I always worry about him and I hope that there's something out there to help him broaden his diet. - 7/19/2010   11:56:26 PM
  • SNOCONES
    139
    My fiance is an adult picky eater. I've come to realize that our future will not consist of fancy restaurants, sushi or eating new foods while traveling. Oh well, I love him whether he eats or not. ;) - 7/19/2010   11:01:31 PM
  • CHEROKEECHIC
    138
    I used to be a picky eater until I met my Husband and we make it an adventure to try new things often as we can...I'm actually proud of myself:0) - 7/19/2010   4:37:36 PM
  • 137
    I definitely consider myself a picky eater; I smiled to myself reading about your friend who wouldn't eat anything green because that was me. I've since tried some new foods, adding them to my diet as I learn more about healthy eating. I just recently started eating cucumbers in my salad! LOL It's a slow process for me, seriously... - 7/19/2010   4:34:46 PM
  • 136
    Well, some folks would consider my veganism as a "picky eater" type issue. But, honestly, I don't consider it to be picky, just careful. I don't eat animals, nor their bodily excretions, in any form - period. I do my darn best to avoid all the little niggly bits and, while I'm sure I'm not perfect, I feel I do a good job avoiding the things I can. It's much stronger than a preference, too. It's a moral imperative (annnnd... yes, meat/fish/eggs/dairy gross me out now, too.)

    I'll eat anything as long as it's a plant. :) Honestly, you guys who eat meat/fish/by-products routinely eat, what, six species? Cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, pigs, fish? Add eggs and milk and you've only got 8 things I won't eat that most Americans will. That's not picky at all. ;) The only veg I don't like is eggplant. I have issues with REALLY spicy stuff, too, so I avoid hot peppers. The rest? Fair game!

    Being vegan has actually broadened my food preferences and opened up my taste buds. I'm much more adventurous now than I was when meals were meat, processed grain/starch and a wimpy serving of veg dosed in cheese or butter. - 7/19/2010   4:24:59 PM
  • 135
    I have always been a picky eater. For pretty much my entire life I have disliked the taste and texture of meat. To me, it is just DISGUSTING. I truly don't understand how people can actually eat it. But I get plenty of protein and nutrients from other sources, so I don't really feel bad about it.

    There are also many fruits I can not eat, but only because they really upset my stomach. So while I love the taste of apples, pineapples, and citrus fruits, I know I will be in massive amounts of pain if I indulge. - 7/19/2010   4:19:09 PM
  • 134
    I used to be a picky eater, mostly because my mom is one & so didn't introduce me to a lot of foods. I had just adopted her eating habits. When I met new friends who were more adventurous eaters, they got me to try new things. I still don't like a lot of meats, but otherwise, I'm not that picky anymore. My hubby, OTOH, is very picky, especially with veggies. There's only about 6 he'll eat & half of those he'll only eat if they are raw. - 7/19/2010   2:25:41 PM
  • MIEZEKATZE
    133
    I'm definitely not a picky eater, I will try anything once! But yeah, as a child, I was pretty picky about eating vegetables, but I grew out of it.

    The only thing I get hesitant about nibbling on is beef jerkey - if I think about how it looks too much, I gross myself out and won't eat it. (Anybody who has taken an human anatomy class will know what I am talking about!)

    As for picky eaters causing problems in their relationships, I can attest to this, as my boyfriend is very picky. It really grates on my nerves sometimes; I'll make a really nice meal, he eats it, says that he LOVES it asks what's in it, and then as soon as I tell him it has pineapple juice in it, he freaks out and spits it out like a ten year old. Seriously? And then he wonders why I don't make him dinner anymore! :P There's only so much pasta and bread a gal can eat before she goes crazy! - 7/19/2010   2:23:46 PM
  • 132
    I don't consider myself a picky eater but there are things I just won't eat. For example, I don't like olives. I think this has to do with the fact that I think they taste like salt. I also don't eat black-eyed peas; I just don't like the texture. And I ABSOLUTELY will not eat pecan pie. And I don't like hummas. I don't know why. Anything else, though, bring it on! I'll try it once. If I don't like it, I won't continue to eat it.

    I love veggies. I think this has to do with the fact that I grew up on a farm and if you wanted to eat something, you had to harvest it yourself. Also, if you didn't eat what you were given, then you didn't eat at all! - 7/19/2010   12:44:10 PM
  • 131
    I was very picky as a child because of texture, even now I can not eat some things because the texture bothers me and makes it seem disgusting. - 7/19/2010   12:05:08 PM
  • WINEDINETRAVEL
    130
    Sad to say, I consider myself an extremely picky eater. I remember all of those wonderful days when I was 6 or 7 years old, sitting at the dinner table for hours until I could gag down overcooked broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, etc. Now I can't stand to smell any of those things, let alone eat them. I'm also picky about texture - watermelon is gritty, beans are mushy, and I don't eat flaky fish. Yes, I keep trying new things, but why force extra calories down in the form of food you don't like when you can eat things you like and enjoy them? My diet is pretty balanced, with less variety than other people have. - 7/19/2010   11:25:11 AM
  • 129
    I definitely have texture issues when it comes to food. I won't touch anything made from tomatoes, from sauce to ketchup to actual tomatoes. I hoped this was something I'd grow out of, but I still can't even stand the smell of tomato sauce. Not a huge fan of mushrooms, but I can at least eat things they're in, and I won't freak out if I've bitten into one the way I will about tomatoes. Not a fan of fish either, but shellfish is fine. And I can eat fish if I have to; I just won't, given any choice.
    I've gotten a lot better, though. I used to never try new things, or eat any veggies other than carrots or celery; now I'm willing to give almost anything a shot, unless tomatoes are involved.
    - 7/19/2010   9:07:15 AM
  • 128
    I am the furthest thing from a picky eater! I love any kind of food! I'm very funny about texture, though (which is more food prep, not the actual food). - 7/19/2010   8:12:14 AM
  • 127
    I was a horribly picky eater growing up. I attribute it a little to my mom not introducing me to many foods, especially when I was young, but mostly to my lack of wanting to try new things. Until I was about 20 I survived on chicken breasts (plain), chicken fingers or nuggets, pasta (no sauce only butter or parmesean cheese), macaroni and cheese, and fruit. I would not touch vegetables (unless you count potatoes) and didn't eat any red meat. I would eat shrimp and crab only if it was fried and refused to eat fish. I have no idea how I survived on just those few staples and all that unhealthy food! As I got into my 20's something happened and I started trying new foods. Some of it was because boyfriends (and now my husband) coaxed me into trying things and the other part was out of embarassement when eating out with friends. I was so picky that I could only eat out at very few restaurants and usually had to order off the menu at nice places. I still won't touch raw vegetables (including salads) but will eat almost all of them cooked any way. I eat red meat and LOVE not fried seafood and fish. Now that I have learned to cook I find I like a lot more foods than I ever thought I would. - 7/19/2010   8:04:55 AM
  • 126
    I was absolutely a picky eater when I was younger. As a matter of fact, I was a picky eater up to about the time I decided to start eating clean and get healthy - around the same time I joined SP and started tracking.

    I have found that I really enjoy food now and always clean my plate. I find myself thinking "If I'm taking the hit for the calories, I'm eating the thing". I eat things now that I can remember snubbing in my "previous life". One example is avocadoes. I used to not even consider eating them...yuck! Now? I can't get enough of 'em - the problem now is that I have to be careful about how much I do eat! - 7/19/2010   7:51:29 AM
  • 125
    I cannot eat onions, peppers or celery - if I ever crunch into one when eating I have to spit the whole mouthful out and can't finish the dish. Cooking them does not make them any better for me. I do like the powdered forms, chili powder or onion powder but that is it. Now I'm on a low salt diet to boot so there are very limited options when eating out. I will say that it has helped me keep my weight down! Sugar is my last demon, but there are plenty of sweet options that are healthy, such as fruit. - 7/19/2010   6:52:37 AM
  • 124
    I might have been labled a picky eater when I was younger. I wasn't fond of cooked veggies, but would eat them raw. I hated onions and peppers. Now I eat most things, and love them sauteed or grilled. My youngest son, 5, is somewhat of a picky eater, but he is getting better. My middle son, 7, used to be picky, but now he tries almost anything. He has trouble with the textures and tastes. He has always been a bit different than my other two boys. He just does things different. - 7/19/2010   6:44:45 AM
  • 123
    When my oldest son was first starting school, he palled around with his best friend, who lived two doors down.

    At our house, we always had fresh fruit, carrots, celery and even broccoli and cauliflower to snack on. Initially, Rob would only eat an apple or an orange. Then he tried grapes (Ummm, good!). Then he gradually progressed to where he would eat any fruit we had for a snack.

    One day, with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, my son wanted some celery with cream cheese. After first acting like he was gagging, Rob ate some. He had a concerned look on his face, but he took a couple more pieces of celery.

    Over the course of the summer, we had kids from all over the neighborhood at our place for lunches, snacks, and often, dinners.

    One evening in late August, Rob's mother came down and wanted to talk to us about what he ate when he was here. Concerned that Rob may have been allergic to something, we quickly told her of everything we served.

    His mother then asked how we coaxed him into eating those things, foods that he NEVER ate at home.

    We had never "coaxed" him at all. We simply put food on the table and our two high energy boys ate anything that came on a plate. Mimicking his friends, so did Rob.

    Of the hundreds of young people we've hosted throughout our sons growing years, we've never had a picky eater, at our house.

    IMHO, sometimes being a "picky" eater is something the child has taught the parents to gain some control - and the parents have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker.

    On the other hand, I do know of children who've had a bad experience with one food and then transfer that experience to many new foods.

    Me? The only food I won't eat was a favorite of my Mom's - pickled pigs feet (yecchh!) - 7/18/2010   10:51:05 PM
  • JACKIEPB
    122
    I've only been labeled a "picky" eater since I started watching what went into me and caring that it be nutritious. My food choices are healthy now, and that can cause problems in my family. The get nervous that they will be asked to make changes in the menu or recipe to suit me. I think MORE foods are available to me now - but it's not up to me to preach to my family; I think they will get the message little by little through my example. - 7/18/2010   10:38:17 PM
  • 121
    I am a very picky eater. Smells, textures, colors, allergies - yuk. I am getting better with trying more healthier recipes, but I am not the greatest cook. - 7/18/2010   10:04:46 PM
  • LIVINGONMYTERMS
    120
    For me it is mostly textures. I will not eat sushi, mayo, most canned veggies, beans and rice, green bell peppers, and pretty much anything that is white. I also will not handle raw meat and I don't want any of my food touching. This has been for the last 10 years or so. - 7/18/2010   9:23:49 PM

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