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MIKEYCO SparkPoints: (23,255)
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2/18/14 11:03 A

I don't what is best for food allergies but this is what I do with new foods that I WANT to eat but may not like all that much. I will try and add them to things that I like in small amounts. Over time I will increase it so that the newer food becomes more noticeable. Sometimes I get to the point that I like the new food on its own sometimes I can only tolerate mixed with something else. Tomatoes are a good example. I never liked them on their own but mixed in with other foods they are great.

JSIMMON1 Posts: 225
2/17/14 1:01 P

I used to be a very picky eater. wouldn't touch eggs, and only ate a very small group of veggies. When I started to get more interested in improving my health, I knew things had to change. The way I approach new foods is to start looking at recipes that include those foods - the more prominent that food is the better. Now, mind you, I almost never make THOSE recipes (at least not at first) but I use them to see what other foods people usually combine with them (I'll call these the co-stars for now) and then I think of recipes that I do like that feature the co-stars and I make my usual recipe but add a little of my "new friend". if that's not terrible, next time I add a little more.

While doing this, I sometimes use a little of my "new friend" prepared in what looks to be a popular, yet uncomplicated, method (based on early recipe searches) - to force myself to just try it.

With eggs, I started with omelets with LOTS of cheese,mushrooms, sausage (and one small egg) - as long as I didn't put onion or other non dog friendly ingredients in I knew that our canine companion would happily eat the portion that I didn't eat. However, to this day I still do not like plain eggs but easily manage omelets served at restaurants.

2/16/14 8:51 P

I usually teach myself to eat new foods by waiting until I'm fairly hungry and having something I enjoy eating or drinking to chase it with, "just in case". I've been exploring different salads and vegetables lately and keep a small amount of dressing on the plate, just in case. Mostly, it's all good. ;)

TIFALVA SparkPoints: (35,809)
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2/16/14 8:46 P

I'm such a picky eater that I don't buy new things often. I wait until someone has it at work and try it from their plate :-) if I'm out and want to try something new my rule of thumb is 3/4 of the dish has to be stuff I already know I like that way I feel like I'm not wasting money.

I did that just this weekend with risotto, the dish was risotto with garlic scallops (LOVE) and salad. Ended up loving the whole dish and happy I tried it :-)

ELLEMAC7 Posts: 2,363
2/15/14 8:44 P

Start small. Add them a little at a time. There are so many foods I used to dislike that I now love! Only two gross-out foods remain: peanut butter and mushrooms (straight up - I can handle them if they're mixed with something else, or on a pizza or something.)

2/15/14 1:30 P

I'm not an eggplant fan either, but if you use slices as the "dough" for mini pizzas, they're not as bad. lol

As for eating new foods, there's nothing like trying new recipes. I'm not always a fan of lowering calories for beloved recipes such as mac and cheese. I'm usually disappointed and still just want the original recipe.

I've had better luck trying totally new recipes. Tomatoes, green peppers, onions and zucchini zapped in the microwave w/ fat free feta added near the end tastes really great to me and I don't feel deprived since it's exactly the way I first tried it.

Edited by: COCINAPUMA at: 2/15/2014 (13:37)
EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
2/15/14 11:09 A

Oh! bacon is wonderful. I love bacon, and eat tons of it - even as snacks. I eat loads of sauces, too. I don't restrict fats at all - not the healthy, saturated, animal-based ones, at least. Fats are some of the healthiest foods we can eat. And I need more salt, because you metabolize more salt out of your body on low-carb, and need it. This is good - because I love salt! (and my labs are perfect after several years in the lifestyle).

As to the broccoli: a local friend gave me a tip: you have to peel the stems, evidently. She uses just the "fuzzy" tops as a steamed veggie, but then peels the stem and roasts small cuts of that. She says it comes out nice and removes any bitterness. I'm hoping that perhaps some of my sensitivity to it resides in that outer "skin". I'm going to try it!

Spices, sauces, yes - I have at least a shot at making this work!
My grocery run today will include some things I haven't previously used. Wish me luck!

19MELISSA71 SparkPoints: (1,377)
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2/15/14 10:05 A

I'll begin with the fact that I do not honestly believe there is anything to save eggplant. Sorry, eggplant fans! I come from a long line of picky eaters and am currently raising the king!

Don't beat yourself up. There is no reason that you should have to like everything! If you are getting the proper nutrients- great!

People have given some great ideas here. Personally, I like things mixed together, so I have to agree with the posts which suggest adding small pieces of the target food into a dish of foods you already like. Roasted vegetables are particularly good for introducing new veggies- enough olive oil to lightly coat, garlic, onion as desired, fresh or dried herbs (rosemary is fantastic with root vegetables), fresh-cracked pepper, and salt (yea, I know, just be "stingy" with it). One poster commented that broccoli does not work well. I have had great success with broccoli (a matter of opinion, of course) by making sure it placed more in the middle and not all over the top. My method calls for roasting covered for about 30 minutes, which allows the steam to collect and I think this is very helpful in not letting the broccoli burn on the edges. Cook uncovered until finished.

Do you like soup? Soups are another great way to start introducing small bits of target foods. Choose a soup base you already like and add to it, starting with smaller quantities of the target food and gradually adding a little more each time you make it, as you learn to enjoy the fact that the target food is present (or at least are no longer squeamish about it).

How about bacon? I know, bacon is terrible for us all, riddled with fat and sodium. However, a very small amount of bacon added when cooking other things, brings out a great smokey, almost sweet flavor, to almost anything, whether it be meat or vegetables. I have convinced quite a few brussels sprouts nay-sayers that they are actually quite good! There is no better way to eat squash than bacon wrapped and broiled. Oh my! I would say, just don't get carried away with the bacon. :)

Several people mentioned sauces. If that works for you, great! So many sauces are high in fat, calories, and sodium- what a shame, because they are SOOO good! I've been a huge fan of honey mustard! If you are not wanting to rely on them frequently, don't underestimate the power of herbs and spices. The fresher the better. I can't stress this enough- For me, the herbs and spices are key. I love lots of vegetables, plenty of fruits, breads, pastas, and cereals. However, when it comes to meat, I just can't seem to make any rapid progress. I am the queen of chicken/turkey breast. Without a wide palate of herbs and spices, table-life would be very boring! (I am extremely limited in the beef and pork area and don't eat anything that formerly resided in the water.)

Don't try new, dreaded foods when you are in a bad mood or already feeling squeamish about something else. Try when you are in a positive frame of mind and hungry. As you try it, try to find something you do like about it and focus on that aspect of the food.

Perhaps you will think about going to see a dietitian or other professional, as you seem unhappy with your current situation. Best wishes on your journey, and remember that you don't have to like everything! Just be healthy!

MARYJOANNA Posts: 5,507
2/15/14 10:00 A

I like to try one new vegetable per month. That way, I can try something new a little at time.

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
2/14/14 3:00 P

I enjoy trying new foods so I am a taster and if something is new, I taste and if I like, I eat.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
2/14/14 2:19 P

The sauces and "pretreatments" sound like a likely possibility. I think I'll see if I can find a very small piece of s.s.s.salmon O-o and try it again. Or maybe just get a big hunk of cod or other white fish and go that way instead! LOL There I go, bailing out again. hehe

Thanks for the ideas. I feel a grocery run coming on!

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
2/14/14 9:52 A

Very seriously - sauces are your friend!

I used to be able to eat raw broccoli and cauliflower by the pound, but my revised "semi-colon" reacts just how you've described. I love them, so have found that I can still have them cooked (preferably sauteed or steamed - roasted still bugs me) as long as I have them with at least a couple of Tbsp of oil based sauce (olive oil mayo with apple cider vinegar is my current fave). I've found that I have to avoid the cheese with these, since cheese tends to slow things down in my system.

I'm in total agreement with you on the strong tasting fish, too. The Man is an East coast boy, so loves his fish, and is not always content with the milder cod or haddock, so we often have halibut or mackerel or salmon or trout. I mix up a sauce of olive oil mayo, apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, dry mustard, and a bit of honey to top it with and end up thoroughly enjoying it! I also find that seasoning the fish itself with garlic, paprika, and dill before grilling seems to mask that strong *fish* taste. Another thing I'll do is cook the fish in a skillet with onions and red wine vinegar (I often used chopped tomatoes or a couple of Tbsp of tomato paste too), along with some basil, sage, and oregano --- and a quick topping of some cheese!

It is soooo frustrating when the body is less cooperative than the mind, but I've found that when I try something new it seems to be easier in my mind when I've already decided that I'm only having a little bit "to see how I'll react". Kudos on working past the frustration and keeping an open mind on trying new things!

2/13/14 11:50 P

I try to find a recipe with the new food that sounds delicious!

SWEETLILBLUEYES SparkPoints: (43,871)
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2/13/14 6:37 P

I think that it's great that you are open to trying new foods. Small quantities makes sense to me. I wish you luck!

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
2/13/14 4:12 P

Thanks BUNNY--
I'm definitely going at this thing with careful trepidation. I'm determined, but I'm not planning to instigate suffering to accomplish it!

I hope I can make it work.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
2/13/14 4:02 P

I just thought I should put this out there - since GI disturbances are a concern - eggplant is SUPER high in fibre and.... GI-disturbing qualities. At least for me. It's pretty much the only veg (technically a berry, but I digress) that can bother my cast-iron innards. So, you might find it in your best interests to explore eggplant *sparingly*.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
2/13/14 2:59 P

I guess that's a possibility worth exploring. I think, though, it has more to do with my relative intolerance of FODMAPs and nightshades. These foods create reaallllly unpleasant GI disturbances: they get so far as the first section of my intestines and then motility simply ceases and they sit there and ferment. The only relief is to just get it back out. TMI - sorry.

It may have some association with my scleroderma, which is an autoimmune condition which comes with plenty of GI symptoms.

So, while I don't need to exacerbate my troubles by trying to *overload* myself with cruciferous veggies (cabbage family), I would like to be able to at least teach my gut to tolerate small portions.
I'm a low-carber -- have you any idea how many recipes substitute cauliflower for rice or pasta?!? Have you ever tried to find any frozen meals (not that I do processed that much) or even veggie blends which don't contain broccoli or cauliflower? kale, "leafy greens" - they all tend to be in the family of foods which do this to me... and those veggies are supposed to be the foundational basis of the lifestyle! it's so frustrating to not be able to eat them.
Maybe I can gently introduce some small amounts in an effort to "teach" my body how to handle it. It may never happen - but I want to try, at least. I have been able to manage some very small portions of cabbage - such as what you'd get in a spring roll (so far, there's still too much for me in larger egg rolls), or a couple of tablespoons of cole slaw. That gives me hope that I may have success with some of the other veggies in that family.

I'm not beyond investigating any possible cause for these sensitivities. I've got a notion to go to a functional medicine practitioner. I think s/he'd be the most likely resource to help me in the attempt.Thanks for the suggestion. I'll bring it up when I can get to one!

That sounds like a good experiment for me to try with the eggplant. I wanted something crispy, not mushy. I like summer squash, but only if it's done in some manner like this. The typical steamed or boiled version just yuks me out. I will eat it stir-fried, though. I have a mandolin cutter which cuts pretty thin wafers. Maybe I'll take a shot at eggplant that way. I do have to be careful about tomatoes - but so long as I don't make things "swim" in sauce, I can usually get away with it. I read some recipe somewhere about marinading eggplant in a buttermilk soak, and then drying it off before frying it. Maybe I could take a shot at that.

I wasn't really focused especially on eggplant for this - it was just one thing which I thought I'd like to try.
Salmon is another one! believe it or not. It's all the rage now, but I just don't like the strong fishy taste of those fish which are touted as "good for us" right now.
I love fish! but I like the milder white ones. Grouper is probably on top of that list. I see all the wonderful recipes for Salmon, and my brain immediately inserts "Grouper" or "Tilapia" or "Swai" or even "catfish" for them. Not that that's a problem, but I think it's just fussiness that I'll eat one sort and turn my nose up at others. hmpf

Edited by: EXOTEC at: 2/13/2014 (15:13)
HEALTHYBARB1 SparkPoints: (204,731)
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2/13/14 2:46 P

Hi Vicky!!
I so understand...when I was little foods that I didn't like or didn't think I would like made me so upset that I would throw up and later I had an unfortunate episode where my grandmother tried to force me to eat green mushy peas and to this day I can only eat peas cold in salads or raw!! 5 years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease and had to change my whole diet to gluten free. I realized during this time of forced and "no option" change in my eating habits that I learned we are all born with taste buds that differ and some foods taste good and others just do not. I also learned that it takes time to adjust to new things and to introduce new things slowly. I have tried many a new recipe and had to throw it all away as it just tasted YUCK!! I have gradually found a new healthier normal that includes some new food items and some old. The thing that I found helped me the most was that I never let myself feel forced to eat more then one bite of something new and I never let myself feel bad for my taste buds not liking some things...
Good for you to try working to try new foods out of your comfort zone but remember the goal is healthy for a lifetime and you can do it one little step at a time.
As far as the eggplant goes...I slice mine and dry it between layers of paper towels to remove all of the moisture, dip it in egg and coat it with flour and corn meal and itallian seasoning, fry it in olive oil and serve it with spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese...Egg plant parmesan is delicious to me now...when I was young I would not have touched it with a 10 foot pole!! Take your time and enjoy the journey!!
Smiles Barb

2/13/14 11:45 A

I'm really proud of you for seeing the value in trying new things. If I may be a little personal here, you mentioned not being able to "tolerate" certain foods. I grew up with a woman I love dearly who thought/ asserted frequently that she could not "tolerate" many foods. After many years of malnutrition, bone density loss, early onset osteoporosis, and dangerously low weight, we discovered she had a rare form of anorexia nervosa, much to our surprise.I highly encourage you see a professional in the field of Anorexia nervosa (in all it's forms) if you think you have any of the warning signs. Too much food is the leading cause of death in America (heart disease, etc.). Too little food is the pernicious, silent little sister. The biggest warning sign is a refusal to maintain the lowest minimum body weight for your height. I'm not diagnosing you, by any means, just being concerned.

DEATHLILLY11 SparkPoints: (4,054)
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Posts: 26
2/13/14 9:27 A

I have issues with quite a lot of foods like olives, mushrooms, eggs and seafood, but I know I need to eat some of this stuff so I make a tomato pasta sauce and chuck a few of the things I don't like in it, tomatoes have a really strong flavour so they tend to cover up any weird tastes, if you don't like tomatoes maybe try it with another strong flavoured thing you do like, maybe lots of spices or garlic. If you have issues with the texture of some things (I hate the texture of mushrooms) try putting them in your mouth at the same time as something with a better texture like a piece of chicken or something. I know it sounds silly but sometimes you have to try and out smart yourself haha. emoticon

ZAKNEE SparkPoints: (14,351)
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2/12/14 10:39 P

Growing up I was a picky eater, but I always "wanted" to like certain foods. I continued to try the foods I didn't like (chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, and mushrooms are the main ones). I now love chicken, cottage cheese and eggs, still struggling with mushrooms. I just kept trying it every few months and soon I realized I didn't dislike them anymore. I think you need to keep trying and try to change your perspective of the foods. I wish you good luck and healthy eating!

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,696
2/12/14 10:15 P

trt eating small portions of it over time

MAMA_CD Posts: 1,507
2/12/14 8:31 P

I usually eat about the same, occasionally I may see a recipe or food that looks interesting so I give it a try. I don't care much about what I eat I just don't like being hungry

BJF2008 Posts: 673
2/12/14 7:41 P

I ask friends for recipes they like...helps increase the chances that I will enjoy!

2/12/14 9:41 A

There could very well be a reason you don't eat eggplant - do you eat squash? I will not eat either, they are repulsive to me; cannot abide the texture. Ditto to lima beans (which I later learned I am allergic to.) I thought I liked asparagus & spinach - now the texture turns me off.

Instead of trying to fool yourself, try foods that don't nauseate you. Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, turnips and/or turnip greens. My goodness, the list goes on and on.

My DH & I are madly in love with plain old mixed vegetables! It's still a vegetable and we now go through a pound package at a sitting!

emoticon emoticon

STARMONICA SparkPoints: (218,587)
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2/12/14 8:35 A

I will try if SP or some book of diet said, but I still follow what I like more.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
2/11/14 10:08 P

hehe -- yeah, for a variety of things! LOL
Seriously, no. I know people who have had very beneficial results with that sort of thing. I just think I'm being squeamish or "willful", as my grandmother used to say.

It's not that I really *need* to eat more food! heck, I'm already showing too much evidence of the foods I *do* eat! But I'd like to be able to add some healthy things which I know aren't in the categories of foods I have to avoid.

PATTIEMCD Posts: 1,107
2/11/14 9:06 P

Vicki.....have you ever considered hypnotherapy ?

Edited by: PATTIEMCD at: 2/11/2014 (21:07)
BLUETABBY Posts: 153
2/11/14 6:19 P

Hi--- brussels sprouts are one of those things I never liked, until I tried them sauteed in 1 T butter, with a clove of chopped garlic. Yum! It's a whole new experience from school-lunch olive-drab, mushified brussels sprouts (ick).

@Freshbeginnings, I'm curious... if you don't mind my asking, what made you think fruit was yucky? I've never encountered anyone who didn't like fruit.

STELLACRESPIN SparkPoints: (23,952)
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2/11/14 2:37 P

Different seasonings. I find that a lot of times I feel like I make the same foods over and over. So I research recipes a lot. I am really enjoying the Spark Recipes. Thanks Spark!

2/11/14 2:10 P

Tricking the brain - part of it is knowing what your thought is that yucks you out.

Honestly, I used to yuck out at fruits, but I filled my mind with understanding and that helped me to make them a part of my diet, but it took years to get past the yuck.

(I used to yuck out at exercise, too, so I know part of it is mental discipline and changing our attitudes and changing our thoughts. Little kids yuck out at everything and, honestly, when I tell myself to "grow up" I find that I am able to face things and actually get more mature and that changes what I eat and drink and do.

Eggplant is one food I used to love so much, but so many of the restaurants made it in a way that was bitter that it became a yuck out food for me, too, but I realized it was how it was prepared, so I started finding out which places cook it in a way that is not bitter and didn't try it again until I knew it was cooked the way that I might possibly like.

Meat is still a yuck out food for me, because I got sick on it out of food allergies. That, I haven't even wanted to try again, but I know if I wanted to try it, I need to change my thoughts about it and that takes disciplining of my thoughts about it.

Edited by: FRESHBEGINNINGS at: 2/11/2014 (14:15)
SHERYLDS Posts: 17,317
2/10/14 5:08 P

if you have a problem with eggplant ... use zucchini. It's very similar.
I make grilled eggplant by slicing it 1/2 of an inch drizzling a little olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Swab the non-stick pan with a little oil and lay the slices single layer, broil at 350 for about 15 minutes, flip and , and add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, b roil another 15 minutes. Made just like that, they end up just right and not mushy.
You can add a spoonful of diced tomatoes during the last flip if desired. Not bad.
Don't try to fry eggplant...they act like sponges.

CJGODESS101 SparkPoints: (30,781)
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2/10/14 4:27 P

I'm like AMBROSIAHINO, I grew up eating very few veggies. Unfortunately, my hubby loves lots of veggies and does most of the cooking, so I have had no choice but to expend what I eat. I started with Cauliflower smothered in cheese, then roasted with herbs, now I can tolerate plain. Broccoli, I started in Stir-Fry, then smothered in cheese, then steamed. If you don't like 1 preparation try another. The pizza idea is great because who doesn't like pizza. Also, during the summers we visit the farmers market and will try something new to us every week.

ROADRRUNNER007 Posts: 1,369
2/10/14 3:26 P

I just buy it and try it

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
2/10/14 1:43 P

Thanks everyone for all the good suggestions. I will try small amounts made in different ways, with lots of cheese! (cheese improves almost everything!) I love creamy sauces. That should help, too (thinking: Bearnaise!!! yum!!!) I do like roasted veggies. I'll add some different ones to my concoctions. And I'll be more persistent. I give up too easily, I think.

And yes about the mushrooms. I was on a roll with the tomatoes and eggplant, and mushrooms go along with those in my thoughts (and recipes!), so I misrepresented them. I still can't eat them as I used to... and still would if they liked me as well as they used to! I can eat some. Just not as a whole entree, as I once was wont to do.

I am determined to "like" more veggies that I *can* tolerate.
I just have to get a bit more stern with myself!

Thanks for all the helpful advice

2/10/14 12:17 P

I didn't grow up eating many veggies, and my recommendation isn't the healthiest, but to initially try a new food, its normally been in pizza or smothered in cheese. I started on spinach on pizza and in dip, mushrooms on pizza (that's were they still are), and eggplant in things like eggplant parm and lasagna. Bean sprouts and cabbage are things I mostly only like in Oriental stir-fries still (hey, cabbage used to only be eggrolls!) Broccoli started off smothered in alfredo sauce, now I'll eat it plain steamed (must be cooked though).

So I guess my main recommendation is to start with small-ish amounts and add them to things you already love and try not to think about it until after you try it

MNCYCLIST SparkPoints: (136,932)
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2/10/14 9:57 A

I'm not a picky eater, so this may not help you. But I simply try to experiment with one new recipe every week. I find that experimenting with food helps me discover things I love that I was previously unaware of, and that it adds so much to my joy in eating. Hang in there!

JAYDEE16 Posts: 257
2/10/14 9:19 A

Well, first of all, I think you should cut yourself plenty of slack, because it sounds like you have very valid reasons to be hesitant to try new things! I'm so sorry for what you went through growing up, and it's easy to see why you'd be somewhat traumatized by it!

Second - maybe you should speak with a doctor or dietician or even allergist to make sure to stick to things that are safe for you to eat, and focus on trying new things that will provide nutrients you might be lacking due to your restricted diet.

I've heard/read that the "magic number" for learning to like new foods is lucky 13 - that is to say, when they've done studies about training children to try and like new foods, they had to be served the food 13 times before they got over their initial reluctance and "yuck" reaction.

It's already been mentioned, but for veggies, roasting is a great way to get accustomed to new foods. It doesn't work for everything (I find broccoli doesn't work that well), but for things that are more dense like cauliflower and brussels sprouts, it's AMAZING. I used to hate cauliflower and now I could eat a whole head of roasted cauliflower by myself.

GZELLEFRO SparkPoints: (87,474)
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2/9/14 10:33 P

If it smells bad, I just cannot eat it. Even if it is a food I like or love. I read that people with strong sense of smell are more sensitive to the flavors of foods and therefore considered more picky. Don't know if that's true or not. emoticon

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
2/9/14 8:23 P

I'm another "picky" eater, with some food allergies, but I also get bored really easily so have always made a point of trying new foods.

I've discovered that I get more of an "ick" from textures than anything else, with smell coming in second, and taste a distant third. Pureed anything gives me the screaming heebies, as does anything mashed (including potatoes) - I have found that the vast majority of veggies I will prefer roasted just to the point of warm but still have a bit of crunch.

I tend to buy enough of a new thing to try it in a small quantity as a "side" (definitely not the main focus of the meal), and prepare it in a few different ways. For instance, I've discovered that I love turnips roasted with garlic and onion powder (not so much plain), I'm not overly happy with them sauteed, won't have them steamed again (and mashed is out of the question). I loathed zucchini as a kid, but now adore it sliced and sauteed with some onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spices, and red wine vinegar. I'll add it to a stir-fry (match-sticks), or even roast it (but only for a couple of minutes - too long and forget it).

I generally will try each new thing prepared alone (some spiced, some not - and generally try roasting, sauteing, and steaming), as well as adding it to a stir-fry of some kind. I also have a favourite sauce on hand to see if that will help with it (sometimes a balsamic sauce, sometimes a cheese sauce, sometimes a red wine glaze, sometimes a tomato sauce).

I figure that worst case scenario is that I've had a few bites of something that I don't like, but I still have the rest of my meal to enjoy. Best case scenario is that I have a new item to add to the regular rotation!

The best "tool" in this adventure is a good sense of humour --- some things just are so vile to me that there's no way I can find a way to like them (eggplant - definitely eggplant). The Man and I end up howling with laughter at my exaggerated and dramatic reactions when I find something not palatable, and there have been a few tries that ended up being deposited with some ceremony in the compost pile.

Keep the antihistamine handy in case of an allergic reaction, and have some fun with it!

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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2/9/14 7:55 P

Wish I could help but I can't relate. I love experimenting with new foods and was a risqué eater even as a child. The more exotic (no pun intended) the better. I had to respond because my children absolutely do *not* share my adventurous tastes. They are the absolute opposite. I know they're young and food snubbing is normal but I just don't get it because I eat such strange foods and combinations you'd think some of my example would rub off on them. They are certainly not like I was a child, must get it from their dad. It is curious what causes some people to be finicky with food while others are not.

LADYKOPPER3309 SparkPoints: (19,669)
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2/9/14 6:45 P

I really enjoy trying new things. I am not picky at all and I always try something at least 3 times if I still don't like it then I won't do it again!

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,696
2/9/14 6:39 P

Try small amounts mixed into something you really like.

CYNTHOFF70X7 SparkPoints: (19,321)
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2/9/14 4:53 P

Hate turmeric, Good thing I am past menopause emoticon

Edited by: CYNTHOFF70X7 at: 2/9/2014 (16:54)
RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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Posts: 1,379
2/9/14 2:24 P

" Now, it's in the nightshade family... and those foods give me some troubles... but so are mushrooms, and I can eat them in small quantities now and then. "

Mushrooms aren't nightshades. They're not even plants; they're a fungus. Were you thinking of something else? Anyway it has nothing to do with your comments about eggplant, since (for example) my husband is allergic to tomatoes but fine with all the other ones and eats potatoes and eggplant like they're going out of style.

I wish I had a suggestion for you but I'm not picky at all really, so .. good luck!

THEATERMAMA SparkPoints: (29,913)
Fitness Minutes: (24,789)
Posts: 77
2/9/14 2:15 P

Start with the new food, because when you are hungry your body is more acceptable to food in my opinion. It is how my husband taught himself to eat greens. Also keep trying and try them made in different ways. Beets - I have abhorred beets for my entire life but I discovered that is because I only ever ate pickled beets and I am not a huge fan of pickled anything. I have now discovered that steamed beets sliced and topped with some goat cheese, candied walnuts and balsalmic glaze as a cold salad is quite amazing and roasted beets crockpotted with lamb is quite yummy too so now I can eat beets. I made a point to take a polite bite whenever offered a food that I am not a fan of and I have learned to tolerate if not enjoy many new foods - I however am not a picky eater so my new tastes are usually exotic things but in the last year I have grown to love beets, brussel sprouts and asparagus which were never my favorites but it really helps if you know someone that knows how to cook them.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,270)
Fitness Minutes: (15,537)
Posts: 9,713
2/9/14 1:53 P

Exposure, exposure, exposure.

So you don't like it once. Try again later. Keep trying. Try small portions, and over time, you'll find they're not so bad. I used to HATE whole grains, for example; the texture is just terrible to me! So I started with pasta. I took my regular, simple-carb-laden pasta, and mixed it half and half.

Then I started increasing the ratio. Now, I love my whole wheat pasta, and the texture doesn't bother me at all, because I got used to it. You can probably do something similar with many things. Aversions can usually be dealt with by simply insisting on exposure to them. That's what a lot of therapies for phobias and eating disorders are all about. Starting small, and over time building up more and more exposure.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,234
2/9/14 1:31 P

at least you were allergic/sensitive to things. i was just that picky period.
for me pushing myself but not making me try stuff all the time helped. in other words, i basically stick to what i like, but i periodically bring in things that i haven't liked before. i'll buy a serving of something new and use it four different ways so that i'm not wasting food or trying to force myself to eat something that is yucky. my mom had the rule growing up that i had to try it. so while i didn't like zucchini, i had to eat two rounds of it. and as she pointed out, if i ate those two first then i would have the rest of the meal [that i liked] to enjoy and i wouldn't have to have any again until the next time she made it. as an adult i keep to the same rule. i can manage two small bites of just about anything. funnily enough, i actually like zucchini as an adult, though the way my mom prepares it still makes me almost gag. she likes her zucchini cooked to mush and i like my nearly raw. keeping track of things like that [the what i didn't like about it -texture, taste] helps me find a way that i will like it.
celery, onions and peppers are things that i hated because of the texture. i didn't mind the taste, but the crunch made me want to spit it out. so i minced those things really small and put them into dishes like pot pie or pasta and veggies where once small and cooked they are very hard to find. i still balk at eating any of them raw, and that's fine. they are just as good for me minced and cooked and in something with a lot of ingredients.
eggplant used to be one of my dislikes as well. i'd try it small in lasagna, fried as parmesan, tabbouleh, ugh. then i went to the local fancy french restaurant for dinner. and they had an eggplant [ick] stuffed with crab [yum] with a side of baked potato with creme fraiche [did i mention i love potatoes?] and caviar and some seasonal vegetable. nothing else looked good on the menu, so i figured i could suck it up and at least pick around the eggplant. but i tried it, and while i didn't eat the whole eggplant offered, i did make it through about a third of it. and what's more i liked it.
so i let a friend make me eggplant parm again [an unbreaded version] and it wasn't as awful as it was the last time. said friend made mushrooms as a side, so i had a little eggplant with a lot of mushroom and that helped. but then i was left with a ton [or at least a ton of you don't love eggplant] leftover, so i figured i had to find a way to use it up. it wasn't awful, but i wasn't going to be eating it plain. so i took a round, chopped it up as small as possible and mixed it with mushrooms, probably somewhere around 3-4 times the mushrooms as eggplant. i chopped the mushrooms about the same size as the eggplant. then i took a corn tortilla, added some cheese, added the mushroom/eggplant mixture and another tortilla and has quesadillas. the mushroom taste overpowered the slight bitterness of the eggplant and the small chop made the eggplant texture more palatable. and i like cheese and corn and mushrooms.
i also like curries and asian dishes. so i try and hit some of the local places and order by the pictures so i don't know exactly what's in it. most of it is your basic broccoli, mushroom, peppers and onion but they do include more exotic things as well. and since i don't know exactly what it is, it's easier to try because i can pretend it is something i already like. once i really like it i can ask what it is and work on working that in elsewhere.
since i love potatoes, mashed potatoes are a great way to get used to the taste of something new. i chop and toss some of whatever it happens to be onto the potatoes as they are cooking so they it cooks as well, then it gets mashed up with the potatoes. and i can get used to the slight taste and the sight of the new item at the same time that it's not nearly enough to overpower the potato.
it's something to do with other dishes [lasagnas, curries, pasta and veg dishes]. take a recipe that i already like and add a little [i'm talking a Tablespoon of the new to the whole recipe which serves four little] of the new to it so that it's there, but it's mostly something i already like. so i'm not taking a whole mouthful of eggplant which i'm pretty sure i won't like, but instead i'm getting a forkful of mushrooms in sauce that i love and there is a little bit of eggplant in there, sure, but it's mostly what i already know and like. it's not a dead body in a well that can taint all of the water. it's a leaf in the bucket of good water that i already pulled up.
there is also a point where i feel okay saying that i don't like something. cottage cheese is number one on that list. i try it every five years or so, but i have liked it all of once in my life and that was when someone whizzed it up in a blender and used it in place of ricotta in lasagna. by itself i pretty much react the same way that little kids do when you put their hands into it at a haunted house and call it brains. but at the same time i review that list periodically for similarities and differences. if i notice that it's squishy things that i dislike, i'm fine with sticking to the crunchy things that i like and calling it good.. but if i see that the foods that i dislike are similar to foods that i like, then i head back to the trying with those foods. if there is a root veggie on the list, i'll try making it with the same preps that i use with the root veggies that i already like.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
2/9/14 12:22 P

I find it helpful to add a *small* amount of a new food into a recipe filled with old standbys. A whole serving of a new-unfamiliar vegetable "straight up" can be intimidating. A chunk or a couple of slices mixed in to a curry... not so scary. For example with eggplant - oh, eggplant can be a little bit challenging, as it isn't the most visually appealing thing, and although it's extremely versatile it really isn't very good straight-up. I might recommend something like this:

As the recipe states, you can substitute potatoes or other favorite vegetables in place of some/all of the eggplant. I'd do that - and just throw in a couple slices of peeled eggplant (from closer to the stem end where it's less "seedy"). Then you don't have EGGPLANT staring you in the face, you have a delicious curry in which the eggplant is barely recognizable as such.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
2/9/14 11:07 A

I am a ridiculously picky eater.

I think this originated in food sensitivities as a child... although I was truly allergic to very many things (not just foods) in those years as well. As a result, I never learned to like some things. Other things, even though I tried, made me sick (something which was never really believed by those administering my diet!), and so I have a natural aversion to them now.

But there are so many foods I believe, intellectually, which are good for us... and they *look* so good in recipes! I would like to try to adopt some of them... but just getting a forkful from plate to mouth evinces such dread and pre-nausea that I can't even honestly evaluate what I'm trying! It makes me really mad with myself.

An example is eggplant. Now, it's in the nightshade family... and those foods give me some troubles... but so are mushrooms, and I can eat them in small quantities now and then. That depresses me, because I love them so much I used to eat them as an entree! But anyway, I'd like to try eggplant in some of the various recipes I've seen - especially the crispier versions... but any time I try it, I "yuk out" before I even get it down.

Do any of you have suggestions for how I can outsmart my brain in trying things? (the eggplant was just an example - it's the same for ANY new foods)

thanks for any relief to my silly predisposition

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