I know all about picky eating from trying to feed my husband and oldest son. They share a distaste of most things green. Here are some ways that I add vegetables into their meals without them gagging.
1. Shred carrots and add to the tomato sauce in any dish that calls for it. Examples: pasta sauce, pizza sauce, chicken parmesan, etc. If it uses tomato sauce just shred or grate the carrots and add it in. This can also thicken the sauce.
2. Make shepherd's pie with whatever vegetables you like. Or pot pies. Whatever you like. We're partial to shepherd's pie at our house. The beauty of it is you can use any vegetables you like. Forget what the recipe calls for-just use what you like. Mushrooms, carrots, okra, peas and corn can all be good.
3. Roast the vegetables the first time you try it. This brings out the natural sweetness in most vegetables and helps with the icky wet texture that some of them have. You can roast different types of vegetables at once. So use mostly vegetables you like, then add in one new one. This way if you don't like the new one, you still have plenty to eat.
4. Pair it with something you really like that can disguise the texture. Still getting familiar with spinach? Add it to grilled cheese sandwich with some quality cheese and mushrooms. The spinach is then just part of something you already like.
if you like corn and tomatoes, try using a half cup of corn, chop up a small tomato and add in a teaspoon of salsa. if you can handle that, bump up the salsa to two teaspoons and perhaps add in a teaspoon of beans. if you like the it, keep ramping up the portion of salsa (or try making your own with fresh peppers and onions) and beans, scale down the corn portion a little and perhaps even branch out to try peppers and onions in other things. i had huge texture issues with onions and peppers, but i kept trying them (and chopping them as small as i could) and now i like them a lot more. i started out so picky that i really did need to keep trying things until i liked them. there is a point that you can call a food something you just don't like, but if you're picky across the board you should periodically revisit small portions. dirty rice was how i finally got used to peppers and onions. i essentially was mincing them to add, but once you could them down and add spices and rice you can't tell they are there texturally. mashed potatoes are my favorite way to introduce new veggies. i love potatoes and if you toss pretty much any veggie on top of the potatoes while you cook them down they take on the texture of the potatoes in the final mash so the only thing that is different is a little color and taste in the final mash. and again, you don't add a head of collards to a pot of potatoes if you don't like it. you start by adding a leaf of collard (chopped up) to the mash and every time you don't mind it you add another leaf the next time you make it. if you don't mind carrots and potatoes, the next time you make a roast try buying a parsnip and chopping it up and roasting with the other veggies. or a rutabaga. or a sweet potato. when you try any new food, don't buy more than a portion of the food to try and don't commit the whole lot of it to one prep. try to make two preps: two raw and two cooked. and make notes of what you don't like so that you know what to try (or not try ) the next time. odds are that you'll hit on a prep that you'll like (a lot of people like sauteed in olive oil and garlic, though that's a hate it for me) and keep trying other veggies in that prep. and when i say take notes, if you find the sauteed in garlic and oil slimy or mushy, that might mean you prefer raw preps. if you find it too crunchy you may need to cook it more. basically use what you don't like to guide you in how to try it. and you should be able to add to what you enjoy.
I understand what you say about textures - often the foods I don't like are all about texture, not the flavor at all. I have found that for some veggies, if they are stir-fried so they are cooked, but still firm and a bit crunchy, that helps. The softer and mushier they are, the harder for me to eat. Your idea to try one new food a week sounds great!
Pounds lost: 5.0
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1/14/14 5:47 P
Do you like spices? You have a good list of vegetables to start with -- adding recipes with herbs and spices will add variety to what you're already working with, and if you're able to add another vegetable every week or two that would of course help too. The reason I bring up spices and herbs and such is that varying cooking methods and flavors can really help many people who don't like vegetables to find ways of preparing them that they do enjoy. And although it won't apply to your diet overall, you might want to look at vegan websites specifically, because if you decide you want to try to cook something with "okra, corn, and potatoes", that's where there may be a recipe for what you're looking for.
Height 5'8 1/2" SW: 190+ CW: 143.0
5K 4/21/11: 31:55
64 Maintenance Weeks
Fitness Minutes: (13,023)
651 1/14/14 5:45 P
My oldest daughter has a bit of a texture issue with cooked veggies, but she will eat just about any veggie raw. Some of her favorites are carrots, celery, snap peas, cauliflower, radishes. She definitely like the crunch.
current weight: -1.0 under
Fitness Minutes: (44,597)
625 1/14/14 5:34 P
I understand being picky and only liking certain things. There are some things that I definitely won't touch no matter what. A lot of it has to do with the way the food smells (i.e., broccoli with cheese, boiled eggs, etc.).
This is just a thought for the fruit, but what about sharing some fruit. If there is a fruit that you would like to try but you aren't sure you'd eat all of it or make it worthwhile to buy, share with a friend. For example, if you'd like to try kiwi, get one and split it in half with a friend. I would recommend ugly fruit if you can find it. It is really an ugly fruit. It kind of looks like a grapefruit and tastes a bit like an orange. I'm not a big fan of oranges myself, but the ugly fruit is good. With the veggies, a lot depends on how it is cooked. Of course, look into recipes that require different veggies that could go into a soup (like a crockpot recipe).
I like sweets too, but I try to limit it by not having it in the house. Right now, my sweet tooth is on pumpkin pie (that I make at home). I do try to let myself have a treat every now and then. Even my doctor said that it's ok to allow yourself a treat (as long as you don't overdo it).
Yes I am willing to try new things. I like the idea of sneaking it in there. Even though It's not sneaking because I'll know it's there but it can be camouflaged. I'm just gonna have to try new things :/. It's not that I don't personally wanna try it, it's just my mind and body get wierded out with trying new foods. Like if I don't like it it would be the end of the world (I know its not!). Example, In Africa, tried cooked plantanes....almost puked. But I have started liking new things. Spinach is something I eat now. Thanks for the help guys....really gonna start branching out...maybe a new food every week? :)
Edited by: KJBUG40 at: 1/14/2014 (14:02)
Never laugh at live dragons.
Fitness Minutes: (4,139)
1/14/14 1:15 P
Hi guys...so I'm (once again) starting my journey to weight loss. I'm currently 310....and I'm excited and motivated to start losing it, but I have no idea what to do eating wise. I am a carb person....sweets haunt me. I am very picky about a lot of foods. As of now there's only a few veggies and fruits I will eat. Veggies: corn, peas, okra, potato, tomato, mushroom....that's pretty much it. Fruits: banana, apple, grapes, orange juice (not the orange). My problem with fruits is textures, same as veggies as well as taste. So, I need help! Protein I have no trouble....I'll eat any kind of meat. I've been scouring recipes and pinterest boards etc and I am overwhelmed with food choices and really of foods that I know I wont eat. All the foods look good but they're all strange and not appealing once I look at ingredients. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. As for fitness, I'm starting out walking right now. Working my way up to jogging and hopefully biking soon.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.