Picky eaters aren’t just toddlers who are pushing boundaries and testing their parents to see if they’ll cave or not. Adults can be picky eaters, sometimes worse than their kids!
I often wonder if stubbornness ruled food choices. I mean, why is it so difficult to eat cheese, that’s cut from the piece of cheese and not melted or hot? That was one of my ex-husband’s picky traits. Along with many others that have seemingly shown up in my eldest daughter. They don’t like dried fruit, hummus or dips other than salsa and guac, Won’t touch yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal. I tried for years to make sure that she’d eat cheese, but now it has to be melted, like her dad has it. Is that a learned thing or it just is? Is it in her DNA? I’m likely too close to this one, so I took to Facebook to ask others about their picky traits; here is one that really got me thinking about how it is for the picky eater in social situations or at the dining room table at home. I asked this on Facebook:
“FB hive and adult picky eaters… what don’t/won’t you eat? Is it the same food since childhood or acquired in adulthood? Oh and why?”
From an article in the New York Times, it seems that 75% of adults said that their pickiness started in early childhood:
“Adults may hang on to their youthful food dislikes — at the top of the list are vegetables — but then add more restrictions, such as consuming only smooth foods or limiting their diet to bland, white meals. Dr. Zucker said that in a sample of 2,600 adults who identified themselves as picky eaters, 75 percent reported the pattern started in childhood.”
Further into the article, there was an account of a woman who was very picky and married into a “foodie” family. Through time and learning to cook, she found that roasting vegetables was a way that she could eat them and avoided steaming. I would concur with that in my own case. My mom only ever boiled Brussels sprouts and I couldn’t stand them. Recently, I seek them out on a menu because they’re roasted, tasty and crispy. I love them!
I think that with perseverance and a no-pressure environment, eating more could be a thing of the future for these picky eaters. In some cases it’s not ever going to happen:
And in others, they try new foods for love of another:
It seems for the most part, pickiness is a head game that in some cases can be overcome. In others, it’s never going to change. From a nutritional standpoint, if protein, fats, carbs, fruits and vegetables of all colours are covered with variety, maybe we should just leave these picky eaters be.
Listen to this clip from NewsTalk 1010 as Lianne and Jerry Agar discuss picky eaters (February 9, 2018).