Picky eaters always get a bad reputation. Do they deserve it? I think they do.
While the majority of people aren’t jumping up and down to eat brussel sprouts, they don’t entirely shy away from the entire food group of vegetables. I do understand that some vegetables aren’t appealing and I’m not going to pretend I eat a salad every day, but grow up and eat some fruits and vegetables!
Children who are picky eaters are at a higher risk of malnutrition. According to Childmind.org, a choosy appetite may be the cause of anxiety or OCD. So if someone is choosing to only eat certain foods it could be a sign of something deeper.
Now if it’s just that a person has a bad attitude toward certain food groups or anything “healthy,” it’s time to be a little adventurous. A lot of the time people only experience the gross-cooked vegetables our elementary schools offered us. But vegetables don’t always smell like dirty socks and they certainly don’t have to taste like that.
Of course, there are people who drown their broccoli in a lake of melted cheese, which I don’t necessarily recommend because, at that point, why even eat healthy? What I’m saying is cooking with spices and trying new recipes until you get it right is what we should all do to improve our diets.
Deven Hopp, a reformed picky eater, wrote an article detailing her experience overcoming her poor eating habits. She gives five tips for working towards a more varied diet that helped her.
Her first tip is to incorporate new ingredients in dishes you already like, for example putting broccoli on your pizza. Her other tips include making yourself eat foods outside of your comfort zone when you don’t have control over the food choice at events, trying new appetizers when enjoying a couple of drinks and sharing your friend’s food when you’re out.
Her final tip is to not dwell on how certain foods might weird you out. In her example, she talks about mushroom and how the shape is odd to her, but when she cooks with others she delegates the task of cooking to someone else so she can enjoy eating them without focusing on the shape of the raw food.
I think these tips are all really helpful, even though I’ve never been a particularly picky eater myself. In my household, it was eating what was served or going hungry, which has definitely expanded my palette, to say the least.
If you’re a picky eater, try new things so you can get the nutrients you need and be healthier. We can’t all live on chicken strips and macaroni and cheese forever.