As a child (and adult), I have been known to exhibit odd eating rituals. I’ll pick thru my french fries only only eat the pretty ones (aka lightly golden brown without any darkness). Heaven forbid my mashed potatoes touch anything else on my plate and don’t even think about pouring gravy on my food. I am a food purist and food should be enjoyed in its unadulterated form so the flavors don’t mix unintentionally. I was the perfect child for a TV dinner in a compartmentalized serving dish, and I was a nightmare child for the mother who hated cooking but was concerned with nutrition and prepared casseroles nightly. In her mind they were efficient and healthy because you could have all four food groups in a single container at one time. For me, they were dreaded. There is no redeeming quality about mushy carrots swimming in a beef broth with noodles. Needless to say, I began culinary experiments in the kitchen at the ripe age of 7, and my mother couldn’t have been happier. She was no longer burdened with my picky palate, and I no longer had to sneak food to the family dog.
I’ve outgrown a lot of my pickiness, but as fate would have it, my son seems to have naturally adopted a lot of my food quirks. French fries must be golden not dark. Bread and cookies must never be burnt or crispy. Karma can be a real @#$%! sometimes. Even fare as kid friendly as chicken dinos is subject to his discriminating tastes if not prepared properly. I probably should not have laughed when he ate every chicken dinosaur on his plate except for the tip of the tail because it was a little darker than the rest, but I couldn’t help myself. Even trick or treating can be a challenge. I probably have the only child that is disappointed by receiving a snickers candy bar because of his distaste for anything chocolate. I know! How is that possible? He has been known to bite into a cookie where the chocolate chips could not be seen and promptly spit it out.
With that said, I know I do not have the pickiest eater in the world. My son will eat a variety of food. His main issue is how it is prepared. He loves fruit and vegetables, but primarily raw and he has his favorites. When he was young, I was able to leverage his love of broccoli to get him to eat the other things on his plate that he didn’t see as palatable. I have experience food issues as a participant and mother, so I can relate and empathize to the picky eaters in the world and to the mother’s of picky eaters. In the Picky Eaterz section, you will find some of my favorite tips and recipes for getting children to eat food they may not ordinarily try.