We all know picky eaters who thinks twice about their selection of food for their plate. While not necessarily a bad habit, it is a limiting one and can even be linked to more serious unhealthy eating habits, especially if it lasts into adulthood.
Whether it’s someone who can’t tolerate any type of seafood, even if they have never tried it, or someone who simply doesn’t like green veggies, picky eaters boil down to a lack of sense of adventure. Their unwillingness to try something new can affect any part of their lives, especially regarding food.
Picky eaters are typically found in children, but a plethora of things can affect a selective diet. According to Sarah DiGiulio of NBC News, parental guidance/control, social influences, and personality traits are factors that can result in children becoming picky eaters. But sometimes it’s just a kid being a kid; did you want to eat that slimy green stuff your parents called spinach when you were young? Yeah, didn’t think so.
The point is that food preferences when we’re young are normal and don’t usually last until adulthood; we grow up and incorporate healthier foods into our diets. But what happens when that carrot-hating phase doesn’t end?
According to an article written by Emily Dwass of the New York Times, there are many factors that can contribute to a lingering selective diet when we get older. One could be having a bad experience with the food, like choking on it when we were young. Some people even have a more heightened taste or smell sensitivity than others, making the food in question less desirable.
The American Psychiatric Association has a name for extreme cases when people shun most foods altogether: avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. Some people with ARFID want to seek help because of the effects it can have on their social lives.
Dwass explained that the process of teaching someone to have a more diverse diet can be like rehabilitating an injury to the body. It takes a lot of practice and patience. They can also talk to someone about how to eat in public with their picky diet or how to explain their diet choices to others.
Picky eater can become stressed if you try to push foods on them, according to experts. Family members are usually accepting of their limitations, but they can find it uncomfortable to explain it to others. The best thing to do is not push foods on them to try: it won’t end well.
If you are a picky eater and want to develop a wider palate, there are many ways to do so. If you are someone who deals with a picky eater, try to understand their limitations instead of pushing news foods on them.
Two Healthy Recipes for Picky Eaters
Avocado Chicken Salad
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt 1/2 an avocado
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place chicken in bowl.
2. Cut avocado into small cubes before adding to chicken. 3. Add Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper.
4. Mix together and serve by itself or on toast.
1 cup milk (dairy, almond, or soy)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, optional 1 pinch ground flax seed, optional
1. Add ice, banana, milk, protein powder, and cocoa powder to blender.
2. Blend well, adding ground flax seed on top for an extra boost of omega-3 fatty acids.
Written by: Alex Dunn