Understanding Adult Picky Eaters
By Randi Morse
I'm what I like to call a "selective" eater. It just sounds nicer than what I'm usually called, a "picky" eater. I've been a selective eater my whole life. Of my two children, one is even more of a selective eater than I am while the other has a much more adventurous palate. If you know a selective eater in your life who is an adult, or even a teen, there are a few things you should know.
We Don't Like Being This Way
One of the common misconceptions about picky eaters is that we simply don't give ourselves the chance to try new foods and that we choose to not like new things. This is so far from the truth it's laughable. Every picky eater I know, including myself, wishes that we liked different foods. Life would be so much easier if we were able to simply go to a restaurant and order anything off the menu without requesting any changes. Most picky eaters have tried eating things they don't care for over and over and simply don't care for the foods, no matter how hard we try enjoying it. When you make fun of someone who is a picky eater, you're likely making them feel guilty and bad.
It May Be Genetic
There are a number of studies that are currently ongoing testing whether being a selective eater is genetic or not. So far studies are showing that genetics may have a huge role in children being picky eaters, which would connect to adults being selective eaters as well. I know I find it very interesting that I'm a selective eater, as is my son and my father, especially since I wasn't raised with my father so his taste in foods was never a factor in my life.
We Can Try New Things
If you're a selective eater it's important to be brave and try new things, especially once you figure out what it is about certain foods that you don't care for. For example, I like vegetables but only if they are cooked until they're fairly soft. Once I got used to eating more soft vegetables, I tried cooking them a different way: roasting. I discovered that I love roasted broccoli and carrots. Even if you're a fussy eater, don't be afraid to try new things, especially if they're cooked differently.
If you're friends with a picky eater and want to have them over for dinner, ask what specific restrictions they have. Chances are good that selective eaters are fairly used to learning how to find something they enjoy at a dinner party, but it's always nice to ask what types of food your friend really dislikes if you're trying to be friendly.
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