Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Picky Eaters

I was a picky eater as a child, and both my biological sons were.  I have changed as an adult, as has one of my two children.  The other, still picky son now has a daughter who is a picky eater.  Thus it comes as no surprise to me that being a picky eater may be have some genetic forces behind it. (H/T hbd*chick)

Naming it neophobia tied it in to another phenomenon I have thought about recently.  I actively seek new experiences in general, my wife prefers familiarity.  She was not a noted picky eater when young - she was a perfect child, and her mother largely backed her up on that.  Yet she largely avoids new foods now. Despite the child/adult changeover in our family, I think there is something general to the neophobia. The picky granddaughter is especially reluctant to try new anythings - though my wife has had more success by letting her approach them at her own speed.

A concept that was largely unknown in my parenting.


james said...

Reluctance to try new things could sure play a role. The rest might be accounted for by things adults don't always taste as fully as kids do and by having some domain of control.

I remember there were large classes of things I wasn't inclined to try; and other large classes of things I'd try anything in.

Sam L. said...

I was a picky eater, but I've gotten better. Still have things I won't eat.

GraniteDad said...

I'll have to make you a nice egg salad next time you come over. And get some peanuts for Ben...

Dubbahdee said...

The family story is that my next older brother (I am youngest of 6) would eat almost nothing but PB sandwiches. My mother was very concerned, until her doctor asked her what she was worried about.

"He won't eat anything but peanut butter." She said.

"Well," said the doc, "Then give him peanut butter sandwiches. The boy needs to eat."

Apparently that seemed to eliminate that as a problem in my mother's mind. She told the story with a certain reverence, as if the Doctor spoke with an almost divine voice.

Apparently suited my brother too. When I was 17, he returned home from Air Force basic training in Texas and introduced me to jalapeno peppers. Ahoooah!

Texan99 said...

There were certain things I refused to eat as a child -- oysters, scallops, liver -- but I enjoy most of them now.

Still, I can be very happy eating exactly the same food day after day, for weeks on end. In contrast, my husband gets bored to death with leftovers. He's the cook, but he'd rather go to the trouble of cooking something new than eat something he cooked the day before. I make it my job to forage among the leftovers for lunch and throw them out if I know I'm not going to eat them, because he's unlikely to.

He has a hard time believing I'm not just being polite if I say I'd be just as happy with a repeat of an old recipe as with a wonderful new experiment. "What do you think about spaghetti tonight?" he'll ask. I always say, "The literal truth is that my answer to that question is always going to be a completely sincere 'Yum! Spaghetti again! Yay!'"

This is particular true if I'm anxious or stressed, in which case I've been known to retreat to an unchanging menu for all three meals, day after day.

Ben Wyman said...

I eat onions now! Suck it, Jonathan!

Sam L. said...

T99, I won't eat oysters, liver, or lima beans. No prob w/ scallops.