I have multiple picky eaters in my extended family. And while I'm not going to out anyone here, (you know who you are), I am proud to say that my 2 1/2 year-old daughter is not among this group. She's actually a lot of fun to eat with because she'll try anything and, more often than not, she'll like it.
But I know that many, many parents struggle at mealtime to produce something healthy that their kids will actually eat. Meals end up being a source of frustration, rather than a chance to spend time together as a family.
And what happens when picky eaters grow up? Tara Parker-Pope's New York Times blog, Well, answered that question yesterday: They become picky adult eaters. Parker-Pope interviewed author, educator and reformed picky eater Jill Bloomfield. Bloomfield describes overcoming her gastronomical handicap as "not impossible, but difficult." It was more than just embarrassment (disapproving looks from colleagues at restaurants) that caused her to change her ways; it was also the ramifications her eating habits had on her health. She has high cholesterol.
Bloomfield's solution? Learn to cook. She has and since then, she hasn't looked back. Now she's writing books aimed at getting kids involved in food preparation and empowering them to make better food choices. She offers up some tasty recipes as well, like the Chickpea and Couscous Salad in the article. It's a process, undoing the damage of unchecked picky eating. But Bloomfield is living proof that it can happen.
So hand your picky eater a paring knife and get cooking.