Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Picky, Picky

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.


Ruth said...

My 4-year-old + paring knife = trip to emergency room

Everything Changes said...

I was diagnosed with cancer at age 27 and my digestive difficulties shrank my diet down to a small list of foods. I succumbed to my finicky stomach for years, but as my social circle broadened, fewer people knew about my cancer and food limitations. I suddenly just looked like a picky eater.

As a kid, my mom taught me to be polite and forced me to eat food I did not like. At the time I hated choking down her goulash, but now her example encouraged me to slowly try eating foods that challenged my digestive system, all in the name of etiquette. And guess what? It worked. I am now able to eat a huge repertoire of foods, and no longer have to ask for special accommodations. Thanks mom.