Thursday, September 6, 2012

Confessions of a Picky Eater

I like to think of myself as a recovering picky eater.  I still have my moments with certain foods but I'm getting better and this healthy lifestyle has helped a lot with that.  

It all started when I was younger.  I can remember sitting at a table until I finished my brussel sprouts.  Something that eventually I learned to love over time because my Mom kept putting them in front of us.  But one night in particular, I wasn't allowed to leave the table until I finished them.  She said to me, "Emily Susan, you are the pickiest eater I have ever met!" (I can still hear it!!) And darnet, she was right.  She knew me well at 7 years old because that pickiness only evolved over the years, just getting worse and worse.

Maybe you're like me.  Do certain things just look funny enough NOT to eat?? A lot of what I wouldn't touch as a young child were things that just didn't LOOK appealing.  If it looked mushy, or it had a funny color, I wasn't touching it.  I quickly let my tastebuds form based on the appearance of foods.  To this day, there are foods that I still haven't even tried because I can't bring myself to do it! They don't look appealing so they certainly must not taste good!  Do I have texture issues too? Oh yes I do! I think those are my 2 biggest issues with certain foods: appearance and texture. 

BUT, things are getting better.  When we signed on for the CSA a few years ago, it was my opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, step into my kitchen and have fun with some vegetables that I never thought I would EVER try.  We walked away from our 1st season with the CSA wanting more and so we signed on for a 2nd season.  When our CSA decided to open a restaurant, we were bummed out but happy with the experience we had come away with. You can read more about my CSA journey HERE.

I re started my healthy journey a year ago and things have gotten progressively better.  I eat sweet potatoes now! Avocados aren't so terrible either! Tomatoes! Well, not quite yet, but I'll eat them in salads and in capacities I never did a year ago :)  Each day I challenge myself to try new things. Some things I have learned I really do love (sweet potatoes might be orange and weird looking, but they are delicious!!) Other things, I still can't manage.  One thing I know is that with time, taste-buds change.  Your body starts to crave the things that nourish it and if you just keep trying, you'll find that you might really love something that you didn't care for before. 

Now that I'm a Mom, I don't want my kids growing up with that same limited palate that I did. I know it wasn't without trying on my folks part, but I got stuck in food ruts as a kid and that came right along with me into adulthood. How do I combat the picky toddler?? I JUST KEEP TRYING. If they don't like it one day, I try again another day.  I rotate vegetables and fruits so that they both get healthy servings of each.  I worry just like any other Mom whether they are getting enough nourishment but I know that if I keep trying (even when they push it away one day) that maybe they will walk away with a diverse set of taste buds a few years from now.   Being a Mom has also forced me out of my comfort zone and really tested me in my kitchen as far as meal prep and planning, cooking and trying to pick diverse things that will please the entire family.  It's not always easy, but it's become necessary and worth it! 

Were you a picky eater as a child?? Are you still now?? How do you combat your own picky eating??

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