I am. Well, I’m not one of those people who will only ever eat potatoes and Pizza Margherita, but when I compare myself to most people who eat pretty much anything then yep, I’m a picky eater.
In this post I will go through what it’s like being a picky eater and most importantly some tips on how to not be a picky eater for life.
Here we go:
What it’s like to be a picky eater
Are you a picky eater? You probably know if you are. Does this sound familiar to you:
- You feel like you always have to come up with excuses for not eating something
- You are worried about going to a formal dinner, you much prefer a buffet
- In a restaurant you wish you could have – and might have even asked for – something from the kids menu
- Again in a restaurant you usually browse the list for something with chicken
- After you tell the waiter a list of things you want removed from the dish the waiter always tell you that the food you eat is going to be very dry / bland and want to add something to it. You tell them you like it dry / bland.
You would like to eat everything, it’s just that you can’t. And other people don’t get it.
Do you recognize yourself? Or are you reading this thinking ”are there actually people that are this fussy?”
Yes there are and it really isn’t nice being a picky eater.
I was an adult before I learned to eat tomatoes (including ketchup), bell peppers, onions etc. I had my first hamburger when I was working at a burger joint when I was 18.
In my 20s I worked part-time at a grocery store selling bread, cheese and antipasto. That’s when I had my first olive and (marinated) mushroom. Surprisingly, I really loved the olive – but I hated the mushroom. I still don’t like mushrooms – it’s not the taste it’s the texture, uhh.
If you’re still not sure if you’re a picky eater or not, take this test.
I got ”You are a very picky eater”.
How do you become a picky eater?
Haha, that sounds as if becoming a picky eater is something that you should aim for!
There are several reasons why you might be a bit fussy when it comes to food. In general other people seem to blame the parents: The child wasn’t taught to eat properly. But I for example have a brother who’ll eat anything. And we have the same parents.
If a child doesn’t eat, you can’t force them to eat. They tried that at school and I threw up. It doesn’t work.
I think for me one of the reasons I’m so picky with my food is the fact that I was allergic to a lot of things as a child. I was allergic to fish, strawberries, nuts, many fruits and eggs (I’m still allergic to eggs). In order to find out what I’m allergic to I had to be on different types of elimination diets where I’d be without grains or milk or other ingredients for weeks.
Here are some reasons why you might have become a picky eater:
- Allergies – as I mentioned already
- Genetics and biology – researchers believe that genes play a role here
- Parents – of course the eating habits of your parents might have an affect as well.
The point is though that being a picky eater is something that usually derives from your childhood. For some reason your palate is just very selective. There’s not much you or your mum could do about it.
How to not be so fussy?
Now here’s the important part. You do not have to picky for life. You can learn and I’m sure you want to learn to have a more varied diet.
Here’s what you can do:
Think you don’t like vegetables? Try them in different ways
If you think that you don’t like vegetables you are probably thinking that you should eat your vegetables raw or steamed. Now that sounds a bit boring to me too.
But vegetables don’t have to be boring! Try them with some tomato sauce and/or cheese. Bacon is great with vegetables as well. Try dipping the vegetables to something you really like.
Try them this way and you’ll soon learn to like the taste and start using them in different ways as well.
Add new ingredients to your favorite foods
Do you like pizza? Add some onions, bell peppers, mushrooms or olives to your pizza. Just a little bit at first and then some more.
Same goes with your casseroles and steak dinners – add one new thing, just a little – and soon you’ll get used to the taste.
Eat out at restaurants
I’m not nearly as picky as I used to be and I actually credit eating out at restaurants to much of that. We all have favorite restaurants, right? You trust the restaurant, you know they make really good food. So whenever you order a dish, trust that they know what they are doing so don’t leave anything out. And then eat whatever there’s on the plate. You don’t have to eat it all but they’ve planned your dinner so that every single item on that plate goes well together so give it a try.
When you eat out and find out that you really like something you didn’t think you would or were unsure of it’s very rewarding. The next step is to try to replicate the same dish at home.
Change the texture
If it’s the texture that’s bothering you, try changing the texture. For example, if you don’t like things that are crunchy you can cook them so that they become soft. Or if you don’t like the texture of onions – raw or cooked – use onion powder instead.
Pick an ingredient that you would really like to learn to eat. Make a project of it by deciding that you will cook something that contains that ingredient every single day, for a week. You will cook it in different ways, so you’ll really learn what it tastes like. You don’t have to force yourself to eat everything, just try it out.
Don’t eat fish?
I have a long way to go before I’ll start eating fish regularly. I do like smoked salmon though (especially if it’s really salty!) so give smoked salmon a go. It doesn’t taste so fish-y. Have some bread and just shred small pieces of smoked salmon on it. Little by little.
You might also like sword fish (I tried some skewers on a trip to Madeira and they were really nice), a steak of tuna or breaded fish sticks (you can’t really tell from the taste if it’s chicken or fish!).
Picky eating and diets
Now if you are a picky eater and you are planning to start a diet – you will either thrive (if you end up trying new things) or suffer… This is because most diets restrict your choices of food even more. Throw in a couple of allergies and you might have a real problem in your hands.
Now as I said, I’m a picky eater. I’m also allergic to eggs. I’ve tried different diets in the past and just recently finished Whole30. As a picky eater I don’t eat for example fish, other seafood or mushrooms, I’m allergic to eggs and avocado, Whole30 doesn’t allow grains, dairy, sugar or legumes. That didn’t leave me much to eat! 🙂
But it can be done. In my opinion the most important thing when it comes to losing weight is planning – and you will surely have some planning to do! The good thing is though, that this process will quite likely force you to try out new things, for example new fruits and vegetables. I hate to use the word force here, because the whole point is to make it fun:
Try to find ways to make trying new foods fun!
Are you a picky eater? Share with us how you’ve been able to introduce new foods to your diet!