Why are kids so picky?


re: “poor grace and social stigma”, the subcontext was that we’re a big Italian family. Food is often taken as a representation of the person’s love. So turning your nose up at the food they offer you is sort of the equivalent of rejecting their love and effort that they put in to expressing their love.

It doesn’t necessarily translate into other cultural backgrounds. Realizing that not everyone comes from that sort of unconscious mentality is a giant mental hurdle that we all struggle with when we run into it unexpectedly.

I totally get texture issues. :slight_smile: I could never eat scrambled eggs when I was little. My grandma always cooked them dead-dead-dead dry, and my mom hated that. So she always cooked them with slimy whites. I could eat them with hot dogs chopped up in them, but otherwise, those slimy whites kept me from enjoying eggs when I was a kid. :slight_smile:


I can definitely appreciate the idea that some people or cultures feel that rejection of food is a rejection of love. I never realized how emotional a topic food was until we started dealing with all these issues.

We have dealt with a lot of “Just don’t give him any food until he tries it; he won’t starve” from well-meaning people in our lives who do not understand. They do not know the countless times we tried that, or the times we have sat at the table for hours, or the times my son has vomited when he did try something. The times he has choked on food he couldn’t eat properly. The times he has had a serious allergic reaction to a food, which has made him terrified of new foods. It is heartbreaking and very difficult as a mother to not be able to nourish your child the way you want to. It is hard to have to pack up food everywhere you go, and drive around town to five different grocery stores every week because each one carries something your kid will eat that you can’t find anywhere else. It is hard to try to find the time and money for therapy, and hard to hear someone in a restaurant sitting behind you say “That kid is way too old to be eating that.”

People who believe that someone rejecting their food is a rejection of them and their love need to stop thinking about themselves, no matter what culture they are from. If someone offers my son a food he is allergic to, it could kill him, so I want him to know it is always okay to say no without having to worry about hurting someone’s feelings. That isn’t fair to do to a kid, and ignorance or culture isn’t an excuse. I get that not every child who is a picky eater has an actual disorder or medical problem behind it- but the idea that it is “polite” to try things and that someone isn’t if they don’t is something I wish extended family or friends would let go of. If a parent does not make their child eat something, no matter the reason, it’s not anyone else’s business.


When encountering food they don’t want to eat, I teach my kids to say, “No thank you, I don’t care for that.”

My son (8) doesn’t have a wide palette but eats healthy most of the time. I serve one meal and so long as you eat a reasonable bite of each item offered you are free to eat from our “anytime foods” of fruits, vegetables, organic, low sugar cereal, nuts, and mozzerella. There are times when I make something I know he doesn’t care for that I’ll tell him he can choose something else for himself. Like, if I’m making lasagna I’m not going to force him to eat it, it’s certianly not a healthy meal, lol; I know ricotta makes him gag and if he wants to make himself a turkey sandwich instead it’s not unreasonable.


the children in venezuela are eating cats, squirrels & rats

i’ll bet raw hunger has taken all the “pickiness” out of them :frowning:


My grandson was chicken man w feathers growing under arm pits into teens. Still doesn’t like cheese. My daughter hid chewed food under tablecloth. She lived on Burger King or MacDonalds FRENCH FRIES, her whole teen age. I’m sure she ate something else off and on. My one son cried if his food touched. I had to separate potatoes from Vegas. Blot up the juice. Meat couldn’t touch. He’s OK as an adult. Shepard’s pie is a good way to sneak in Vegas.
Give them vitamins
God help all parents be wise enough to raise children spiritually and in good health.
In Jesus name.Amen


I :star_struck: how your autocorrect turned veggies to Vegas. :joy:


I wonder if family size makes any difference. If your family is larger, is there more of a tendency for kids to go along with the crowd? Or is it just a wider range of sensitivities?

Also, I think having a father encouraging everybody to eat what mother made helped our family. One other idea. It seems meals are so decadent these days. For those of you who are suggesting the children try three bites, I’m just wondering if you have a very large variety of foods they have to try? Growing up in the 70’s, suppers for us were ground beef, beef or chicken; potatoes almost every day except occasional rice and spaghetti; canned vegetables; soup as an appetizer every day. All food tasted about the same every day. Breakfast, lunch and snacks always the same every day. Dessert only two choices, pudding or yogurt. Ice cream in the summer.

I do feel sad for Clementine14. You’re right that’s its no one else’s business. How can they figure out his stomach when it’s a challenge for you?


Once Tuna Mornay was a good old standby my 4 children loved…until the day they were all home from school unwell
and just had a nibble.Since then none of them could eat it again,they connect that dish with the day they were unwell
even though it wasn’t the cause.


For a variety of reasons.

Our house rule is "must put some of everything on plate, and no dessert until it’s eaten"
If they chose not to eat, okay. No pressure. No big whoop.
I wound up with an adventurous eater, a very picky bland eater and one in the middle.


:laughing: HAHA. I didn’t see verges changedvto Vegas. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
What Veges goes in tummy, stays in tummy.??


One can only hope :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


My younger brother would eat nothing but peanut butter sandwiches for lunch for eight years of elementary school. His sister preferred lunchmeat. Once, mom got their lunch sacks mixed up; he got the lunchmeat, she got the peanut butter. Different classes, so they didn’t sit at the same table and couldn’t exchange. The lunchroom rule was that kids had to finish their lunch; an 8th grader came around to check.

She had no problem eating the peanut butter. He would not touch the lunchmeat sandwich, and sat on it so the monitor would think he had finished everything. He still tells that story. Now, he still doesn’t care much for lunchmeat but he loves to cook.


My mom had a “one bite” rule for every food she served, and I really respected her authority. I never talked back and never became a “picky” eater. I read an article that said it takes 10 tries to acquire a taste for something new, so perhaps that’s why it worked out.


I did some work for the nuns at the convent when I was a kid. One of the sisters brought us a snack of a lunchmeat sandwich WITH BUTTER ( or probably margarine on it) – I couldn’t even gag this down. I don’t know how I got out of that.

With a Polish background, I became fond of duck blood soup which looks like ducks blood soup. My uncle took some to work for one of his buddies to try. It was made with raisins and prunes well-cooked in it. His buddy couldn’t recognize what those were. My uncle told his buddy not to worry, those were just the clots.


That’s more or less what I do.

Kids (who aren’t genuinely suffering from an eating disorder) can get manipulative if they don’t have any expectations placed on them.


Disabilities aside, it is a cultural thing.

Very interesting read. I read it from my library via Hoopla Audio Book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00655ZNSI/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1


Kids today are spoiled rotten. Our generation can’t complain because we spoiled them. Nowadays, doing anything but spoiling your kids could get Child Services involved.


Hahaha, I just had some roasted beets and feta for supper and I thought “man, I would have hated this as a kid!”

I once read it’s got to do with taste buds being much more sensitive as a kid than in an adult, especially for bitter.


I think that about a lot of things!! :stuck_out_tongue:

I make Indian food sometimes and my husband and I like to eat authentic Mexican food (as long as both are not too spicy for me), and I frequently think that those are things I never would have eaten as a kid.

I’m still a bit picky about certain vegetables…I can’t stomach mushrooms (more of a texture thing as I like a bit of truffle oil or cream of mushroom soup) or eggplant. I remember my mom cooking a bunch of eggplant once when I was a kid, and it made the entire house smell like eggplant. The smell was so overpowering to me that it almost made me gag. It was awful. Thankfully my mom didn’t make us eat it, it was for her! haha


fried Polish blood sausage will drive me from the house, too

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