Monday, November 30, 2015

The problems of a picky eater

At one point of my childhood, I stopped eating meat. It was a phase and didn't last too long, and my Mother just dealt with it by giving me lots of veggies. (Sorry, Mom!) When she tells this story today, she remarks that it was good timing because my brother was going through a phase of not eating vegetables and everything evened out.

My son is not a picky eater, but he definitely has a narrow range of foods that he will eat without complaint. And I do my best to roll with it. There are meals that I cook in full knowledge that they are just for me and my husband to enjoy (spicy foods, for example) and our son can have a simpler version or something completely different. This is even true on Thanksgiving when he ended up eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I pick my dinner battles carefully.

Even though it feels like there is a lot of extra work put into the nightly meal, I do count myself lucky that he is not a severely selective eater, as research has discovered that in addition to dealing with a limited range of foods, those children are more likely to have depression.

Please do not confuse picky eaters with severely selective eaters. That phrase is used to classify children with food preferences so intense that they usually cannot eat outside the home and their diet consists of only three to five items. Also, please note that there is only a correlation between selective eating and depression - one doesn't cause the other.

This study gives me perspective. Enough perspective that I don't mind whipping up a quesadilla when the husband and I are having chili. Dinner time should be about family time and togetherness and not a battlefield over pot roast.

What food aversions did you have when you were little? Tell me in the comments.

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