Jun 18, 2012

Picky, Picky, Picky!

The other night we were having an old fashioned super of salmon patties, pole beans and my grandmother's famous flat biscuits at my parents' house.  Mama and I were laughing about how, with the addition of fried okra, this was one of my favorite meals as a child.  Hubs was rather bemused, because it is a rather strange meal for a little kid to consider their favorite.  I just love me a salmon patty though.  That shit is good.

Anyway, I was always an adventurous eater, as was my brother to a lesser degree.  Raw oysters, alligator tail, frog legs, escargot- I ate anything.  Except peas.  Still not a fan of those.  I'm more picky now, for waistline reasons, frankly.  If something is not worth the calories to me, I won't eat it.  However, if someone serves me something, I consume it with gusto and enjoyment.

This is an extremely long introduction to my subject, which is my disdain of picky eaters.  Especially children who consume food solely found on a kid's menu, with the removal of any condiments or seasoning.  Once Dell Harper gets old enough to eat food, I am going to have a difficult time solely frequenting restaurants which feature chicken fingers.  Now, I realize we will go to kid-friendly places when she is a toddler.  However, if she is ordering pasta with butter or a plain cheeseburger at 10 (or even 7), I am going to struggle.

Picky eaters drive Hubs crazy too.  Does this mean karma is going to bite us on the tail?  Are we going to be sentenced to drive-thru runs before or after family affairs to grab something "not gross"?  I will lose it.

 When Kate introduced me to "Baby Led Weaning" I was immediately intrigued.  It makes sense to me, and I appreciate the fact that my baby is not eating a separate meal from the rest of the family.  Instead she is enjoying a (slightly modified) version of what we are eating.  Seems like a good way to start.  You start the process at 6 months, so we have a little over a month to go, but I am so excited.  I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, and a mess won't bother me a bit.  Actually, I don't know who is more excited- Buddy or myself.  Or Dell Harper- she grabbed her rice cereal bowl and started gnawing on it yesterday.

So multiple questions here
1) Are/were you a picky eater? 
2) If you were a picky eater, did your parents make separate meals for you?  How did they handle your pickiness?
3) If you are a parent, are your kids picky?  What do you do in that situation?
And, finally
4) Have you heard/done baby led weaning?

Okay, my quiz is over.  If I was a sociologist/scientist, I would perform a study on pickiness in children and it's cultural aspects, because it just intrigues me so much.

Y'all are all going to be laughing at me in two years when my culinary experiences consist solely on Wendys and Fudruckers.  Shudder.


  1. I wasn't picky, but that was mainly because my parents didn't give me the option. My mom didn't cook a lot of strange food or anything, but it was very much so a "Eat what's on your plate or you'll be hungry later' situation in my house. If we didn't eat what was cooked, my mom would save our plate in the fridge and re-heat it when we got hungry again.

  2. I enjoy how trends really just capture knowledge that's been with us all along. Maybe it's a farm culture thing, too, but in my family, and in their families growing up, if you didn't eat what was cooked, you didn't eat - that's all that was available. None of us are picky, and we all savor what's of the season and fresh for that very reason. No chicken tenders in my bloodline.

  3. I love a chicken finger now and then, Not going to lie.
    But we also didn't have an option growing up. What was cooked was what we ate! Clearly I am still not picky. Have you seen these hips?
    I want to know more about baby lead weaning too.

  4. YAY YAY BLW! You know I'm counting down the days, too, friend!

    I was a decidedly UNpicky eater... mostly because I wasn't given much of an option to eat anything other than what my parents were eating. There were a few things I simply refused to eat as a kid (mushrooms - still hate 'em - and shrimp - LOVE those critters now), but my mama made very few concessions otherwise.

    My parents also didn't change their restaurant habits when I was with them. Obviously we did not go to super fancy places when I was a toddler (not really their style anyway), but I remember eating at their (now our) favorite Indian and Asian places as a wee tot... and other spots where there was no kid's menu in sight.

    If you're hankering for another baby-centric read, I think you'd really enjoy Bringing Up Bebe... the French are totally BLWers!

  5. I really wanted to do BLW with Julia, but my husband was way too skeptical (for stupid reasons IMO) for me to fight that battle. So, we're giving her mush, but tasty much all the same.

    I'm pretty sure daycare woud l have only done purees as well, but that's okay. She's been a pretty adventurous eater so far and not turned away at anything I've given her.

    I've always said that my child could try whatever they wanted on a menu. Kids menus are so unhealthy anyhow. Chicken and fries is an awfully white meal.

  6. There was one meal prepared for dinner each night in our house. It was almost always eaten without complaint but if you didn't like it - tough beans. (Meatloaf night was tough for me - I still can't eat it.) My husband grew up in a very different environment where he was catered too and prepared typical, unhealthy "kid" food. You can guess which one of us was picky and overweight when we met and who wasn't. Fortunately, I reversed the damage and he'll now eat just about anything - enthusiastically. (And lost quite a bit of weight in the process.) Though I do wish I'd never encouraged him to fall in love with guacamole. He used to scoop it off his plate and give it to me. Now he won't share. :)

    We didn't do BLW with Blaire, as we did offer her purees, but she's transitioned into feeding herself and has done well with everything we've offered. I think if we continue to offer her a variety of flavorful foods she'll become an adventurous eater like her parents. It would kill me to raise a picky eater too!

  7. P.S. Love those sweet picture of Dell Harper - she's adorable.

  8. I wasnt picky at all growing up. I am now a vegetarian, so I'm a bit pickier as an adult. My husband, however, ate chicken and French fries for almost every meal when we met. He "didn't like" anything else. What the case really was is that if he said he didn't like it once as a child, they never made him try again. In our home, we had to try everything on the table, every time. If we didn't like it, that was fine, but a bite was required every time it was served. We plan to feed our children the way I was fed. Our children will be offered meat, because I think it's a personal decision. We also plan on BLW and am excited to read how it goes for you all!

  9. In our family we had to eat three bites of every dish before you were excused from the table. There were some power struggles - and some really small bites at times - bit it was a good strategy overall.

    However my brother, who is a super adventurous eater now - had some sensory processing issues & having to eat at least 3 bites of something he didn't find palatable would result in him throwing up - so the rules were relaxed for him!

    I dread kids meals and picky eaters. I hope it's not in my future either!

  10. oh yes indeed...only child syndrome, i was ABSOLUTEY an only child--oops!

    and to this day, i am pretty picky about what i will and will not eat...i hate ANY kind of white food, and i despise potatoes (i know, how can i be from the south??)

    they wouldn't make separate meals, but they would modify and maybe make a side dish that i liked, too

  11. 1. I am a picky eater, I have gotten better in the last year or so but I still will not eat onions, peppers, mushrooms, avocados and fish!

    2. My parents never made a separate meal but would offer more than 1 different side dish of veggies such as green beans for me and peas for everyone else.

    3. Hudson is extremely picky! I blame that on the fact that I was very hesitant when introducing new foods and he also has some texture issues with food. He will not try anything, you can put it on his plate night after night but he won't touch it. Doc said not to force him, he gets all the nutrients he is supposed to.

    Dinner is hard because H eats at 5:30 and husband doesn't get home until 7 or later so we always eat after he is in bed, do I wish he saw us eating different things, yes but at this point I do what I have to.

    4. Never heard of baby led weaning

  12. -I am definitely not a picky eater... I'm pretty much willing to try anything at least twice, but was a little picky when I was a child.

    -My mom would make me whatever I wanted... Which was usually junk.

    -My girls are 6 & 8 and will pretty much eat anything. Sushi, crawfish, any good ol' Southern dish... I have a rule where they cannot complain about what I cook, whether they like it or not, and they have to at least take 3 bites of each thing on their plates. I also refuse to make more than one meal. They get what they get and cannot throw a fit!

    -Never heard of baby-led weaning.

  13. I'm not a picky eater -- the only thing I don't quite care for is a raw tomato (I still try to eat them a few times a year in hopes that the ol' tastebuds have finally matured?) At 30, I'm not sure that will change.

    Mom always cooked a nice meal which included veggies. We also had to taste everything on the plate. The only concessions they'd make would be to stop by McD's for Happy Meals before we went out for Chinese. Now, I can't get enough of Chinese!

  14. I'm a new follower...love your blog. Our daughters are the same age, too! Dell Harper is absolutely adorable!

    No, I'm definitely not a picky eater. Like you, one of the only things I can't stand is peas. My parents never made separate food for me growing up, so maybe that had something to do with it! We are leaning towards a baby led weaning route, too. I'm excited to try it!

  15. I'm not a picky eater and we want to avoid the chicken nuggets/mac and cheese only menu as well with our little guy.

    I read about baby lead weaning after reading your post earlier today, and think it's a great concept. At my junior league meeting tonight somehow babyfood became a topic of conversation and one of the other girls is doing it with her 6 and a half month old. She is doing fantastic with it, and they have been able to pick up on food allergies much easier with this approach.

    I'm going to do more research and get the thumbs up from our pediatrician first of course. I'd love to hear about y'alls experience with it.

    Miss Priss is too adorable for words!

  16. Yes! We love BLW. We did a modified version, starting with purees around 4 months and switching exclusively to solids at 6 months. Now Sam (almost 9 months) will eat anything we put in front of him. I love that he's such an adventurous little eater. Plus it's encouraged us to eat healthier. Our meals are more balanced and more nutritious now that I plan our menu with him in mind. I think you will love the approach! (I just did a post yesterday about some of his favorite foods: http://theculinarycouple.com/2012/06/21/the-culinary-kid-6-9-months/)

  17. I'm not a picky eater at all (I eat EVERYTHING) and I agree with so many of the other posters in that it's because I wasn't given the option to be picky. I ate what I was given. Granted, I didn't always like it and I went through a lot of phases of what I'd eat and what I wouldn't, but I'm an incredibly adventurous eater now. My husband was catered to and given lots of fast food and kid food growing up. He had a hard time breaking out of his comfort zone food-wise when we met, but he's really made leaps and bounds in that department over the last few years. I'm anxious to hear how it goes with Dell Harper and what she's eating. Eventually we're going to need to do the same with Mac and I'd love to hear how you tackle this!


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