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Coping with a picky eater
05-07-2010, 09:27 AM
Post: #1
Coping with a picky eater
(Thought maybe this would be a good spot for this thread since, technically, I am looking for tips and tricks!)

My husband is more of a picky eater than my 4-year-old. I love food. Anything. I'll try whatever and love to explore foods and taste different dishes and experiment with flavors. The husband grew up in a house where dinner was always: meat, mashed potatoes, green beans or corn. That was it. THAT WAS IT! And, that's what he's used to and that's what he wants. He'll eat pasta too but is picky about the kind of pasta (example, he won't eat spaghetti, only tube-like pasta). This drives me crazy. Even if I try and sneak some things in, like sautéing carrots or zucchini (chopped fine) and putting them into the spaghetti sauce, he'll say the flavor is off and won't eat it. His mom's spaghetti sauce was thinned down tomato paste. No herbs or anything. No flavor! And that's what's he used to.

Anyone else share my pain or have tricks, tips or ideas of turning a picky eater into someone who will eat more of a variety? I'm two meals away from losing it.
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05-07-2010, 10:31 AM
Post: #2
RE: Coping with a picky eater
Hmmm... I don't know if there is hope for retraining your husband's taste buds. It sounds like they're already set. Your 4 year old however is still can learn to like (or not like) what you serve. I knew several wives who have husbands who only like certain things and that is what they cook. My grandma only cooked what my granddad liked, which was like your husband, meat & potatoes, green beans or corn. That was it. It wasn't until after he passed away, that I discovered that my grandma actually liked Italian and Mexican food too.

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05-24-2010, 12:40 PM
Post: #3
RE: Coping with a picky eater
Hey Janie,
That is such a hard situation, because I’m like you, I love food, and to see someone close themselves off to a new flavor experience is really sad. And it doesn’t help when you work so hard on a meal and he turns up his nose.
In my semi-humble opinion, there are 2 options.
One, which was the one I grew up with, was if you did not like what was served, you know very well where the kitchen is, please feel free to make something that suites your tastes, and if you forget to clean up after yourself there will be hell to pay.
Two is the Jessica Seinfeld option (you know that cooking for kids cookbook), which is look for recipes that disguise some of the possibly more offensive foodstuffs to get a little more variety in the menu.
If he persists, I would suggest laying in a supply of Banquet frozen dinners, they can be counted on to supply the requisite meat/potatoes/corn/green beans combination and make him happy. Then you can make what you like and he can still find a meal to his liking.
Good Luck!

"Life ain't like books.
Books got somebody writin' 'em and tryin' to entertain ya.
Life is more like a set of Legos.
Unless you take care of 'em, you lose a few pieces and you end up steppin' on 'em with bare feet.
You gotta take care of your life."
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05-24-2010, 06:04 PM
Post: #4
RE: Coping with a picky eater
Hmmm, if only there was something that would make people hungry, in a ravenous kind of way, hungry enough to eat just about anything...what in the world would cause that kind of situation to arise? Something that would take them out of their element, make them kind of, slightly intoxicated (not alcohol)....I wonder what that could be? There's got to be something that causes the munchies in this world, I just cant think of it right now....short term memory loss, I am told. Oh well.
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05-24-2010, 06:21 PM
Post: #5
RE: Coping with a picky eater
(05-24-2010 06:04 PM)Buckwheat Wrote:  Hmmm, if only there was something that would make people hungry, in a ravenous kind of way, hungry enough to eat just about anything...what in the world would cause that kind of situation to arise? Something that would take them out of their element, make them kind of, slightly intoxicated (not alcohol)....I wonder what that could be? There's got to be something that causes the munchies in this world, I just cant think of it right now....short term memory loss, I am told. Oh well.

That's some funny stuff, Buckwheat! I wish it worked on MY picky eater, but alas, it does not... Wink

Janie, I feel your pain. My bf was born 'n' raised in Oklahoma on meat and potatoes. The End. He likes Mexican food, and some odd veggies (like asparagus) but thinks white meat is the only part of the chicken that's fit to eat, and constantly teases me about what I consider edible. Makes for some great comedy, but predictable meals, for sure!

I'm no help, but I know of what you speak!
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05-30-2010, 02:37 PM
Post: #6
RE: Coping with a picky eater
I am a picky eater, always have been. I have definitely widened my horizons from the meat & potatoes my Mom used to make. Unfortunately, I still won't eat many things. Luckily my daughter is adventurous and she cooks foods only she and my hubby will eat. My son would rather eat a frozen White Castle than half the foods that are made in my house.
Janie is he willing to at least try a bit of what you eating? Use the old saying "How do you know you don't like it if you don't taste it?" I don't agree with trying to "hide" disliked items in a meal you make. I love eggplant and make a mean eggplant lasagne, but my daughter hates it and knows immediately if I have used eggplant instead of the noodles.

You post a lot of recipes that sound great so I hope he is at least willing to sample them before discounting them as inedible.
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05-24-2012, 07:26 AM
Post: #7
RE: Coping with a picky eater
WOW!!!! I thought that I had it tough around my house. My daughter was spoiled rotten by my wife, she is a picky eater, it drives me up the wall as I cook all sorts of ingredients and styles from all around the world. The idea of having to cook 2 or 3 different dishes for one of the meals is not a problem, if you taste all. But having to do it in this style like a restaurant... this for you, and this for you and this for me, creates problems with my blood pressure. If it was my cooking, OK, but because it has a certain ingredient(s), no go... This is a major problem with the individual's ''brain set'' and how do you work this out? I am not a psychologist (even less a psychiatrist), I would love to know what can be done and how.... I think that you need to start them young, my son who will eat or try anything, that is the way he was brought up... Sometimes he even scares me by the things he eats, ha, ha, ha... I could tell stories about him!!! I have been working on my daughter, but her mind is set... I have tried the ''This is it approach, but, to no avail... She will eat the veggies, salad and will walk away from the protein. Not a good idea for a 17 year old. And for the ''older'' folks, I would only imagine that the difficulties into reversing the mind set are even more of a struggle. But again, we have friends that never refuse to come over for a meal and she often mentions, "I never had that before". Her husband is always amazed at her attitude as she opens up like never before. I will have to ask her why she all of a sudden in her life, she did change her mind set and I will keep you posted.
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05-24-2012, 04:35 PM
Post: #8
RE: Coping with a picky eater
Interesting reading these experiences of "people set in their ways" and meals being prepared for them which cater for that.....I don`t know if it is a US thing, but over here if you don`t like what is being cooked, you had better learn to cook yourself and get your own meals. Which is why I cook my own meals.....I do cook the kids food, and generally on principle the one will not eat what the other would like, so I end up cooking maybe 4 meals some nights......But......I love cooking so it is not a chore.

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05-26-2012, 01:52 PM
Post: #9
RE: Coping with a picky eater
(05-24-2012 07:26 AM)LiveToCook Wrote:  I have been working on my daughter, but her mind is set... I have tried the ''This is it approach, but, to no avail... She will eat the veggies, salad and will walk away from the protein. Not a good idea for a 17 year old.

Just curious ... does she turn away from all protein, or just meat.?. 'Coz you can get very good protein in a vegetarian/vegan diet. Yes, we need our protein, but it need not come from animals.

OK, sorry for the temporary thread derailment!

Back to picky eaters...
Either give him the "just try a little"
or the "if you don't like it, make your own"

Big Grin

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05-26-2012, 07:16 PM (This post was last modified: 05-26-2012 07:18 PM by old honda rider.)
Post: #10
RE: Coping with a picky eater
When I was growing up I was known in the house as the picky eater. But even as an adult, I still won't eat brussel sprouts boiled into next week or twitching liver, no matter HOW many fried onions go with it.

I always knew something was up when I asked, "What are we having tonight?" and the reply was something like, "It's a surprise!"

And, of course, making the kid (me) sit there with a plate of cold (insert disgusting food-type substance here) is guaranteed to put the hate on for that food right into adulthood.

To this day I don't like surprises either.
(05-26-2012 01:52 PM)Jenn Wrote:  
(05-24-2012 07:26 AM)LiveToCook Wrote:  I have been working on my daughter, but her mind is set... I have tried the ''This is it approach, but, to no avail... She will eat the veggies, salad and will walk away from the protein. Not a good idea for a 17 year old.

Just curious ... does she turn away from all protein, or just meat.?. 'Coz you can get very good protein in a vegetarian/vegan diet. Yes, we need our protein, but it need not come from animals.

OK, sorry for the temporary thread derailment!

Back to picky eaters...
Either give him the "just try a little"
or the "if you don't like it, make your own"

Big Grin

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
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