Monday, September 10, 2012

Picky Eaters

What makes a child a picky eater? In born? Improper parenting? Do you force kids to eat what they clearly don't want to? Can this be out-grown?

The king of picky eaters must be Oliver. It is a wonder that he is alive. He refuses to try new foods. What he will eat is peanut butter sandwiches (white bread without crusts) apple juice, french fries, M&Ms, chicken nuggets, pizza and grilled cheese. There may be one or two foods I forgot. Oh he loves cereal bars and fruit smoothies from McDonald's. Danny will at least try new foods but then follows his brother's lead. Maya so far is willing to try about anything but she is starting to reject some things. Today she was feasting on fresh pineapple.

But Shanna was the least picky eater of my three and Naomi the most. Josh for awhile subsisted on large bowls of cereal even though he was lactose intolerant. As an adult, Josh has conquered most of his former aversions  Almost everything he ate in Brazil wouldn't be found on American menus.

I had and have strong food aversions. I can feel for Oliver. I was forced to eat on a few occasions things that I found disgusting (though most people would not have). I swore I would not subject my children  to force feeding. But they all turned out less picky than I did. It is strange that I have aversions as I am what they call a 'non-taster". A common drug PTU tastes bitter to most people except a subset (25%) that can't taste it. This genetic trait has been linked to taste bud density. Apparently I have much less taste buds. People of my ilk tend to be obese as they crave fat. On the other end are 'super tasters" with very dense taste buds. They tend not to like bitter things such as coffee, tea, broccoli like vegetables, beer, etc All of those things I like.

I eat much more of a variety of foods than I did as a child. I try new things. My father on the other hand, kept all his food aversions and had a very narrow list of what he thought was acceptable to eat. Yet he got fat. I assume my crummy taste buds were inherited from him. My mom would eat anything.

Although Shanna is frustrated by Oliver's weird tastes, she never forces him to eat. She has resorted unsuccessfully to bribes (If you just bite the carrot, I'll get you a toy truck.) I assume he will grow out of it.

Classes started again for Maya. Hopefully with all this attention, she will start talking more.

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