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Picky Eaters : Born or Made? - Page 6

post #101 of 168
So I'm not AP because I think that eating and meals are a social event that picky eaters will not be able to participate in fully, and that parents should attempt to get their school age children to work towards expanding their palate? That's a new one.

I have no desire to control what other children eat, I'm doing a bang up job with my own kid, I just have little to no sympathy for the "woe is me, my kid won't eat" spiel you hear so often when it's 25% child, and 75% parent participation. Would you be content carrying your child around and leaving them sitting on a blanket when you visited the seashore because they didn'tlike the sensation of sand the first time? Would you write your child a note for gym class because they didn't like volleyball the first time they played? When we accept that our child is limited in anyway and then foster and encourage them to accept only what is comfortable for them, it's on us as parents, and that is far more upsetting to me than appearing to have control issues.
post #102 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by crwilson View Post
Aside from sensory integration issues, I've not seen any mention of the physiological characteristic of being a "super taster." (See I did learn something in chemistry class.) When you're a super taster, you're a lot more sensitive to flavors which means that something that doesn't taste bitter (like many green veggies) to other will probably taste really bitter to you. Super tasters, it is no surprise, don't like lots of food and have been labeled picky eaters.
That's totally my ds. And I can find the taste when I pay attention, but it jumps out at him. Many fruits have a woody bitter taste under the sweetness, except it is over the sweetness to my ds. So maybe he will be a connoisseur of fine wine when he is older. Sensitive taste isn't going to hold him back from fully participating in social events. He may enjoy some things less but he will enjoy other things so much more.

I'm that way with colors. They can drive me crazy or give me great pleasure. I'm not loosing out because I don't care what colors are together in a room. My brother has an extremely sensitive nose. He could work in perfumes as a "nose". Yes, smells that don't bother other people bother him. But he gets completely delighted at other times by other smell combinations. It's all kinda like being slightly manic depressive, great highs and great lows.
post #103 of 168
I don't think that anyone is suggesting that parents of picky eaters only give their kids things that the child already likes and eats. I, for example, provide a lot of different food choices, but when dd doesn't eat the things I give her, I figure oh well. She'll probably eat them someday. Or maybe she won't. Either way, it will probably be okay.

Am I frustrated that she's picky? Yes. Do I despair somedays and think that she will never, ever eat? Yes. Do I think that it must somehow be my fault? Yes, sometimes. But, then, it might be my fault in a different way than I think. DP and I are both supertasters, thus we probably passed those genes on to dd. I imagine that she'll manage to survive in any case. Will I continue to give her a wide range of food choices in hopes of "expanding her palate"? Yes. Will I be forever disappointed if her palate doesn't expand enough to suit other people's preferences? No.
post #104 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by meganeilis View Post
So I'm not AP because I think that eating and meals are a social event that picky eaters will not be able to participate in fully, and that parents should attempt to get their school age children to work towards expanding their palate? That's a new one.

I have no desire to control what other children eat, I'm doing a bang up job with my own kid, I just have little to no sympathy for the "woe is me, my kid won't eat" spiel you hear so often when it's 25% child, and 75% parent participation. Would you be content carrying your child around and leaving them sitting on a blanket when you visited the seashore because they didn'tlike the sensation of sand the first time? Would you write your child a note for gym class because they didn't like volleyball the first time they played? When we accept that our child is limited in anyway and then foster and encourage them to accept only what is comfortable for them, it's on us as parents, and that is far more upsetting to me than appearing to have control issues.
Congrats, but I have NEVER required my son to eat anything he didn't like, nor have I withheld food from him when he was hungry to get him to eat something new to meet some goal, and he eats pretty much everything. I think that is genetic. I have the decency to assume that it's a range and other people's kids fall on different places in the range.

I think there are respectful ways - modelling, providing opportunity, making mealtimes and new meals fun - to encourage a child to develop his or her own taste, without having to get into this whole moralistic "picky eaters have sucky parents!" thing. Or even having to work at it.

ETA: I'm not trying to be more AP than thou. I'm just kind of amazed that people who accept that children develop discipline over time and with gentle guidance, or that we breastfeed on demand and trust the child, express that picky eating must be stamped out! Or else!
post #105 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by meganeilis View Post
*shrug* The truth is that not every picky eater has sensory issues, and most kids faced with "starve or expand your horizons" will pick trying a new food.
I agree with you, although I do think that sometimes the problem is often that there is ALWAYS something (healthy) in the pantry that my DD would rather eat, and that makes it difficult.

Example, we buy whole wheat bread. We buy whole grain pasta. We also buy fruits and vegetables. We do not buy junk food. My DD loves bread and pasta but not fruit and vegetables. So when we eat our meal consisting of, say, meat, pasta, and vegetable, DD will eat the pasta only. And she will do this EVERY time unless WE apply some additional rules, such as no more pasta until you eat your carrots.

For us, the issue has never been that DD will starve. She will just eat one healthy food (usually a starch) and nothing else. And that's not healthy either.
post #106 of 168
I think picky eaters are born, but parents can make it worse or better depending on how they handle it. I refuse to waste time trimming off bread crusts and making special orders. If my kids dont want peppers on their pizza they'll pick them off on their own. I've seen parents that pick apart their kids food for no reason, especially the bread crust thing. Its like they assume all kids hate crust. If my kids truly dislike dinner, I will happily give them something else, but I'm not wading through a bowl of pasta and weeding out all the tomato chunks just so they'll eat the pasta. and i think my approach has been good-my kids have learned to like new foods because I always gave them that opportunity. Henri recently started eating broccoli. I was surprised, but I never excluded it from his veggie pizza or chinese chicken and broccoli. He used to whine at it, but over time he got curious about it and now he eats it.
post #107 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
I've seen parents that pick apart their kids food for no reason, especially the bread crust thing.
What makes you think they do it for no reason? I've yet to come across someone I assume does something for no reason. You may not think their reason is a good one but doubtlessly there is a reason.

You have a kid who will pick out food he doesn't like. That's great. It's hard for sensitive kids to even look at food they find repulsive, let alone touch it.
post #108 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
What makes you think they do it for no reason? I've yet to come across someone I assume does something for no reason. You may not think their reason is a good one but doubtlessly there is a reason.

You have a kid who will pick out food he doesn't like. That's great. It's hard for sensitive kids to even look at food they find repulsive, let alone touch it.
It was someone I knew personally and they did this frequently with their child's sandwiches. I asked if the child really didn't like the crust and the person admitted they didn't know, they just took them off "just because". I can also remember back to elementary school where MANY children at the lunch table had crustless bread for their sandwiches. Sorry but I HIGHLY doubt every kid at that lunch table had such extreme reactions to bread crust. Parents CAN perpetuate pickiness and I'm simply using this as an example....
post #109 of 168
Oh, ok, you know one person who cuts off crusts for no reason. Got it. Though, maybe her unexamined reason is that she doesn't like them much.

ETA It's probably a good idea to cut off crusts, actually. It's the exterior, essentially slightly burned, part of the bread that is probably carcinogenic like charred grilled meat. It is, at least, likely devoid of nutritional value.
post #110 of 168
WIthout delving into all the other arguments...
I think it's a little of both. I do understand that some people do have extra sensitivity to taste and texture, and might have trouble with certain foods because of that. My dh, having lived through famines as a child thinks it's totally "made", and that if people knew what hunger really is, they wouldn't be picky about the food in front of them.

However, I do think the "my kid will only eat [insert list of junk foods]" is not something they're born with. It may just be the area we live in, but I have seen way too many parents essentially training their children's tastes to junk food from infancy on. The kids never have a chance to eat healthy food--it's just not available to them. And it's not just an economic thing. There are certainly folks who feel like they're too poor to buy organics, but there are also many well-off people who say they're too busy to cook from scratch or spend a lot of time getting their kids to eat well.
When you give a 6 month old a bottle full of sweetened strawberry milk, and feed his toddler brother chicken nuggets and fries every single night what are the chances they're going to be interested in plain old regular milk and green veggies when they're 5, kwim? I have seen this kind of stuff and it makes me nutty. :
post #111 of 168
That's probably why ds doesn't drink good ol' regular milk! He drank sweet sweet breastmilk for so long....

Just kidding. Breastmilk is supposed to increase a child's acceptance of variety since it is not always the same but changes according to variations in the mother's diet. But, really, cow's milk just tastes nasty in comparison unless you sweeten it up or turn it into ice cream.
post #112 of 168
I'd like to interject some genetics here. My family and I took a genetics class with our local homeschool group. The teacher gave us all small pieces of paper with a chemical on them. People with a particular gene taste the paper as bitter. People without the gene just taste paper. My dh and ds both tasted the bitter. My dd and I didn't. Guess who the picky eaters are in our family? I think some people just have more sensitive taste buds. However, I do think parents exacerbate the pickiness. So, I guess my answer is - both.
post #113 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelKnee View Post
I'd like to interject some genetics here. My family and I took a genetics class with our local homeschool group. The teacher gave us all small pieces of paper with a chemical on them. People with a particular gene taste the paper as bitter. People without the gene just taste paper. My dh and ds both tasted the bitter. My dd and I didn't. Guess who the picky eaters are in our family? I think some people just have more sensitive taste buds. However, I do think parents exacerbate the pickiness. So, I guess my answer is - both.
Those are the people I was talking about earlier - super tasters. DP and I are both super tasters, and that "paper" was about the nastiest thing I've ever tasted.
post #114 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by meganeilis View Post
Would you be content carrying your child around and leaving them sitting on a blanket when you visited the seashore because they didn'tlike the sensation of sand the first time?
I wouldn't force my child to be in the sand if she didn't like it. Would you force yours?

I wouldn't "leave her sitting on a blanket," either: I'd hang out with her on the blanket, and help her explore the new beach-experience in her own way.

Quote:
Would you write your child a note for gym class because they didn't like volleyball the first time they played?
We don't do the school-thing because we don't want our kids to be made to do things they don't want to do. I certainly wouldn't make my child play volleyball, any more than I'd make her play in the mud if she didn't like the feel of it.

Quote:
When we accept that our child is limited in anyway and then foster and encourage them to accept only what is comfortable for them, it's on us as parents, and that is far more upsetting to me than appearing to have control issues.
I don't see someone as "limited" because she, for instance, has no desire to make mud-pies or play volleyball. If a child doesn't like one thing, I'm sure there's something else she does like, and I'm glad to help her do that. Someday she may very well want to try the other thing that she previously didn't like, in which case I'll support her and won't be saying, "You can't do that! You tried that before and you hated it!"

Allowing kids to set their own limits doesn't mean we're not allowing them to change their tastes and interests as they grow.
post #115 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Oh, ok, you know one person who cuts off crusts for no reason. Got it. Though, maybe her unexamined reason is that she doesn't like them much.

ETA It's probably a good idea to cut off crusts, actually. It's the exterior, essentially slightly burned, part of the bread that is probably carcinogenic like charred grilled meat. It is, at least, likely devoid of nutritional value.
You're probably right!
post #116 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
ETA It's probably a good idea to cut off crusts, actually. It's the exterior, essentially slightly burned, part of the bread that is probably carcinogenic like charred grilled meat. It is, at least, likely devoid of nutritional value.


You're kidding, right? There was a study that actually showed that bread crust might REDUCE cancer risks because of increased fiber and antioxidants.

http://www.nbc10.com/health/1760741/detail.html
post #117 of 168
Another angle I'd like to bring up, for all of you who tsk-tsk over your friend's child that eats nothing but pizza or mac and cheese.

It may only be YOUR PERCEPTION that the child eats only these things.

My 3yoDD needs encouragement to eat all but a few things. She is offered a wide and varied diet most days, but when we are having company I will often serve her some things that I *know* she will eagerly eat... simply because it's easier. I'm doing a lot when I'm hosting and it's just difficult to juggle everything while making sure my kid gets fed, too.

So, I save the pizza or Annie's in a box for those occasions. She eats without a fuss, whatever friend she has over at the time generally likes those things, too, and I get to actually enjoy my meal and my company.

It has crossed my mind that my friends/relatives might think that I only feed my kid pizza and Annie's! Perhaps they are posting indignant rolley eyed smiles in threads about me, somewhere on the Internet...
post #118 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
You're kidding, right? There was a study that actually showed that bread crust might REDUCE cancer risks because of increased fiber and antioxidants.

http://www.nbc10.com/health/1760741/detail.html
Ack! THEY were right! Crust is good for you, makes your hair curly, whatever else we've been told all our lives!

Thanks, my previous post was just a hypothesis. Glad to have it scientifically nixed, though I think you could have skipped the eyes roll and the "you're kidding". It wasn't as if the idea made no sense or as if I was asserting it as scientific fact.
post #119 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
It may only be YOUR PERCEPTION that the child eats only these things.
My ds is easy overstimulated, doesn't eat well in a crowd. But if he doesn't eat, he has a melt down. I'm very happy if he will eat white bread and butter or a box of cookies in social situations. At home, when he is well rested and calm, I focus on more nutritious foods.
post #120 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
Ack! THEY were right! Crust is good for you, makes your hair curly, whatever else we've been told all our lives!

Thanks, my previous post was just a hypothesis. Glad to have it scientifically nixed, though I think you could have skipped the eyes roll and the "you're kidding". It wasn't as if the idea made no sense or as if I was asserting it as scientific fact.
The "you're kidding" and eyeroll was because this is exactly the kind of thing parents do that perpetuates pickiness. "Oh, that's okay to not eat the crust... it probably causes cancer anyway." I think a lot of people don't realize that these kinds of casual comments penetrate the minds of young kids and DOES turn them off of certain foods. This just lends more credence to the argument that picky eaters are made, not born.
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