My picky eating started as a baby when my parents tried to switch me from baby food to table food. When I didn’t make the change they tried to put me back on baby food and I wouldn’t go.
They took me to doctor after doctor but were always told that I’d grow out of it and that in the mean time I was getting protein from peanut butter, calcium from milk, etc, etc. and seemed healthy.
I am now 35 and the mother of 4 very healthy children (one picky, 3 not) but my diet has changed very little since I was a child. I’d have to say I’ve survived mostly on creamy JIF peanut butter and Welch’s grape jam sandwiches on Autumn Grain bread most of my life.
(I currently survive on PB toast, cereal, buttered noodles, and pepperoni pizza.) Taste is most of the issue to me, especially as I’ve gotten older but texture does play a huge role. Like the fact that I love how potatoes smell and can handle the taste but the texture will always be too much for me.
I hear picky eating being labeled as a fear and though I do experience notable fear in trying new foods I know it was not always that way, nor does it have anything to do with why I don’t eat most foods. Food simply tastes bad to me.
The fear I experience, I believe, stems from a childhood packed with horrifying dinner table experiences. Force feedings, being fed the same plate of food (sometimes for days) until I ate it, having to chew things, that were making me gag and vomit, at least 40 times with no drink and no nose plugging (a picky eater must) and all the while feeling like you’re starving to death because you are SO hungry and there’s nothing served you can eat.
Being called out at EVERY meal, the embarrassment and put downs at family gatherings, public functions, school, or at friend’s homes. Being humiliated into putting something into my mouth only to be laughed at and ridiculed when I gagged or threw it up. I can’t imagine anyone not getting some sort of complex after facing that every day of their life, multiple times a day.
So I do get nervous when new food is put before me. I anticipate it will taste bad (though there have been rare exceptions to that rule), I’m going to disappoint everyone who is watching hopefully, and I’m going to embarrass myself when I gag or puke. My heart does race a little.
I, however, don’t have issues with trying new foods in the privacy of my own home with no one around. I often try new and old things to see if I remember correctly how they tasted or to see if I can work it into my very limited diet. I’ve been trying for 10 months now to get down a salad but still can’t get past the lettuce.
Having an online community of friends has been a tremendous support! I am a very strong person despite my eating habits. I’m very healthy (haven’t even needed to go to the doctor for even a cold in almost 10 years, maybe more),
I’ve had 4 healthy pregnancies and children, I’m happily married, I run two home businesses, volunteer in the community and at church, and yet people still look down on me when I’m sitting at the table with them eating a dinner roll instead of the main course.
I would love to know why I am the way I am. I would love to be able to hand out a doctor’s note to all the bullies at every table I sit at who insist I’d eat if it was a matter of life and death, or that my parents went to easy on me (quite the opposite actually), or that I’m just trying to get attention. It’s the topic at every table I sit at and it gets SO old.
Just let me not like some of the things you like and be okay with it…please?