Are Kids Really Picky Eaters?
We were ordering from a restaurant recently, when we were asked if we wanted a kid's menu for my son. It suddenly hit me...why do kids have separate menus? There's this notion that kids are really picky eaters, and they either can or only want really simple foods--I'm not really sure which, maybe both? But ever since our son started eating solids, aside from making food the right softness for him and avoiding honey and cow's milk his first year, our son has pretty much eaten everything we eat. So I'm wondering... are some kids really picky eaters or do we just think they are? Have we conditioned them to be picky eaters?
Interestingly, I've also found with my son that he really loves his greens and fruits, but he's not a huge meat eater. Of course he loves bread, because who doesn't? The only thing he really seems to dislike is avocado, and I don't blame him. I didn't acquire a taste for avocado until I was an adult. I also really loved my veggies and fruits as a kid, but I 'm not convinced it's a matter of preferential taste.
I snooped the internet to see if anyone else has wondered the same thing, because frankly, kid's menus make me sad now. Why is their menu so boring? There are certain things I know that my son can't tolerate as well. For example, while he can actually handle a bit of spice, I know he can't handle the same level I can. He's definitely shown us when something is too spicy! The funny part is he doesn't cry, he just sticks out his tongue and tries to scrape off the spice. It's too cute, you've gotta see it. I've also noticed if something is too sour or citrusy, he's also not quite ready for that. But I look forward to the day he loves chili lime flavored everything with me 😊.
My internet browsing has led me to some interesting findings. Sometimes what we perceive as picky behavior, is just our kids being kids and trying to assert their control and power. However, there are some interesting studies that have shown certain genetic predispositions. For example, some kids have a bitter-sensitive genotype (I think I still have this). So, it's possible some parents and children are not genetically matched up in this regard. There's also such a thing as being genetically predisposed to avoiding new foods. This sounds like my husband (and to think this whole time I've been blaming it on him being French!).
There's also the fact that some kids may enjoy foods their mother ate while pregnant. Also, if the baby is breastfed, then the baby also tastes what the mother eats through her milk. So, that would make sense over here since I have definitely exposed my kid to A LOT of different cuisines and foods.
Overall, it seems to me that a picky eater is the result of both a bit of nature and nurture. That being said, I'm still not convinced bland kid's menus are necessary. I feel like if vegetarians, vegans, and people with food allergies can find suitable items on a menu for their dietary restrictions, picky kids can, too.
Do you have a picky eater? What's their preference?
Leave a Reply.