You don’t have to be a world-class chef with the palate of a Greek god to be a picky eater. Being a kid is enough! Quite a few of us know from experience just how picky kids can be when it comes to food. Those of us who have munchkins at home have experienced this first hand and, well, some of us have driven our parents mad with our gastronomical pickiness in the past.
To show you just how picky some kids can get, Bored Panda has trawled the internet to find the best parenting tweets. Upvote the tweets that made you giggle and the ones that you related to the most as you scroll on down, dear Pandas. And remember to drop us a comment with your own experiences with fussy eaters in your families.
There are lots of reasons why our kids don’t want to eat something. The good news is that quite a few of them are within parents’ ability to change them with a bit of dedication and shifts in routine. Kids, after all, copy what their parents do and are wholly dependent on them when it comes to food, snacking, and eating routines.
Parenting blogger Samantha Scroggin and her husband are no strangers to "picky eating issues" in their family that are "as quirky" as their kids. Like many parents, they've both had to deal with their children refusing to eat specific foods and fast shifts in their tastes. Samantha, who runs the 'Walking Outside in Slippers' blog, opened up to Bored Panda about how her family deals with fussy eating and gave some great advice for parents who might be struggling with this.
For parenting blogger Samantha, whose tweet is featured in this list, it seems like her kids have nearly identical copy-pasted versions of her and her husband's tastebuds. "It's funny because our kids do seem to have picked up some food preferences from my husband and me. For example, my son who is very similar to me personality-wise loves smoked salmon and blue cheese (not together!), which are my favorite foods. My daughter has a vicious sweet tooth from my side, as well. There's not as much similarity to us parents when it comes to foods the kids don't like. These similarities do seem to be more nature than nurture to me like they inherited our taste buds," she shared.
Picky eating, while difficult to navigate, isn't always a drawback. For instance, Samantha's son has picked up some very healthy habits where he goes for healthier options. "My son only likes cheese that's yellow, but it has to be actual cheddar and not processed American singles slices. He loves mustard and thinks he hates mayo, even though I've seen him happily eat foods with mayonnaise when he doesn't know that's what it is. Oddly enough, he loves many healthy foods like crunchy carrots and sweet peppers, and fish."
Meanwhile, the parenting expert's daughter has a hard time eating her greens. "My daughter can hardly be bribed to eat a single bite of vegetable. I wouldn't say we've overcome these challenges so much as work around them. We find nutritious foods the kids will eat, like avocado, and throw in a little bribery to make sure they get enough of the good stuff they aren't so fond of," Samantha shared what she and her husband do to convince their kids to eat nutritious food.
"If they absolutely hate a food, we don't force the issue. After all, my husband and I have our no-go foods. I despise Swiss cheese, and he doesn't like cooked spinach," she shared. And, even though I'm personally a fan of both Swiss cheese and cooked spinach, I completely understand because I've got my very own subjective gastronomic dislikes.
Like other parents, Samantha finds it frustrating when her kids ask for a specific type of food to be bought or made and then tell their parents that they don't want it. "I usually give them a hefty guilt trip because I am not a perfect parent, and then save the food for later, only to ultimately have to throw it away," she shared how she deals with these sorts of situations. "I feel like unfortunately, pickiness in kids is just often part of the deal with parenting. The best we can do is offer our kids a variety of healthy options, and demonstrate positive attitudes ourselves about food."
One of the reasons why kids might shy away from eating something like Brussels sprouts is because they feel icky and gross in their mouths and in their hands. In other words, your kids’ senses are telling them that this is something grown by aliens from outer space and should be avoided at all costs! Talking your munchkins through the eating process, explaining what the food is, and even pairing it up with other side-dishes might help them learn to enjoy what they hated.
What’s more, some foods simply scare your kids because they’ve never tried them before. Imagine how we’d react to exotic foods: we’d probably be defensive and careful, too! Parental support and a cheerful environment can help them feel more at ease. And if they really don’t enjoy something and spit it out, don’t blame them for it. It’s all part of the gastronomic learning process. I still hate eating olives unless they’re prepared in a very specific way, but I eat them nonetheless because they’re good for me.
Routine is another big part of what our kids love and loathe. They copy us. So if we spend most of our day eating junk food and sweets, we can’t really blame it when our mini-me’s look wary of veggies. What’s more, if they’re constantly snacking throughout the day, you can’t expect them to be too enthusiastic for dinner. Hunger isn’t a bad thing to experience from time to time.
Trying out new foods, tastes, and textures can help them learn more about the vast world of cooking and help them develop their palates. It doesn’t mean having five-star meals with lobster and fillet mignon for every meal, but it does mean moving beyond the spaghetti-and-cut-up-hotdogs-forever mentality.
Sometimes, it’s not about being fussy though; it’s about not feeling well. Some kids can feel constipated or have acid reflux which makes them avoid eating. What’s more, if your child is sick or tired, they’re also less likely to be enthusiastic about that homemade lasagna you spent two hours slaving over.
Some of the fussy eater classics include (but definitely aren’t limited to!): a kid asking for a specific meal and then deciding they don’t want it anymore; suddenly deciding that they dislike their favorite food just because; and choosing a bit of cheese over a wholesome homecooked meal.
I’ve been a very picky eater my entire childhood and I honestly still feel guilty about having made my family jump through hoops just to get me to eat something. But I also understand that it’s a part of being a kid. Sometimes, you don’t want nutritious food and just want to eat sausages all week long.
I also know people who literally ate nothing but bread and pastries for years and who wouldn’t touch fish anymore completely out of the blue even though they used to love it just yesterday. Some of my closest friends also have very fussy palates even now that they’re all grown up. Some of them won’t eat eggs or pork or even so much as taste a drop of tomato juice. I love all those things and I honestly forget that some folks just don’t have the same tastebuds as I do.
Note: this post originally had 58 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.