1. I love your lemon juicer!
    I am constantly disgusted by the deceptive marketing & propaganda in the food market. Dave & I have plenty of our own rants about this. If you want peach rings, fine. If you want to sell peach rings, fine — BUT sell it as what it is: devoid of any real nutrition.

  2. I recently read an article about children who are picky eaters. I don’t remember the details of the research but it inferred that pickiness about foods was not about what the parents fed them. It was from a reputable journal. If I can find it again I’ll email it to you (if you’re interested, of course). I’m a medical librarian – I can’t help myself.

  3. Sparrow

    Well Faith, I think that is a complicated question and the answer is both! I think picky kids will be picky, but there are so many things we can introduce them to a very young age so they aren’t THAT picky. I also think that kids need to be reminded that your taste buds change (and they really do!) My rule with Sofia was that she had to try the “yucky” things again after a year and see if she liked them. Now at the ripe old age of 14 I don’t think that there is anything that she doesn’t like. But that being said she did start out as a “picky” eater. I have for many years blamed it on myself, and that a didn’t feed her a diet rich in variety and interesting flavors (I was single at the time, and rarely cooked whole meals). I have since become settled, and can’t get enough of food, preparing food, sharing food, seeking good food, and feeding my children… Now I think that it was a combination of her own desires and my choices. I also think not reacting hugely and playing into kids food icks doesn’t give the kids a lot of juju to work with and they get bored with it…. Destiny used to always say: “oh you dont like that? Great! more for the rest of us!” and then we always wanted it so as not to miss out!! See you next weekend for some fun food harvesting, processing, and consuming.

  4. I’m not a Mom (yet), but I have worked with kids for 20+ years and am currently a Nanny.
    In my experience, pickiness and the unwillingness to try new foods is *absolutely* based around what the child is offered. The little ones I care for (ages 3 and 1) eat avocado, beans, tofu, granola, bell peppers, etc. Because we offered it to them. Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s not as if they despise chicken nuggets and fries – but they like the “healthier” stuff, too. Definitely.
    I think parents/caregivers give up too easily on children. You need to offer, offer, offer… and it may take 10 times of offering a certain food before they will eat it – but more than not, they WILL eat it and love it. Eventually.

    I plan to make my own baby food when the time comes, and hope to instill even better eating patterns and likes in my own child.


  5. tabitha

    Picky eaters are from environment. If we don’t let our kids try new things or encourage them they will eat only what is familiar to them. Some parents tend to go the easy route and feed them what they want. I am not a clean the plate parent but they have to eat their vegetables. When we go on vacation my kids will try anything and we all try to order something different and share. My husband has even come a long way for he used to be a picky eater.

  6. linsley

    My daughter is only 19 months but she only eats vegetables, fruits, chicken, fish and occasionaly beef. I’ve given her chicken nuggets once having no other option at the time from Chik Filet. I figure if she isn’t introduced to macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, etc she won’t want those foods. She has a serious heart condition and as long as I can control what she eats I will. BTW, she eats everything we put in front of her whether it’s quinoa, salmon, or beans. So far, so good! I know I won’t have this kind of control for ever but at least I will install the values of healthy eating.

  7. I used to think it was mostly due to their environment too, until we had our second son. My 7 year-old son (who has a shy, cautious personality) will try and usually like almost anything I give him. He eats a very wide variety of foods from many different cultural influences. My 4-year old, however is not as adventurous with food even though his personality is more outgoing and he is not as cautious. He will try most foods, but he just doesn’t like a lot of them. We offer him a wide variety just like we did/do with his brother, and we keep offering foods he doesn’t like to see if his tastes change, but the results have not been as successful. It’s an interesting dynamic to watch first hand, but it can be frustrating!

  8. Sounds like consensus it’s environment. I would have to agree. It takes 10 or more times of trying something to determine if you like it. I don’t have kids but that’s even true of me. I still continue to try things I didn’t like as a kid. And I’d say 99% of the time I like it eventually.

  9. Lehua

    In my opinion (based on my childhood and on my own two children) it lies heavily on the environment side, but also on the nature side. Coming from Hawaii (the asian culture melting pot) I had a good deal of culturally diverse recipes in my pocket that I started feeding to my kids when they were very young along with the “normal” variety of food we found in Utah. Many mom’s were astonished by the fact that Bella ate Bok Choi, like octopus, preferred fresh peaches to canned peaches, and ate kale raw. I wasn’t. I gave them to her and Oliver very early on, and because Graham and I have a positive attitude towards a variety of foods, so do our kids. I’ve witnessed many parents turn their nose up to certain “healthy” foods and in consequence their children won’t even try them. You have to set an example of openess.

    With that said, from day one and still to this day, Bella has never liked butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and many other varieties of squash. I don’t know if it’s the texture or the taste, but she has a very natural distaste for them. Oliver doesn’t prefer most meats. Bella devours meat. I remember not liking meat most of my childhood. I used to think, “Why does my sister, my parents, my friends like this stuff?” Couldn’t tell you why I didn’t like it I just didn’t. I also had the same dislike for anything fruity that was flavored with artificial fruit and any canned fruit. Not because I thought it was unhealthy at age 5, but because I just didn’t like it.

    So LONG answer is….both.

  10. srzasa

    I’m going to side with the “both” camp. My two kids have different tastes in what they like. I’ve also found that foods they really didn’t like at first have become ones that they will eat after multiple (10+) times of having them. I just keep serving and requiring that they try a few bites.

  11. That is a tough question…
    I think I would have to side with nurture.
    No one in my family is a picky eater and it was the norm growing up in my house to have the majority of our meals vegetable based and to have fruit as a dessert. What we were given was never second guessed or questioned, and my mother made it a priority for us to eat healthfully. I am very very thankful for that.

  12. Ugh – food advertising is so terrrible.
    I think picky eating is a result of nature and nurture. I think children exposed to more foods will be more likely to eat more variety and often healthier foods, but I’ve also nannied and babysat for children whose parents fed them more real foods and they were still very picky eaters.
    I do think parents’ and adults’ attitudes about food are extremely influential. If you tell your child that brussel sprouts are gross, they will probably think that too.

  13. Hi Faith!
    Can you give some info on sprouting the quinoa (and other things)? I sprouted years ago but I don’t remember what I did, duh! I just found my sprouting jars in the basement (as I clean out for our move) and I’d like to get started again. Funny…I also just found one of the old glass juicers in a kitchen cabinet that I think belonged to my Grandmother. I forgot I had it! Thanks for any info on the sprouting!

    • Hi, This is my first time sprouting quinoa but I will pass on what I read and let you know in a few days how they do. Yesterday I soaked them for about 8 hours, rinsed 3 times, and set to drain. I will rinse them morning and evening and drain until they sprout (2 days?). Sprout on!

  14. weightchangeexhange

    A mother could only wish for all “picky” eaters like mine -who picked greens, and fruits and vegetables often over all else. My kids pick and choose which sweets are “worth” indulging and pick out the ones to discard. I encouraged them to pick their eating times starting and stopping.
    So I beg the question are picky eaters particular eaters made peculiar by the habits of their family and friends? So yes, nurture and yes, nature, Even in the same family we have different blood types, body types, dispositions and star positions.
    The usual concern with so-called picky eaters is not eating enough.
    Perhaps with awareness of childhood obesity volume will become less of an issue.

  15. Nicole

    It is definitely BOTH. I work in feeding disorder research…which means I work with kids who don’t eat, for a variety of reasons. The last commenter gave a great article…Jane Wardle is really good. Irene Chatoor is also a good name to watch out for–I think they have done some things together as well? Nature can definitely play a role, but once you have a kid or come across a kid that just plain won’t eat (certain things or sometimes at all) no matter what you try, you might open your mind to genetics and nature also being a factor. Great topic!

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