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Old 03-26-2011, 12:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
As I said before, I cook for me. Shrek is the one with Diabetes. It took me a while to realize that it is HIS responsibility to eat correctly for his health, not mine. He attended all the nutrition classes, he understands and he chooses to ignore it...that's his right.

My problem was, I was looking at it as a failure on my part as a wife and a nurse. It took discussion with a therapist to find out it wasn't my problem. It hasn't stopped me caring, but it has stopped the conflict and my feelings of anger and despair.
Now you've got it! I think some of the wives/cooks in the family view themselves as failures because of their inability to satisfy everyone. Well, guess what, that's not your job. Someone told me a saying a long time ago that makes worlds of sense, in many areas of life, and that is:

"If you try to please everyone, you wind up pleasing no one."
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:10 PM   #22
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That realization removed 75% of my daily anxiety.

Now I have time to worry about me...never endiing!
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:58 PM   #23
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My problem was, I was looking at it as a failure on my part as a wife and a nurse. It took discussion with a therapist to find out it wasn't my problem. It hasn't stopped me caring, but it has stopped the conflict and my feelings of anger and despair.
You have hit the nail on the head. When we try to prepare healthy meals for s/one we love and the person won't eat it or criticizes it, we feel we have failed, that we're doing something wrong.

This whole thing with my mother's heart issues and now dementia, has been very hard for my brother and me because our father is the stumbling block. He refuses to cook ("it's your mom's job"), so instead he will pick up canned soup, boxed mixes, canned chop suey--things that are not healthy for either of them. And then he complains about the cost of groceries. I think a lot of women suffer still suffer from the gender-bias we witnessed between our parents and that the guilt is now because we feel that we fail at being the caregivers our mothers or grandmothers were. I know I have felt as if I have failed her as a daughter because I can't take over. She took care of her mother. My grandmother took care of her MIL. I am still dealing with that. I've gotten better--I accept I cannot change the situation. I can just be supportive.

On a positive note, I was happy to see a weeklong segment on the local news about schools and "the lost arts." The local schools have started to introduce cooking, sewing, knitting, etc., in grade schools and high schools. One little tyke, he probably was nine, said "cooking's fun. I like it." And I thought, "his kids might not be obese." School systems skipped a beat--stopped teaching the "lost arts" and we now have a whole generation (or two) of people who grew up eating fast food, prepared foods, canned foods, and don't know how to cook. It isn't enough for city kids to know milk comes from cows, people need to know how to take the raw ingredients and cook.

Maybe there will be fewer picky eaters in the future. And, maybe more people will be concerned about what they eat and how it affects their health and longevity.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:22 AM   #24
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...
She wouldn't even try some of the regional foods here because they were "peasant" food and below her. Huh?
...
"Peasant food" varies by region. When I lived in the country, my Scottish ex-husband was gleeful at shooting a grouse. To him, grouse was something that rich folks ate. The locals, on the other hand, thought we were eating poor people food.

I worked with a Jamaican woman who told me that when she lived in Jamaica people considered conch to be poor people food. If one was poor and hungry one would sneak out at night and catch some conch at the beach and hope that the neighbours didn't find out.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:46 AM   #25
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When DH and I wed, he said he didn't like chicken. Within a few months of marriage he'd tried chicken prepared several ways by me (always starting with "that smells good," and ending with me convincing him to try it) and like them all. I pointed this out to him and asked how his mom usually prepared chicken.
"Well she'd boil it, or she'd put it on a cookie sheet with salt and bake it until it was dry."

Well, no wonder he didn't like it. In the past nearly 3 years he's gradually come around to a few more foods that his mom had tortured into submission and forced him to eat as a child. The trick with him is, either get him to try it at someone else's house (someone I trust in the kitchen), because then he'll eat almost anything just to be polite, and gradually branch out from what they made, or warm him up slowly to the idea. Like some people have mentioned on here, start with a small change, 1 new ingredient, to something he will eat. Add an extra veggie to a beef stew, and ask him to please try it.

I'm still working on this one with my husband, so I'm not an expert. Also, try to figure out his definitions of dislike. Does he dislike all things equally? Does "It's ok," mean the same thing in reference to all foods? For example, with my DH, if it's a vegetable, "it's ok" means he'll eat it around others to be polite, or maybe buried deep in a dish under other flavors, but if I serve it as a side, he's not touching it. Whereas, if it's a treat, like candy or a cookie, "it's ok" means "It's not as good as my favorite, but the package will still be gone within 48 hours."

I've made the mistake of trying to "hide" an ingredient he didn't like in a dish he did without telling him. I didn't do it to be sneaky, I did it because we were out of an ingredient he did like and I didn't discover it until halfway through the cooking process. After the meal when he asked what was in it, he was pretty upset because he thought I'd tried to trick him. He was insulted by the idea and also felt I was being dishonest. Fortunately after a brief argument this led to a talk. I apologized, but managed to get him to agree to be a little more willing to try things he thought he didn't really care for, and to trust me a little bit when I tell him he might like it. It will just take time and patience, I suppose. Good luck with yours!
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:46 AM   #26
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One solution to picky eaters? Don't marry them! I don't know how to do little faces and stuff, but laugh here. There is now way in hades you can sneak in a vegetable. It just won't happen. If he likes a salad or cole slaw, you can maybe get away witgh serving it first so at least he'll take a few bites before the meat and 'taters. But at some point you just have to tell him, guess what? I've taken out a lot of life insurance on you.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:51 AM   #27
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My somewhat picky eater is willing to try just about anything and give it an honest try. He prefers his vegis raw, especially cauliflower, brocolli, and cabbage. Actually we both agree that cabbage should be only very lightly cooked, if at all - except the Danish dish, rødkål, made with red cabbage.

He doesn't like raw tomato. He doesn't like shrimp or lobster (arthropods, "They are water spiders."). He gets nauseous at the smell of Brussels sprouts, which I really like. He doesn't like eggplant, but is fine with it as an ingredient if it is chopped up (I prefer it that way too). Doesn't like cucumber unless it's baby dill pickles.

Then there's the beans. He likes all the dried beans and I dislike all of them except black beans. I like green beans and wax beans, but he dislikes those.

He isn't very fond of "slab o' beef" and I love steak, rare or at most, medium rare. If he eats steak, he wants it well done (I keep telling him that's why he isn't so fond of steak )

He didn't like stew, but he likes mine. He is willing to try pot roast again. I think the problem was the parsnips. He hates them. I think they add a nice touch to stews and pot roasts, but I don't think they are essential.

I think we should eat the foods we like and give the other ones an honest try. If you still don't like it, then don't force yourself to eat it - it might not be good for you. If you have learned to listen to your body, it will tell you what's good for it and what isn't by whether it tastes good or bad. We are all different and what's good for me might not be good for you.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:19 AM   #28
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Just as Sprout pointed out, many, if not most, picky eaters are the result of BAD COOKING!!!

Just as some people aren't cut out to be parents, some aren't made to be cooks but have that responsibility thrust upon them... usually the result of marriage (another reason to stay single! ) So, with a lack of interest and with a sense of inadequacy, meals are born that are over-cooked, undercooked, dry, unseasoned, over-seasoned plates of malcontent that members of their family come to expect as "Momma's cookin'." Sad... very sad!

It is incumbent upon the rest of us to clean-up after our loved but misguided progenitors and teach their off-spring what good food is truly about.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:30 PM   #29
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My dad had a rule for that and I've used the same rule. "You don't like that Sweetie, I'm sorry, supper's over for you". It's worked for 53 years at our house.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:57 PM   #30
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Picky eating a result of bad cooking? NOT. At least not in any cases I know. Usually more an attention-getting ploy. My mother was a great cook, and I have three siblings. Only one was a fussy eater (and grew out of it). Sure wasn't Mom's cooking. Now this sib will eat virtually everything, and if disliking something, is subtle about it. But as a kid, holey moley, all meals were big attention getters. As adults, I try to honor friends who are vegans, vegetarians, allergies, etc (luckily no one I'm close to has such problems), but other places I've lived I've seen my vegetarian friends ordering extra bacon on their pizzas. So give it up.

Husband's diabetes has pretty much gone away (I'm sure it will re-surface)(controlled by diet), but even that didn't turn him into a fussy eater. I told him I'd cook if he counts, my math is incredibly bad. But he pretty much eats almost everything, just controls how much of it he eats, when he eats it.

One "bad cooking" exemption I'll make is over-cooked cruciferous vegetables. They smell to high heaven, and put a lot of people off them. Gray brocolli, mushy cabbage, moosh cauliflower. All have a strong odor (oh, let's not forget kidneys, which smell like what they are), and makes it hard for people, especially kids, to get past them, and puts them off for life in a lot of cases.
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