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Old 11-20-2014, 05:28 AM   #1
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Question Catering to Picky eaters??

Does ayone cater to picky eaters? With my kids, nope, they grew up eating the way I cook and what I cook. I mean, I am not mean about it, they have to try TWO bites of everything. I am a firm believer in that our tastebuds change. I hated cheese...I know right...when I was little. Cheese was such an enemy that if you got me a cheeseburger Happy Meal you would be faced with a very unhappy little blue eyed girl. I wouldn't touch anything with cheese with a 10 foot pole and NOW I have at least 5 different kinds of cheese in the fridge at all times and I love every kind of cheese. And MUSHROOMS, don't get me started on my unreasonable disgust of mushrooms when I was under double digits of age...

My son does not like tomatoes, but will humor me and eat a few grape tomatoes in his salad. My daughter does not like pickles, but loves my pickle brined fried chicken. My boyfriend does not like pickles, mustard, tomatoes, salad, peppers, I do and do not cater to him when cooking. I don't put chunks of tomatoes or mushrooms in his food, but I still leave other ingredients in my recipes but mince them and "test" him to see if he can pick it out in my dishes. If he doesn't say anything I keep making it the way I always have but take the extra time to mince it all (ugh) but if he does notice he doesn't like the flavor of something and starts asking me what is in it I will sometimes leave the unliked ingredient out of that dish.

In Joe's defense, he has never ever been around someone who loved to cooked. When I moved in with him he did not even have salt. The fridge and pantry was filled with few items and most were expired by years, yes YEARS.

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Old 11-20-2014, 12:18 PM   #2
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My wife had it right. Put it on the table. Eat it if you want to. If you did not want to, you could go to bed hungry.
Of course we always tried to make meals everyone would enjoy.
You cannot please everyone, every time.
So there were nights one or more of our kids went to bed hungry. To bad!
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:32 PM   #3
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I never tolerated making special meals for kids. I had to eat what was served and so did my kids.

As adults, they have some likes and dislikes I cater to when I cook for them. The worst I have to deal with is my SonIL who hates too many things I use all the time. By way of example, I cannot find one vegetable to serve for Thanksgiving dinner that everyone will eat. SO, my younger daughter and I love butternut squash. My elder daughter and her family won't touch it. Also, they all don't like the same veggies. I gave her the assignment of bringing green veggies they will all eat.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:58 PM   #4
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I never did cater to my kids, until my number 4 was born. This kid eats nothing. Literally, she will eat bread all day or nothing if it comes to it, she will cry and throw up from hunger, but she will not eat what she doesn't like. And let me tell you she doesn't like pretty much anything on the table. She eats potato, noodles, certain kind, for example she will eat elborony but do not even come close with spaghetti, she will not touch it. She eats breaded fried chicken breast but will not touch deep fried sweet and sour chicken. She will eat tomato cucumber salad if it has oil/vinegar dressing, but will not touch if it is oil/lemon juice. I usually do not specifically cater for her, she just finds some cereal and milk that she will eat while everybody eat dinner, but if I have chicken breast I will make it just for her. Even taken her to doctors. She will not touch things she doesn't want. The taste and don't eat if you do not like rule, also doesn't work, because it is as if she knows in advance that she is not going to like it. She went to camp last summer. The other two girls told me that she did not eat anything but bread for two month.
And instead of getting used to new foods, she slowly excludes the old ones. She used to eat chicken soup, not anymore, she used to like lox, forget about. There are more examples. I out of my wits with her.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:58 PM   #5
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Picky eaters? Yep, there are some but in our house, as others have already stated, what's on the table is what they were expected to eat. And, as the OP said, we weren't mean about it. It was simply how our household was run. To this day my children have very few food objections and will, at least, try new foods.

Like, Andy, I grew up with the "eat what's on your plate" rule and, for the most part, I did. My youngest sister was/is a bit of a renegade and is known for speaking her mind.

During one of our evening meals when she wasn't particularly enamored of something being served, one of my parents reminded her of "all the starving children in (fill in the blank here)." She replied by telling them to send her plate to them. She was immediately sent to her room which, in a way, got her what she wanted. She didn't have to eat what she was objecting to.

On the other hand, one of my grandsons is the pickiest eater I have ever seen and, sadly in my view, he's almost enabled by his parents. He eats very little. Complains about nearly everything and his steady diet has been little more than frozen chicken nuggets and Hershey's kisses.

He came to our house to visit a couple summers ago and I couldn't believe what he turned down/complained about. All the fresh veggies from the garden didn't meet his satisfaction. The fresh fish from the pond wasn't to his liking, but he did eat some of the breading. I made homemade yeast cinnamon rolls/sticky buns for breakfast one morning and he turned his nose up at them. We just let his parents coddle and cajole him into eating whatever they brought with them or could scrounge. There was nothing we could do ourselves.

I worry about him but his parents are the ones who have to see he's not getting the balanced foods he needs to grow and become a strong child. His life is all about video games and TV. He was appalled during their visit when we wouldn't allow the TV to be on 24/7. The pool outside, bicycles and basketballs/goal were never even investigated.

Okay, I went on a bit of a side street but, I think in some way, picky eaters are enabled or encouraged by those around them, especially their parents. Throw in a divorce and the situation becomes even more serious and complex.

I raised 8 children and, yes, there were food items that one or another wouldn't touch. But...there was always enough of a balanced variety for them to eat a full meal without having to choke something down they "thought" they didn't like.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:21 PM   #6
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I don't believe in catering to picky eaters.

I also don't believe in turning the dinner table into a war zone or forcing children to eat things they do not like.

I only ask that children try things. If they don't care for certain things that is fine, they don't have to eat them.

The thing I can't stand is listening to children or adults whine and drone on about the things that they don't like or can't stand during a meal.

A simple no thank you is all that is needed.

The peanut butter and jelly is in the kitchen cupboard, help yourself!
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:03 PM   #7
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I don't run a restaurant so I don't take special orders when I cook.

As I always told my daughter, "If you don't like it, you know where we keep the bread and peanut butter."
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:36 PM   #8
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My youngest daughter was my picky eater. She was so bad that when she was in the fourth grade, it came to the point where she became seriously anemic. The doctor put her on iron liquid. Getting it into her was a battle royal. I made a big pot of spaghetti and meatballs. At least I was getting some meat into her. I even added about an ounce of liver into the meatballs. Meatball sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs for breakfast. Spaghetti and meatballs around the clock. At least I was getting the iron she so desperately needed into her. Then one night I was serving beet stew. It was nice and hot and steaming right off the stove. She asked for a small bowl. I almost fell over. She ate the meat and the carrots and potatoes. Not the turnip. I had only given her a small bowl. I still have the 'getti and meatballs on standby. She then asked me if she could just have the broth. I gave her a large cup of it. She broke up some crackers into it and took right to it. I was winning the battle. One of the kids started to make a smart remark. A quick whack on the back of the head shut that kid right up. Little by little she became willing to try new foods with just a bite. But she hated peas until the day she died. But she could never get enough pea soup. Go figure.

Our taste buds change as we get older. Every time she got pregnant she would crave foods that she thought she hated. But she was at least willing to try them. She was smart enough to know her kids needed veggies. So she introduced them one by one to each of her kids. A bite for you, a bite for me. She discovered that veggies were not as bad as she thought. But she refused to give her kids peas. That was fine by me. When I introduced them to my granddaughter, she loves them to this day.
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:07 PM   #9
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Never. You don't like what I cook, don't eat here. However, when I invite friends over, I do cater to their dislikes. I have one friend who doesn't like eggplant. I love eggplant. But, I don't make anything with eggplant when I invite her over. I don't have family that I have to cook for every day--if I did and they didn't like this or that, it would drive me crazy.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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I don't have children, so am not stuck in the problem of how you get a kid decent nutrition when they won't eat anything. I do remember many, if not most, of my childhood dinners being war zones because of a fussy sis who turned meal times into hell. All she liked was steak and shrimp. Huh? A sergeant with 4 daughters in the 60s? Not gonna happen. Not quite sure how she even knew she liked those foods, given that we had them so seldom that .... well, I just cannot imagine. Maybe she had them at a friend's house? She wouldn't eat ground beef or stuff like that (a staple), she wouldn't eat ... well, you name it, she'd take against it.


So when I cook I just tell the guests what I'm doing. I have a taste for and when I can get it, do such things as lamb, duck, rabbit, venison. I have a friend who wants to be invited any time I have anyone over, but won't eat little lamby-pie, bambi, thumper, etc. So I don't invite her. She says, I don't eat much anyway, so I should invite her anyway. Huh? Why should I cook for someone who will push food around her plate with a prissy look?


One time I had a roast hubby was grilling on the Weber. Unexpectedly, my sister's in-laws (different sister) came to dinner. My husband and I like our beef very rare. So I took it off the grill very rare, and was letting it sit before slicing thick pieces off the ends to put back on the grill for those who wanted well done. Her in-laws gathered around me and said "Oh, gross! that's terrible. Who would eat that? Yuck" many gagging noises. I wasn't through cooking it.


Ironically, we were cooking at my mother's house for the same group, a London Broil, and I sliced the ends (well done) and put them on one platter, and put the middle (rare, medium rare) on another. I was busy in the kitchen, husband was letting others go first, and when we got to the meat platter, all of the rare meat was GONE. All that was left was the well-done meat.


I learned the hard way. If you don't like what I'm cooking, stay home.
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