Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Picky Eaters Rejoice - You can still be healthy!!

THIS JUST IN... Just because something has been determined to be a healthy food and other people like to eat it, doesn't mean I have to like it too!!  You just don't hear folks talking about how "healthy" food tastes compared to the fattening junk food that so many people (including me) enjoy.  It seems like when we decide to change and become healthier people, living healthier lives, eating healthier food, our tastebuds should just automatically fall in line.  Well, that doesn't always happen, does it?  

My dad and mom accidentally raised a picky eater - me.  When I was a child, I could not STAND a number of foods cooked in our house - certain foods would literally make me gag - at the dinner table - while my parents were trying to eat.  Meatloaf, boiled squash, stew, peas, carrots, were just some of the foods.  My dad would get so tired of hearing/watching me try to eat that he'd finally just yell "JUST LET HER EAT CEREAL!!!!"  I wasn't faking the reaction - not even a little, but looking back, I feel so bad for doing that because I'm sure it made my mom feel like crap.  I know when my kids would turn their noses up at meals I just spent time cooking, it would definitely get under my skin <mild understatement there>.  

Don't get me wrong though, my mom also cooked really great meals too.  My absolute favorite was her chicken and rice.  But of course as we get older and have families of our own, we bring our own tastes to the table.  So, oddly enough, I never fed my kids meatloaf, boiled squash, stew, peas, carrots, etc.  Turns out, my kids love meatloaf AND peas AND carrots!! Ewwww!  They found this out by hanging out with friends, school lunch, etc.  But one ended up being a picky eater anyway, just like her mom.  So, I made the rule that everyone has to try a couple bites of something "new" (even me).  Most of the time we like it well enough to finish the meal.

I continue to test my own taste buds on previously detested foods.  I keep trying different friends' meatloaf because EVERYONE says I'll LOVE THEIR meatloaf.  But I don't.  I learned how to control the gag reflex for the most part now, but meatloaf still doesn't taste good to me.  I try peas every 5 years or so, same with carrots.  Stew is ok now - as long as I don't eat the mushy carrots!  And I have yet to try squash again because I have no idea how to cook it outside of boiling it - and I already know that way doesn't taste good.  

I realize the "healthy" foods I don't care for are indeed good for me and the junk food I used to crave is not.  So I do keep an  eye open for new recipes, websites, and blogs to keep pushing those tastebud boundaries.  

Finding Katie's site was sooooo cool!  She does so much with so many healthy foods (that actually taste good too!).  Recently, I read one of her posts that was of particular interest to the picky eater in me.  She was talking about how when she tried first tried chia seeds...   Turns out she didn't really care for them, but later, she came up with a recipe that she really did like.  And like her post says "...eating something just because it's good for you?  Ridiculous!"  

"If you aren't big on a certain food, there are plenty of ways to get all your nutrients somewhere else. For example, my sister hates bananas. So she gets her potassium from foods she does like, such as yams, spinach, and broccoli. No big deal. Remember that mental health is an important component to overall health, too. If you're choking down foods you detest, your mental health will suffer!" (from Chocolate Covered Katie:  http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/07/07/never-ending-oatmeal-bowl/ )

So there it is.  The light has finally dawned on my and my tastebuds. While I truly wish that I could automatically enjoy every single healthy food, it's ok if I don't and it's ok if you don't either.  It's ok if I don't like peas or cooked carrots or even meatloaf.  Rest assured those nutrients can be found elsewhere.  I will keep trying new recipes to cook and I will continue to try new foods.  I'm just not going to force myself to eat something just because it's "healthy".  (quietly stepping off my soapbox now...)

I hope you had an excellent day!


  1. You'll laugh because the only vegetables I grew up eating were cucumbers and carrots - both raw. I HATED cooked veggies.

    It turns out my Mom overcooked every veggie! I didn't TRY cooked veggies until I met my now husband when I was 32 (I am not 45). The first time I tried perfectly cooked broccoli, carrots, asparagus - oh my! I was missing out!

    Now I am lost if I run out of baby spinach. :D

    1. How funny!! I was the EXACT same way - hated any cooked veggies (well, except corn). My mom overcooked them for sure, but I think my dad put so much salt and butter on his that it didn't matter.

      I'm in to roasting a lot of my veggies now


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