You don’t grow out of it

I was one of those kids that mothers curse their children with when they get older, a challenging child “just like you”, who will make you apologize to your mother for all the grief you put her through. Full of the curiousity that killed the cat, stubborn, determined, too smart for her own good and eager to make sure everyone knew (correcting teachers was a favourite pastime).

I was — and still am — a very fussy eater. I could happily eat the same things on a regular schedule and never get bored. I don’t want to experiment, I don’t want to change things up. I don’t want to broaden my palate. My taste buds are perfectly happy, thankyouverymuch. My sister is not considered by anyone to be a fussy eater, yet she is more rigid in her eating habits than anyone I know, including me. The main difference between us, and the reason that I’m classified a fussy eater and she isn’t, is that she isn’t open about her dislikes. Unless you eat with her regularly, you’d never know just how particular she is. You’d never know that she  rejects new foods based on look or smell, even if she knows that she likes all of the ingredients that make up that food.

There are varying degrees of aversion that most people — not just fussy eaters — have towards various foods:

There are foods you wouldn’t eat if you were starving and they were all that was standing between you and death — mushrooms, any meat that looks like it actually came from a living creature (that includes insects and grubs, shellfish, anything with bones or recognizable body parts, and meat that is pink or bleeding), and tofu if I can smell it fall into that category for me.

There are foods you don’t like but could force yourself to eat if you had to in order to live (and I mean an immediate threat of starvation, not “eating grossitemA will help prevent diseaseB”) — bleu cheese, asparagus, cauliflower, refried beans, and creamed corn fall into that category for me.

And there are foods you’d prefer not to eat but could eat to be polite or because they are good for you — broccoli, wax beans, whole wheat anything, cashews, walnuts, tomatoes, and peppers fall into that category for me.

Fussy eating is something you don’t always grow out it. And there’s no reason you should have to. People really need to stop trying to make us feel ashamed for knowing what we like and don’t like. As long as your nutritional needs are being met by what you eat, why does it matter to anyone?