I am a picky eater. Though I hate the negative connotation that comes with that title. “Picky eaters” are for fussy four year olds. I just have a selective palate.
I’ve been a…picky eater for basically my whole life. Some of my worst childhood memories are battles with my parents after I refused to eat whatever it is my mother made for dinner. These battles went on for years until they basically gave up and decided that as long as I was eating healthy, I could eat what I like.
And what I like is basic. I would describe my food preferences as minimalist. I love pizza, but just plain cheese. I love pasta, but just with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I love vegetables, but prefer them raw and plain. That’s not too bad, right? I’m twenty years old, so I know what I like and don’t like.
But having an appetite like mine can be hard. My mom gets frustrated, my Italian grandmother is disappointed and I know my friends judge me. It’s unfortunate because I already kind of hate myself for being this way, so knowing other people are upset too is really disheartening.
But I know I’m not the only picky eater out there. So this post goes out to y’all selective eaters too. Here’s hoping that you relate. And if you’re not like us, I hope you at least understand how to better treat someone who has spent years and years being considered the ‘weird one’.
*Usher voice* These are my confessions.
- I like what eat. Yes, seriously. I LIKE plain pasta. I do.
- No, I don’t care to try that. Stop asking me. Yes, I’m sure.
- “You’d like it if you tried it!” I’d probably also like punching you in the face.
- That food looks gross. I won’t say it to your face, but I’m definitely thinking it.
- I’m sorry if I’m offending you by not eating the thing you made.
- I’m not a vegetarian. I just don’t like most meat. It has nothing to do with the animals.
- Telling me you used to be a picky eater but then grew out of it does not make me feel better.
- I have no plans to “grow out of it”.
- I probably will not regret not eating the thing.
- I’m fairly comfortable with my life.
- I am sorry that I make picking a restaurant difficult. I don’t do it on purpose.
- Think of being a picky eater like being gay. I didn’t choose to be this way.
- Stop asking “Oh, are you still a picky eater?” in such a condescending voice.
- What I eat doesn’t really affect you at all.
- I’m not offended that you want more normal food.
- I’d rather go hungry than eat something I don’t like.
- Just because I like raw tomatoes and tomato sauce on my pizza, it does not mean I’d like sun-dried tomatoes.
- I don’t care if things are all touching and mixed up in my stomach. I do not want it mixed up and touching on my plate.
- Just please be respectful. I’m not asking too much, am I?
Life is difficult enough for me without judgemental people relentlessly forcing me to “try new food” and “explore something different”. Food is something people should enjoy eating. I do enjoy what I eat, even if it is a little weird or you find it bland.
If you’re a parent to a picky eater, just know that it is manageable. You may have to do a little extra work, like making a separate plate of pasta on the side, or not putting dressing on all the salad, but it’s worth it to avoid a long, teary fight. I’m still eating healthy. Instead of eating meat, I get protein from almonds, cheese, kidney beans and milk. I know to cover the four food groups every day. The key is to find out what the main issue is with the food. For me, it’s largely a texture thing. Then it’s taste. By knowing that, my mother was able to work around that and she knows when to not pressure.
And I know I seem bitter and fed up, but really I’m not. I’ve learned to just go with the flow and ignore any comments or eye rolls. It’s my life. I just hope my future husband isn’t a foodie…