Confessions of an Adult Picky Eater

When I was growing up, the list of foods I liked was small. My parents even had to trick me into eating ice cream—they told me that rainbow sherbet was “Ariel’s ice cream,” and then I gobbled it right up. Too bad that trick didn’t work very well with anything else (“Ariel’s zucchini” or “Belle’s tomatoes” just don’t have the same ring to them).

I didn’t like practically anything. Some of the main foods I would eat were potatoes, pizza, pesto, spaghetti, bread, bananas, strawberries, juice, green beans (only canned ones), deli sandwiches, and the occasional carrot (only if it were uncooked). That pretty much covers it. How did my poor mom even keep me alive??

Tomatoes were especially offensive to me ever since I watched Honey I Shrunk the Kids, because there is a scene where the shrunken people end up walking underneath an armoire that has tons of dead cockroaches under it. The cockroach guts looked like tomato insides to me, and so it was over for me and tomatoes for years. Years. 

There was also the time I became deathly afraid of going to the bathroom after watching Indiana Jones,  but there’s not even really a logical explanation for that one. The moral of the story is: don’t let your emotional and/or dramatic children watch movies. Ever. The only good that will come of it is that you might be able to convince them to eat ice cream, and the benefits of that are negligible.

But around the time I started going to college, I realized that I needed to get over it. I began slowly trying things I didn’t like or had never tried before. That’s the catch with picky eaters: most of the stuff we don’t like, we haven’t tried. But no parent’s reasoning—”How do you know you don’t like it? You’ve never even tried it!”—can supersede the stubborn self-awareness of the picky eater, who is more than confident in his or her abilities to weed out things he or she probably won’t like than in his or her parents’ good will. Moms and dads, I’m sorry, but you’re really going to have to get more creative than “How do you know you don’t like it?” That tactic has been failing since at least 1991.

But in college, I got on the onion bandwagon . . . Then I tried pineapple and loved it . . . Then there was spinach (only raw though because seriously, cooked spinach is revolting) . . .  Next I conquered my aversion to scrambled eggs, followed by hard boiled eggs . . . And so on and so forth through many foods that are totally not offensive to my palate and are actually totally delicious.

I’m still working on it. Right now I’m trying to like bell peppers, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes. I’m definitely getting somewhere with them.

Foods I’ve totally given up on are the aforementioned cooked spinach and zucchini. Is there a food more disgusting than zucchini???? As a twenty-four-year-old woman giving it a go after about 16 years of abstinence, it still made me gag. There are some food relationships that just aren’t meant to be.

So what’s the point of all of this? There is no point, this is just a blog.


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