I have always been a picky eater. While it’s normal for most toddlers to scream ‘NO!’ and throw their food, it’s something I never grew out of. Well, the throwing part I did, but nine times out of ten, when a dinner is placed in front of me I’ll shake my head and make a vegemite sandwich. My parents have long grown used to this unfortunate habit, and while they do not agree with it, they are usually kind enough to give me things I actually like for dinner, which is a long list comprising of plain chicken, Asian dishes (but nothing with pork), satay beef and noodles, salad, spag bol, lasagne, margherita pizza, sausages, tacos and fast food. If they decide to rebel and serve something like *shudder* seafood, pork or lamb, it’s straight to the cupboard for some Mi Goreng or to the sandwich toaster for a good ol’ cheese toastie (definitely holding the ham).
It’s not just dinner though, breakfast proves to be a problem as I can’t stomach eggs, bacon or cereal (the exception being Coco Pops). Luckily, Vegemite Toast is a favourite, so we just stay stocked up on bread, butter and Vegemite and all is right with the world. I’m not a fan of potato either. I honestly only forced myself to begin eating hot chips a few years ago, and still can only eat the really thin ones. Mashed Potato is enough to…urgh. Just no.
Unless we head to one of our many local Asian establishments or to Taco Bill, eating at a restaurant with me is a nightmare, as nine times out of ten I’ll look at the menu and discover I don’t like a single thing on it. Sometimes a pittying waiter will allow me to order of the kids menu (chicken nuggets will always be a favourite) but generally I’m stuck with numerous salady entrees and as much bread as I can eat. My parents must really get a headache.
The thing is, while my long suffering parents put up with my terrible habits back home, and friends know enough to instruct their families on what can and can’t be eaten when I visit, over here, no one knows anything. I wish I could tell you that being forced to try everything has opened my palate to an amazing realm of tastes and foods I never knew existed, but I’d be lying through my
teeth keys. Some of the food is fine – chicken and carrot and pizza and cheese. Some others are…harder to stomach. I drew the line at tasting fish (the smell is enough to make me want to be sick), but when my host parents delightfully told me they’d made the region speciality of mashed potato and smelly cheese, I couldn’t say no. I managed two mouthfuls. Mashed potato is so much worse than I remember. Thankfully the bread they have here is amazing (although I decline the brown bread my host mum makes and stick to the lovely processed white loaf) so if the dinner (or lunch. Lunch is a three course meal here) is looking particularly in the red zone, I’ll just munch on a slice (or five) of that. Yogurt is my other safe guard – a container or two after dinner is quite filling.
My weakness, of course, is everything sweet. No one has a bigger sweet tooth than me, so all the patisseries over here are definitely going to be my downfall. Thankfully my Host Family is super healthy, but let me loose on a shopping expedition with friends and I’ll be guaranteed to have eaten at least two eclairs by the end of it. Om nom nom.
After all is said and done though, I am not alone in my sufferings as a Picky Eater. Scientists in the USA are considering renaming ‘picky eaters’ ‘selective eaters’ and classifying it as an eating disorder. Apparently we can’t help ourselves; it’s a psychological condition. What they say makes sense though – they say we all like french fries, pasta, white bread and plain pizza (all true for me), and are turned off food by sight, smell and texture (smell and texture are my two big ones. Smell is the most important factor, if something smells bad I can’t eat it. I can’t even put it near my mouth. Probably why I love all things sweet; they all smell amazing!).
Are any of you guys as fussy as me? Or did you all grow out of it in toddlerhood?
frangipani princess xoxo