When Did Anderson Cooper Come Out…

As a fussy eater?

It seems that Anderson also dislikes fruit and vegetables. I am baffled at why he would attempt to eat spinach on the air. That’s not exactly what I would select as the first vegetable to try – and I certainly wouldn’t want to try it in front of millions of people. He might have been better off trying sweet potato fries, or honey glazed roasted carrots. Then again, I don’t know what kinds of food Anderson does like. I tried those because I have a sweet tooth. I don’t know if he does. What I do know is that you are more likely to enjoy something that has the same qualities as something else you like. That’s why sweet vegetables were a little more palatable to me than celeriac which is firmly planted in the dislike category, just slightly above the “Stroganoff Column“. Work with what you like and you are more likely to find new foods you’ll eat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM8KWZM0VAY

http://www.andersoncooper.com/2011/09/26/anderson-eats-spinach-for-the-first-time/

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/12/01/anderson-cooper-eat-your-vegetables/

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The Bitter End

So far I’ve examined some of the more subjective reasons that some people are fussy eaters. Today, I want to look into one of the more scientific reasons. Some fussy eaters dislike bitter foods. Well, it turns out that may have it’s roots in the early days of hunting and gathering. These days we know what plants are poisonous and avoid them by name or sight. Back then, they had to rely more on taste and, apparently, a lot of poisonous plants have a bitter taste. If you ate them you would get sick and possibly die. Early man often had a dislike of the bitter tastes of these plants. Maybe it was from seeing others eat berries and die. Perhaps they ate them, got sick and lived – only to avoid them in the future. Who knows?

To this day, some people dislike bitter foods. Could that be part of an age-old defense mechanism? Perhaps. Still, why some people choose to eat foods like sour cream or Limburger cheese is beyond me. I suppose it has something to do with people not dying after eating them. Personally, I’m not about to take the chance.

Fear of the Unknown

I’ve discussed some of the reasons I don’t like some foods – like the way it smells, feels, or looks. I started to think about a lot of the foods I don’t like, or rather, say I don’t like – even some of the ones I now eat like tacos. As I thought about it more, I realized that sometimes it’s just a fear of the unknown.

It’s a little hard to admit, but sometimes I won’t try something just because I’m afraid of how it might taste. Even if it doesn’t smell bad or look bad I’m still worried that it will somehow gross me out. Fortunately, this is the one aspect of fussiness that I do have some control over. I have made up my mind that I will at least try something before I say I don’t like it (unless it smells revolting). It’s not going to be easy, but I am going to try to be more open to new foods.

So is there anything that you think I might like? Give me a recipe and I’ll try it and let you know how it turns out.

A Subtle Difference

There is a subtle, yet huge, difference between the phrases “I don’t like …” and “I don’t think I like …”. More often than not, fussy eaters use the first one when they actually mean the second. Perhaps subtle isn’t the right word to describe the difference. Most non-fussy people know it quite well and usually ask the follow-up question “Have you tried it?”.

You see, fussy people are really more likely to think they don’t like something they haven’t tried yet. I say I don’t like most fruits and vegetables, but in all honesty I’ve tried only a few of each. That’s why I was willing to pick up celeriac at the Farmer’s Market last weekend. I’m planning on making an effort to try more of the things I say I don’t like, but haven’t actually tried.

Are there any fruits or vegetables you think I might like? Keep in mind that I have a major sweet tooth.

Judging a Book By Its Cover

I’ve already mentioned how the smell or texture of food can turn off a fussy eater. So can the overall look. This is a very strong psychological factor in what I will try. Even an incredibly tasty dish will be turned away if it looks awful.

I’m actually a little turned off by Red Velvet Cake even though I know it’s just food coloring that makes it red. I do like it, but it’s hard to overcome the feeling the red color gives me. Cake isn’t supposed to be red. Brown, yes. Yellow, yes. But not red!

Many people love a nice colorful meal. To me that just means it has vegetables or fruit in it and I generally don’t go for that. Corn is the most colorful food I like.

Unfortunately, how appealing food looks is very subjective. Just because you think it looks delicious, doesn’t mean your fussy eater will. You should try to think about the food they like. Do they have a particular look in common? Try new foods that have that same look. Remember, always build from what a fussy eater does like.

So what food looks bad to you? Have you ever been surprised at how a dish tastes based on what you thought it looked like? Let me know.

Guilt By Association

There are many reasons a fussy eater might dislike a particular food. It might smell bad to them. It might feel strange in the mouth. Sometimes, it’s just what I like to call “guilt by association”. I don’t like onions. Scallions are sort of onions. Therefore, I don’t like scallions. I don’t like ranch dip. It’s one of only a few foods that just the smell nearly makes be gag. I won’t be trying Cool Ranch Doritos anytime soon because of the association with ranch dip.

When trying to find new foods for your fussy eater, make sure you keep this in mind. They aren’t likely to like or even try something if it reminds them too much of something else they don’t like.

Sitting at the dinner table

As a young child, I spent many nights sitting at the dinner table until bedtime in front of a plate of something I didn’t like.

For some parents, telling a child they must sit there until they finish their meal works. From my experience I can tell you it doesn’t work on every child.

If you do try this approach, I’d suggest you keep in mind the degree to which the child dislikes something – and also the stubbornness of the child.

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