How come some people love avocados and others despise them? Why do some people enjoy beets and others cringe at the thought? I believe that pickiness with food is based on our subconscious memory of our initial interaction with that food. As a personal chef, I hear many stories from my clients about their past experiences of mushy green beans or overcooked meats and fish. I’m sure all of us can recall at some time being served food at a young age and told to finish what was on our plates. Maybe we were full, maybe the taste or feel of the food wasn’t to our liking, or maybe these nutrient dense foods just looked different, strange, and not appealing. Maybe we were enticed with dessert, or the ‘what about the starving kids in Africa’ speech. Either way, it may have created a judgement about the specific food or eating overall. These incidents may have been the starting of the picky eater label.
Another possibility for the cause of picky eating may be a family member or a friend who would only eat “strange foods” (ethnic, less desired cuts, out of a can, etc.) and based on the way the food smelled or looked we never wanted to try it. As a personal chef, I talk a lot about food with my clients. These are some of the reasons I hear from them about why, even as adults, certain foods are still avoided. However, is the past a good reason to avoid healthy, nutrient dense foods now? Foods like broccoli, carrot, pumpkin, chard, arugula, collard greens, or kale. Are we able to conceive that vegetables can be cooked properly so they can taste really good? We know personally that eating arugula, beets, or kale, very nutrient dense foods prepared without seasoning or plain, or overcooked/ undercooked is not very enjoyable. As a personal chef I continue to strive to try new foods and take underappreciated nutrient dense foods and prepare them in a way you can enjoy. Maybe I’ll puree them, or roast them to bring out their natural sweetness or even incorporate them in with other foods. Food is my passion, food is my profession; I am a personal chef. It’s my goal as a chef to create delicious meals with nutrient dense foods and help picky eaters try new foods. I believe that preparing nutrient dense foods correctly will help our picky eater friends overcome their fear of avocados, beets, salmon, kale, spinach, sprouts, broccoli and any other veggie. There are so many possibilities with food. My mission is to help us all love and appreciate food, one meal at a time.