A little story. When I was just a little smidge of a child, my parents had a party. At that party was a bowl of Roquefort cheese dip, certainly nothing that many adults would have anything to do with, much less a three year old kidlet. However, much to my parents’ friends’ amazement, lil’ Danielle spent the whole day working her way through that dip, eating it like it was a fistful of Goldfish crackers. This demolition of the stinky cheese was only interrupted by the occasional black olive, which, and this is not confirmed but I’m sure it’s true, I would put on my fingers, waggle them around, and then eat them.
I was one of the legendary and nearly impossible to find children: The Adventurous Eater.
On the other hand, there was my brother. Four years younger, he had a specific list of things he would eat, and that was IT. No substitutions, no excuses. He also had texture issues and a vicious allergy to seafood. He was my polar opposite in regards to food: The Picky Eater.
How we existed in the same house, I will never know. Food was placed in front of me, and I ate it. It could be virtually anything with the specific exceptions of coconut (bleh!) and corned beef (hork!) and I would happily eat it. And if I was at a friend’s house and they had those verboten food items? I would eat them out of politeness. There was nothing I wouldn’t eat, and I have stuck with that mindset my entire life.
I have no explanation as to why I was the way I was, and my brother my exact opposite. We grew up with the same parents, in the same house, with the same meals. But where I would without fail clean my plate, my brother would sit in stoic silence until my mother made him something else to eat. I found this incredibly strange. Why would someone pass up asparagus? Or green peas? Or any vegetable at all, really? That was total madness in my eyes. Garlic mashed potatoes? Yes please! Salad? Who didn’t like salad? My brother, that’s who. And I knew it wasn’t an isolated incident, because my cousin was the same picky eater that my brother was. Plenty of kids, perhaps the majority, were picky eaters. It was not my brother, but me who was the weird one. But I didn’t care. I was too busy demolishing a bowl of vichyssoise and some shrimp cocktail (again, age 3) to mind that my parents’ friends were looking at me like I was the holy grail.
So as I grew up and my adventurous eating became less and less unique, I started to notice other people’s eating habits. I know grown adults who will not touch anything from the sea. Or who can look at a plate of food and mutter “a cucumber has touched this food, therefore I cannot eat it.” Or who feigned an allergy well into their 40s to hide the fact that they hated chocolate. CHOCOLATE. This is a true story.
But I guess every kiddo is different, just like every adult, and we all have our different preferences when it comes to food. Everyone has their own stories about the hard and fast rules they have when it comes to what they will and won’t eat. So I leave this article on an open note. Go to the comments and tell us what rules your kids have when it comes to food. Or what rules YOU have. Because nothing is more polarizing than the adventurous eater vs. the picky eater, and the rules are always interesting and hilarious.
Come on, you know you have Food Rules. Hit us up with them!