Picky Eaters Annoymous

On our second date, my husband and I were at a restaurant and he ordered a cheeseburger with no lettuce.

“You don’t like lettuce?” I asked.

“No,” he replied, concerned I thought he was a freak.

“I don’t either!” I said, beaming.

While “doesn’t like lettuce” wasn’t officially on my list of “Future Husband Essential Qualities,” it sure seemed like a “sign” {wink, wink} that we were headed in the right direction.

I reportedly turned down pizza at a birthday party as a child. I can remember stubbornly sitting at the dining room table long after everyone else had finished, refusing to eat something that had been served. At Girl Scout camp, where we were “required” to take three bites of every food on our plate, I pushed my food around enough so it appeared I had taken some bites. I’ve sent countless untouched salads to the trash at banquets and receptions, and I always order sandwiches, burgers and tacos sans lettuce.

So, there you have it. I am a picky eater. I married a picky eater. We are raising three potential picky eaters.

A problem with being a picky eater is I miss out on eating a lot of foods that are good for my body. Another problem is if I avoid eating certain foods, my kids, by default, will also avoid eating those foods and possibly have a harder time eating them in the future.

A recent lunch of mine. There's lettuce with the salad, but not on the tacos yet.

A recent lunch of mine. There’s lettuce with the salad, but not on the tacos yet.

In my journey to live a healthier life, I have had to force myself to eat some foods I vowed to never try. And I have found some success, with slow, gradual changes. (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? 🙂 )

Over the past several years, much of my ventures into eating more vegetables came from getting garden produce from my in-laws and being invited by a friend to do some garden sharing. (A woman from my church invited several of us to come out weekly to her farm to work in the garden. This is a fabulous idea if, like me, you don’t have the best yard for your own garden. Find a friend with a better location and garden with her. Fresh produce plus friendship, it’s a win-win.) Having your kids help with growing plants is also a good way to get them to try new foods. It really is fascinating to grow and eat your own food. If it works for me, it ought to work for my kids.

So, anyway, when I had asparagus, broccoli and green beans fresh from the garden, I was forced to eat them. I still don’t love asparagus, but I ate some for lunch just the other day. And, I discovered that I do love steamed broccoli and green beans. People always told me to try broccoli with cheese, but I actually don’t like it that way. Just plain is good! I’ve never eaten lettuce from the garden, but I suspect I will this year. Brace yourselves, people! 😉

My first attempt at trying lettuce was a few months ago. Well, let me backtrack. My Mom says I used to eat lettuce as a small child, and she wonders if I choked on some or something, because I suddenly quit eating it. Thirty some years later I tried lettuce again, heavily covered in ranch dressing (ranch is my friend) at a pizza buffet restaurant. That way, it wasn’t too much of a big deal if I didn’t eat it all. And, I survived. I don’t love it, but I’ve been buying it and eating it lately. I’m finally a grown up.

Food prepared for us in China.

Food prepared for us in China.

One of the things that really got me over my fear of trying new foods was traveling to China. I know, it’s kind of weird, but I went to China about two years ago. My brother and his wife were living there for his job, and my sister did a study abroad program there though her college at the same time, so it seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My husband and I scrapped our idea of a tropical 10th anniversary trip and headed to the other side of the world. Our biggest fear: the food. We don’t eat Chinese food in the States. (We’re picky, remember?) So, we thought we might starve for 10 days in China. We didn’t! We survived, had a great time, and even tried some new foods — and liked them! {Gasp!}

But, seriously, you don’t have to go to the other side of the world to get brave about trying new foods. Start small. Plant a vegetable in a pot. Order something different at your favorite restaurant. Stock up on ranch dressing. Whatever it takes, try something new. At worst, you don’t like it and you never have to try it again. At best, you find something you enjoy. And it’s good for you. And you feel better and look better because you eat it. Go you!

What’s a food you never eat that you feel like bravely trying sometime in the next few weeks?


Cori Drost

Cori is a wife, mom of three and random writer who is learning how to take small steps towards big goals. She tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, but a journey to learn how to run (something she always hated) has taught her a lot about gradual, slow change.


2 thoughts on “Picky Eaters Annoymous

  1. pamby57

    I missed this…I was just looking at Pintrest and saw Jess had pinned this. I thought the photo looked familiar…hmmm looks like Craig and Nicki’s dishes in China. It is!! Ha Ha…you go girl!!


  2. Pingback: Day 1: I Survived the First Day (and a Disclaimer) | The Journey

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