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vatblack 05-29-2012 07:24 AM

So, is picky eating genetic?
I have a household of 5, 4 are picky eaters. I'm the only who is not!

I'm rather sad that my dd takes after my husband and her half siblings (I mention the "half" because we are talking genetics, we never talk like that in the home)

Hubby's x wife has 3 sons from before her marriage to DH. They are not picky eaters, in fact, they are foodies and experiment a lot. (All 3 are adults).

My husband read articles long ago that made the assertion that picky eating is genetic and he sticks to that believe and does not worry too much about the kids eating habits. It has to do with the smells of the food and the taste buds apparently. (Sure I can google up the article if I wanted but I'm not in the mood to be scientifically correct now.)

I tried to worry and gave up. There is no way to get children to eat what they simply won't eat.

My DD drinks about a gallon of milk in 2 days. She eats mac and cheese, sometimes. She eats crackers, nutella or honey sandwiches (sometimes) and fruit: apples, raisons, craisins, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, pears and bananas (occationally), watermelon and cantaloupe. She eats raw carrots. I'm happy her range in terms of fruit and veg is wider than any of the others in the house.

DSD - She is only about white carbs and meat. Pizza - cheese topping only. The only fruit/veg she'll eat are raisins or dried blueberries.

DSS - Eats raw carrots and like his sister but won't touch hotdogs or hamburgers (unless I make turkey burgers). He eats apples and bananas, watermelon.

DH - Eats pretty much like his first two children but he will eat vegetables. He never LOVES food. No matter what I cook and how well or how bad, he always rates food as "okay" (and would sometimes add, "even with the vegetables".) He believes food is only fuel anyway. (So, why he doesn't burn better fuel escapes me!)

Of course, if I'll allow it, they'll eat all sorts of chips, muffins, cookies and candy. I don't allow it that much.

PBAki 05-29-2012 07:36 AM

Re: So, is picky eating genetic?
I've always wondered about this though I'm going to assume genetics is part of it.

Just like your DDS, our DD only eats vegies and fruits. She'll eat sliced ham and chicken but doesn't really like much of red meat. She pretty much eats what Kim ate during pregnancy.

I'm probably the only one in the household that's not a picky eater. I'll try everything and anything. Though I can remember my mom used to cook wide variety of dish and wasn't limited to anything in particular.

pcjs 05-29-2012 07:44 AM

Re: So, is picky eating genetic?
I think it is a combination but it depends on the child. I am a horribly picky eater and now my son is. We don't have the same genetics. He's a scary clone of me in many ways so for us its nurture. His birthparents are great eaters as is his brother.

vatblack 05-29-2012 07:56 AM

Re: So, is picky eating genetic?
If it is nurturing, I'm bummed that my LO went with daddy's nurturing and not mommy's! LOL.

Arabesque 05-29-2012 08:01 AM

I think it's genetic. DS is a horribly picky eater, but DH and I are not. However, my mother is incredibly picky, and so is DH's sister. We must have had the picky eating genes lurking in our DNA.

greencrunchymama 05-29-2012 08:20 AM

Re: So, is picky eating genetic?
I read somewhere that babies develop tastes for things while in utero through things you eat, so if you don't eat a variety of things they may be pickier. Who knows if that's true though :giggle:

doodah 05-29-2012 08:23 AM

Re: So, is picky eating genetic?
I dont think so at all.....

if these same kids were starving, they would eat anything and everything if they had to. When I was growing up dirt poor, I ate EVERYTHING offered. Now that we are middle class, yes, I can get picky and it is clearly a choice due to overabundance. The only exception I can think of is special needs kids that cannot tolerate certain textures due to swallowing issues and that type of with allergies and stuff.

I personally think that a lot of times, picky eaters are created.

I have three kids and they are not picky eaters. We also eat what is offered, no other options and I will let them go without a meal if they CHOOSE not to eat what is offered. Same thing with my daycare kids and ALL of my daycare kids eat very well for me and the parents complain that they are picky at home. Good eating habits are created as well.

chandni3 05-29-2012 08:25 AM

Re: So, is picky eating genetic?
I think it might be. My friend at work is a very picky eater and we were talking about it and she said most vegetables taste really bitter to her.

carriek38 05-29-2012 08:50 AM

Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Originally Posted by chandni3 (Post 15165683)
I think it might be. My friend at work is a very picky eater and we were talking about it and she said most vegetables taste really bitter to her.

I was just thinking about this. In general response to the OP, I think it's a combination. But specifically, I think this idea of "Supertasters" and "Undertasters" is valid & likely has a genetic link. I think this would influence which foods a child or adult prefers. Like Doodah said--I don't think (most) picky eaters would starve to death rather than eat something they don't prefer, but as a "supertaster", I taste things that DP can't taste. Spicy things are extra spicy, I've been known to rinse my food b/c it's too salty, she frequently prepares our meal & poultry separately b/c she likes seasonings & things that I won't eat. As in, she only puts Montreal Steak seasoning on her half of a steak b/c it's too strong for me. I don't eat black pepper. I won't eat anything that I deem "too herb-y". There flavored things that I don't eat...anything raspberry flavored leaves a nasty aftertaste for me, even if it's flavored w/ real raspberry. I can't mix my food--it's like a cacophony in my mouth. DP does most of the cooking, b/c anything I cook ends up being really bland...but I give her all the credit in the world for putting up w/ my weird food stuff, b/c I'm not just picky, but I have weird eating habits, too. DP, on the other hand is one of the least picky people I know...she's an undertaster. So she's almost like a food thrill-seeker :giggle2:. She likes to try new things, new seasonings, etc.

DD seems to be somewhere in the middle. DP's whole family seems to be undertasters, & DD really likes some very strongly-flavored foods that I wouldn't expect from a toddler (she'll only eat avocado w/ spritz of balsamic vinegar on it, she'll eat sauerkraut until she's sick, she thought jalapeno pepper jelly was about the best food ever, & she loves spicy rice & beans), so I think that's about the genetics--she's probably a normal to undertaster...but she's also a bit picky about things. I get the "normal" toddler fickle-ness, but tomatoes & most tomato products are out, squash is out, green beans are out, etc. Between that & picking up some of my idiosyncrasies around eating habits (don't mix food together, eat all of one thing before moving on to the next, anything too saucy is de debil), that's obviously nurture ;)

paper_girl_76 05-29-2012 08:53 AM

Re: So, is picky eating genetic?
I think there can be a predisposition to be picky(based on tastebuds), and it can be encouraged or discouraged depending on how you deal with food.

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