Reply Hey Mom! Learn more about the Gerber Life Insurance Grow-Up Plan!
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-29-2012, 11:08 AM   #21
Shaunam's Avatar
Shaunam
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,475
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Well I think picky eating often has something to do with sensory stuff and I believe that is genetic so, yes I believe it plays a part.

But I think a lot of it can be overcome, with the right attitude. I had sensory issues as a kid and there's still stuff I won't eat, but I did learn to eat things I didn't use to. Some of it was from when I was little and my mom insisted we eat veggies. She did everything from making a game of it, to giving them funny names. Other things I got the taste for from deliberately tying to be adventurous. Other things, like pregnancy, turned me on to things I used to hate.

My son can be very picky but we are slowly but surely adding new things to his diet all the time! The other day he ate fish and the week before, mashed cauliflower. He didn't love those things, but he didn't hate them either. Now he knows he can eat them without being grossed out.

I try to explain to DS that it's ok to "hate" foods. But more often though, you are just going to slightly "dislike" them. Not everything is going to be super duper yummy. You don't have to LOVE veggies to eat them. You eat them because they are good for you. I encourage him to get the food he dislikes out of the way, and save the yummy stuff for last. I don't ever force him to eat foods he "hates" (eggs) but I do encourage him to take just one bite of an unfamiliar food, or one he previously disliked, but is prepared in a new way.

This has gotten us past a lot hurdles. He might still be considered "picky" to some, but he's come a LONG way, from a toddler that used to gag on and vomit anything but liquids.

Advertisement

__________________
Shauna, mom to Adrian, 9 and Charlie, 6!
Shaunam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 11:11 AM   #22
carriek38's Avatar
carriek38
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ponyville
Posts: 9,133
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyful Tie Dyes View Post
I think it is 100% a learned behavior and a 1st world problem.

ETA: I am willing to accept that maybe a few people have better tastebuds than others. But in general I think ppl are picky b/c their parents allowed it.

Carrie your "eat all of one thing before eating another" reminds me of a close friend. She does that but also turns the plate so that the "chosen" food is at 6 o'clock LOL
I don't have to turn my plate But I can't eat something that leaves crumbs across something that crumbs will stick in. As in, I had a hot dog & mac & cheese this weekend. My choices were to eat the mac & cheese first or turn the plate so that I wasn't eating the [crumby] roll over the mac & cheese. (I ate the mac first)

And you know, there are some kids who would starve themselves rather than eat a food they don't like/won't eat. Those kids frequently have some sensory-integration stuff going on. But even though I wouldn't starve myself b/c of my pickiness, I have skipped meals, or even several meals b/c of the overload w/ food. Now, if a kid chooses it & tolerates it, I say let them skip a meal & see if tomorrow's breakfast is better than tonight's dinner. Most kids will get hungry enough after skipping a couple of meals to eat something. Of course, I had parents who forced sitting at the table until finishing the (small) portions of unliked/unwanted food. I frequently fell asleep at the table as a very young child (3-ish yrs). Likewise, if my cousins were picky or didn't clean their plates, their dinner leftovers became a "smoothie" for tomorrow's breakfast.

So yeah, this is a first world problem...but I live in the first world, I'm not going to pretend as though I don't, I'm not going to make apologies for it, & the recourse is also first world solutions. I mean, what's the other choice? You certainly can't starve your child until he or she learns to appreciate how privileged his or her food situation is? I hardly think so!
__________________
Carrie. Wifey to F, Mama to Baby Bear, Nugget, and Teeny.
carriek38 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 11:16 AM   #23
momtoGcubed's Avatar
momtoGcubed
Registered Users
Formerly: momtoGsquared
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Vermont
Posts: 4,469
My Mood:
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Definitely a combination, with other factors. Sensory issues are genetic and can lead to pickiness, so that's also a possibility.

I'm a very picky eater, but I've always bought new foods for my kids to try. They aren't picky and will eat most everything. My son isn't a big meat fan, but he's 4 so he may outgrow it. My husband won't try foods beyond what he ate in childhood, but has stopped making faces when I feed new things to the kids.
__________________
Becca- mommy to Genevieve, Griffin & Georgiana.
And Dante, always in my heart.
http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/momtoGcubed
momtoGcubed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 11:19 AM   #24
Shaunam's Avatar
Shaunam
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,475
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyful Tie Dyes View Post
I think it is 100% a learned behavior and a 1st world problem.

ETA: I am willing to accept that maybe a few people have better tastebuds than others. But in general I think ppl are picky b/c their parents allowed it.

Carrie your "eat all of one thing before eating another" reminds me of a close friend. She does that but also turns the plate so that the "chosen" food is at 6 o'clock LOL
So a kid who vomits all solid food from 6 months until age 2 1/2 learned it from his parents? Or, perhaps, there was a real medical problem that has nothing to do with living in a first world country? Sensory problems range in severity, from mild to severe. Kids with mild sensory problems probably wouldn't starve and would choke down the food, but when the problems are severe, there ARE kids who will starve themselves.

Kids all over the world have food issues. I know several kids who have feeding tubes because they cannot take in enough calories due to being "picky" when really it is an extreme sensory disorder. These children actually almost starved to death before their parents resorted to a tube. I guarantee there are children like this in poor countries who won't/can't eat even when food is offered. Only they don't have the luxury of a tube and end up dead.
__________________
Shauna, mom to Adrian, 9 and Charlie, 6!
Shaunam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 11:21 AM   #25
vatblack's Avatar
vatblack
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,583
My Mood:
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah View Post
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 thing....kids 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.
To the bolded, that is what I used to tell my DH when I just go to America. I am from South Africa where there are a lot of starving kids that would just love to have enough food to eat. The thing is, when you are poor like that, vegetables isn't really what is offered. The food these people tend to eat is not really store bought. It is more whole foods. And it is starchy bulk food. In the case of South Africa it is a lot of "marog" which I think is kale or a kale-like vegetable, "pap" which is a thick moldable porridge made from corn flower (basically grits but smooth like playdoh when cooked in water), chicken (not so much, as they can't afford it much) and entrails and such as that is the cheapest meat about.

Really, really poor people only eat one or two type of meals because that is all their parents can afford to buy. So, I think the argument that poor people are not picky eaters is a moot point because they don't get offered a variety.

Okay, this is a new theory I'm playing with so there is bound to be flaws!

Quote:
Originally Posted by carriek38 View Post
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 . 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
Wow, interesting. You have basically described me and my husband - we are exactly like you and your partner. My husband does not mind the food mixed up together so much though. But he really, really struggles with strong flavors and so does the older kids. Not so sure about our DD, she's only 2 and a half and I have not spiced food much to accommodate hubby. My DSD can taste hidden food too ... as in "the sneaky chef" where you hide boiled cauliflower in the cheese sauce of mac and cheese for example. I once chopped onion so fine that it cooked away and couldn't be seen in the food. She asked if I put onion in the food (luckily she likes the flavor it gives food but does not like to see it). She also can tell if the ground meat is pork, chicken, beef or turkey.

Both girls have extremely strong smelling senses too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eahcapemay View Post
I am super picky. My mom is a good cook and a gardner. I never ate junk growing up. All I would eat where a few things like plain pasta. I see ds becoming the same way. He touches his food with his fingers and if it doesn't feel "right" he won't eat it. There have been so many foods he wont even try with blw. Right now he wants hot dogs. For the last 2 days he has pretty much only nursed becouse he wont eat anything else I offer him and just asks for hot dogs. I don't know where the line is. I don't want to make him be a picky eater but I don't want to starve him or fource feed him. The worst part is I totally understand him. Avacados use to make me gag. Now I like them. I ate them during my pregnant and eat them on salad frequently. I have offered them to him many times but he won't even try them. I have quick snuck a piece in his mouth but it makes him panic and cry. I want to keep offering healthy snacks but I'm getting burned out.
This is our situation too. I don't want to have fights about food for two reasons:

1) I did have fights about food with my two step children when I became their stepmother. They don't live with us but we get them on the weekends. I lost every single battle every single time. They are just that adamant not to eat certain foods and won't even try it. Going head to head with very stubborn children is a nightmare. The best I can get them to do is put their tongue on the food and then they tell me: "No, I don't like it". It just leaves the whole family upset. They still get offered the foods now, it goes on the table and I ask them to try it, but they don't have to if they don't want to.

Also, when these fights happened, I tried the go "without food until you are hungry and eat this food" route. Well, 2 meals later they still didn't eat the food. By the 3rd meal I relented. Then my husband told me that his father tried that with him and it never worked. My husband would simply eat lunch at school and it would be enough for a day. His children are not phased about going without food either. He also said, as a baby, his father tried to feed him peas, and he'd spit it all over the place. Later he would clench his lips so closed that his father could not get a spoon in.

2) I have an eating disorder and I don't want my disorder to become my daughter's. So, I don't want food to ever be an issue in the house.

So, I made a compromise a long time ago: I will make family meals that have meat (usually oven baked or stir fried) and a starchy food (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread) and I eat raw vegetables as a side, the kids eat whatever vegetable and/or fruit they do eat and DH eats whatever cooked vegetables there are in the house as a side. I'm not cooking a million meals each meal. The variety is raw/already cooked and doesn't require any more work on my part.

Last edited by vatblack; 05-29-2012 at 11:32 AM.
vatblack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #26
Joyful Tie Dyes
Banned for reasons unrelated to transactions
www.joyfultiedyes.com
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sunny SC
Posts: 13,547
My Mood:
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carriek38 View Post
I don't have to turn my plate But I can't eat something that leaves crumbs across something that crumbs will stick in. As in, I had a hot dog & mac & cheese this weekend. My choices were to eat the mac & cheese first or turn the plate so that I wasn't eating the [crumby] roll over the mac & cheese. (I ate the mac first)

And you know, there are some kids who would starve themselves rather than eat a food they don't like/won't eat. Those kids frequently have some sensory-integration stuff going on. But even though I wouldn't starve myself b/c of my pickiness, I have skipped meals, or even several meals b/c of the overload w/ food. Now, if a kid chooses it & tolerates it, I say let them skip a meal & see if tomorrow's breakfast is better than tonight's dinner. Most kids will get hungry enough after skipping a couple of meals to eat something. Of course, I had parents who forced sitting at the table until finishing the (small) portions of unliked/unwanted food. I frequently fell asleep at the table as a very young child (3-ish yrs). Likewise, if my cousins were picky or didn't clean their plates, their dinner leftovers became a "smoothie" for tomorrow's breakfast.

So yeah, this is a first world problem...but I live in the first world, I'm not going to pretend as though I don't, I'm not going to make apologies for it, & the recourse is also first world solutions. I mean, what's the other choice? You certainly can't starve your child until he or she learns to appreciate how privileged his or her food situation is? I hardly think so!
I do agree that kids who have sensory issues are a different situation. I have had friends that as adults wold literally eat only a half dozen items and I know in their cases how they were raised. Don't like dinner? Here is a plate of chicken nuggets LOL. One close friend lost several girlfriends who just could not deal with her insane pickiness. Then she went away to grad school and learned to eat all kinds of things! (Thank goodness lol) She really only ate white bread, chicken nuggets, white rice, chips, candy, soda and popcorn, and french fries before leaving for grad school.

I also don't agree with forcing kids to sit at the table forever or breakfast smoothies of last night dinner GROSS!
Joyful Tie Dyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 11:28 AM   #27
Joyful Tie Dyes
Banned for reasons unrelated to transactions
www.joyfultiedyes.com
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sunny SC
Posts: 13,547
My Mood:
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaunam View Post
So a kid who vomits all solid food from 6 months until age 2 1/2 learned it from his parents? Or, perhaps, there was a real medical problem that has nothing to do with living in a first world country? Sensory problems range in severity, from mild to severe. Kids with mild sensory problems probably wouldn't starve and would choke down the food, but when the problems are severe, there ARE kids who will starve themselves.

Kids all over the world have food issues. I know several kids who have feeding tubes because they cannot take in enough calories due to being "picky" when really it is an extreme sensory disorder. These children actually almost starved to death before their parents resorted to a tube. I guarantee there are children like this in poor countries who won't/can't eat even when food is offered. Only they don't have the luxury of a tube and end up dead.
Vomiting all solid food from infancy is obviously more than just pickiness.
Medical issues are not mere pickinesss. Obviously.

Last edited by Joyful Tie Dyes; 05-29-2012 at 11:30 AM.
Joyful Tie Dyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #28
Shaunam's Avatar
Shaunam
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,475
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyful Tie Dyes View Post
Vomiting all solid food from infancy is obviously more than just pickiness.
Medical issues are not mere pickinesss. Obviously.
But my son has not been diagnosed. All doctors brushed us off until recently. He's 7 and just now getting the therapy he needs, I assume a diagnosis may come later, but maybe not. To an outsider he's a normal kid who is "just" picky. I've been told by *everyone* that if I just did XYZ he'd eat. I was told that NURSING him at 9 months of age is what caused all his problems!

I'm just explaining a situation where it's not just bad parenting, even though it may appear so.

I really hate the assumption that it's always the parent's fault when kids are picky. Mild sensory problems are rarely diagnosed. It doesn't mean it's the parent's fault. They might have tried everything and you just catch them on the day they've finally given up.

Obviously there are cases where the parents teach them to eat nothing but nuggets and fries. It's far from all or even most cases though.
__________________
Shauna, mom to Adrian, 9 and Charlie, 6!
Shaunam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 12:02 PM   #29
tazzae's Avatar
tazzae
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,006
My Mood:
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

I would vote for a combination of factors--genetic, nurture and sensory issues.

I am mildly picky--won't eat mushrooms, olives, calamari, most fish, most red meat--largely based on texture. I also have a better than average sense of smell; I consider myself allergic to fragrances/scented products because I get a migraine if I'm in the room with them or someone wearing them. It's very difficult to go to movies, restaurants, airplanes, etc without moving 5 times or leaving with a migraine. I think this plays into my pickiness with food. If it smells 'wrong' I'm not going to touch it.

Dd is somewhat picky. She will most definitely not eat if the food doesn't appeal to her. (I am the same way, so I understand.) I'm not worried about it because she really does eat a good variety--poultry, lots of green veggies and fruits. What she will eat has changed as she's gotten older. She was unable--probably sensory--to eat anything with texture until about 16 months. She would gag and vomit unless the food was pureed perfectly; I couldn't make purees fine enough for her. She ate a lot of yogurt that first year! You would not know it now by her diet. The last hold out was leafy greens (salad) which would make her gag until 5 years old.
__________________
Tara, happily at home with dd Rowan(4/04)
tazzae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2012, 12:10 PM   #30
vatblack's Avatar
vatblack
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,583
My Mood:
Re: So, is picky eating genetic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazzae View Post
I would vote for a combination of factors--genetic, nurture and sensory issues.

I am mildly picky--won't eat mushrooms, olives, calamari, most fish, most red meat--largely based on texture. I also have a better than average sense of smell; I consider myself allergic to fragrances/scented products because I get a migraine if I'm in the room with them or someone wearing them. It's very difficult to go to movies, restaurants, airplanes, etc without moving 5 times or leaving with a migraine. I think this plays into my pickiness with food. If it smells 'wrong' I'm not going to touch it.

Dd is somewhat picky. She will most definitely not eat if the food doesn't appeal to her. (I am the same way, so I understand.) I'm not worried about it because she really does eat a good variety--poultry, lots of green veggies and fruits. What she will eat has changed as she's gotten older. She was unable--probably sensory--to eat anything with texture until about 16 months. She would gag and vomit unless the food was pureed perfectly; I couldn't make purees fine enough for her. She ate a lot of yogurt that first year! You would not know it now by her diet. The last hold out was leafy greens (salad) which would make her gag until 5 years old.
My husband and dsd is the same about smells. Dh banned his mother from wearing perfume and I don't either.
vatblack is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.