No one likes to admit it, but here we are
Who are Picky Eaters?
“A person that is averse to a wide variety of foods; additionally, picky eaters often display an unwillingness to try new foods or any food that contains even a small amount of food they do not like.”Urban dictionary
There is no empirical way of measuring picky eating. On most occasions, picky eaters have affirmed not to eat a few specific foods or a whole category, like fruits or vegetables.
Unsurprisingly, the phrase picky eater is almost always in connection with children.
Toddlers especially are infamous for their fussy food habits and many parents face the problem of getting their child to eat nutritious food. The food preference starts at this point, and depending on how the toddler and preschool age goes, the patterns and habits carry over into adulthood.
So here are our top picks for cookbooks to cook for the picky eater in your life, we know it’s not easy being them or cooking for them.
1. The Zuni Cafe Cookbook
The world-renowned owner of The Zuni Café, San Francisco comes to you a book that is considered a work of art in the culinary world. Judy Rogers’ book is said to have revolutionized the way Americans looked at food and I have to agree. The Zuni roast chicken and bread salad recipes are simply non-debatable, even after almost 2 decades of it being released.
You can reserve the heavier, more complex dishes for your family/friends with more refined palates and opt for her uncomplicated yet delicious desserts.
Her orange in honey syrup with rosemary is a great way to finish off a heavy meal. What makes Rogers ’book a must-have in your kitchen in the emphasis she lays on the basics. Sections and sections are dedicated to basic soups and sauces. What better way to widen the palate than getting the basics right?
2. Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes
Catherine McCord is a chef who believes in one family/one meal rule and her cookbook is reflective of exactly that.
Her recipes are wholesome, healthy and do not compromise on taste one bit.
They range from crispy (cheesy chicken taquitos), to creamy (roast pear and banana puree), to crunchy (banana oatmeal chocolate cookies).
She even has the best blueberry lemon whole wheat pancakes; now, if I, a person who can’t stand blueberries, can like this recipe, anyone can.
Perhaps the most popular recipe in this book is the chocolate velvet beet cupcake one, and trust me when I say, it is worth the hype.
A huge part of the reason I recommend this book is because of the author. I love the mission behind the book, to full up kids nutritionally and get them to enjoy healthy food. Simple, is it not?
3. The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket
A great way to get a picky eater to eat more adventurously is to involve them in the cooking process and Workman’s second cookbook has an entire sidebar dedicated to exactly that.
Most recipes are easy to follow and I believe is the best one on the list in terms of helping children learn how to cook. Her “Fork-in-the-Road” variations make it easy to adjust a recipe to appeal to different eaters (that is, the children who want bland food and the adults who don’t).
The book is almost like a fail-safe, for every problem, it provides 5 answers.
Someone in the house doesn’t like veggies?
She has got you covered. Workman knows how to appease them and I get this last one because until recently, I didn’t like fish either.
Her Asian salmon recipe, however, made me a convert.
Neophobia is the fear of extreme or irrational fear or dislike of anything new or unfamiliar. The scientific basis for this fear is linked to a mix of both genetics and the environment.
Well, experts believe that parents who are not adventurous eaters themselves tend to have children who are just as unexcited about let’s say, broccoli or peas.
The environment, of course, determines what kind of food the child has been exposed to over the years and the approach parents have taken to introduce it to them.
Additionally, the personality type a person exhibits can also be a determining factor in the kind of eater they are.
People who are open with their food options tend to be more adventurous in life, thrill-seeking, if you may.
By contrast, you have folks who are choosier and do not like to experiment as much. Lastly, there is that factor that the same food tastes and smells differently to different people.
In my own family, for example, my brother and I have polarizing views on lychee and eggplant.
I don’t like the way lychee smells and he does not particularly enjoy the texture of cooked eggplant.
Personally, even with all that time I spend baking away in the kitchen, I cannot stand adding cinnamon to anything I prepare, because it grosses me out.
I find the smell overpowering, and many will disagree, my mom is a big fan of cinnamon chai and talks about its medicinal benefits to anyone with ears.
So like me, there are many people out there who cannot tolerate certain foods, whatever the reason may be, they just cannot stand it.
Which begs the question, what about the nutrients dummy?
Well, I’m glad you asked because it’s a great segue into this blog topic.
Here is the amazing thing about Mother Nature; she provides the most wonderful swap outs.
Heck, vegetarians have existed forever and they are still surviving without meat, aren’t they?
When I started researching veganism, I was blown away by the sheer amount of dairy alternatives there are.
Even if the person/people you are cooking for isn’t a picky eater, they may have certain dietary restrictions like lactose intolerance or a peanut allergy.
Doctor Audrey Rogers, a pediatrician at Cook Children’s (Fort Worth, Texas) opines that to feed a picky toddler, “the key is to offer the same food the parents eat and avoid snacking at all costs”. She reasons that it is easier for the little tots to get hooked on the cheese sticks, cheerios, candy and chips which limits their liking of food and robs them of the nutrition they need.
Dr. Jocelyn Lebow is a Mayo Clinic child psychologist who goes as far as to say that picky eating acquired and developed through the early school years is a big risk factor for an impending eating disorder in late teen life and adulthood.
The most experienced home cooks seem to hit a wall when it comes to pleasing everyone in the family, even without a picky eater in the mix.
So it is in everybody’s interest to have a cookbook that not only focused on recipes for picky eaters but also satisfies the cravings of the gourmand every family has.
So there you have it folks, a rundown of the science behind the causes of picky eating, possible solutions and 3 cookbooks to try today!