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The Picky Eater’s Guide to Food Adventure
Written by: Glenys Oyston, RDN
In my practice, I come across clients who label themselves (or who have been labeled by others) picky eaters. And it’s okay to be a picky eater!
Some of my clients, however, want to work on expanding their palate. But they’re not sure how to go about it without making themselves miserable. Here are some strategies you can try too.
Take it one food at a time. Pick one food you’ve been curious to try. Try not to pre-judge this food for how you think you might react to it, and don’t expect success on the first try. Come at it with a curious and open mind, and always give yourself permission not to try it if you’re not up for it.
Smell but don’t eat. If you’re really nervous around new foods, take some time getting to know this particular food without eating it. Notice its texture, its color, maybe the way it smells in its current form. Take note of any anxiety that may be coming up for you, and always remember these six magic words: You don’t have to eat it.
Permission to spit. You might be shocked to hear me say that it’s actually okay to spit out a food if you aren’t ready to swallow it. The trick is to be polite and discreet and eject it neatly into a napkin. This is what I encourage moms to let their kids do, and I advise the same for adults working on food acceptance.
Make it yummy. Don’t be afraid to sauce that sucker up! If ketchup or ranch sauce or butter makes it more palatable for you, go for it!
Try, try again. We expect it will take kids up to 20 (or more) tries before they will accept a new food. Adults give themselves only one or two tries before they permanently reject a food. Give yourself time. You might never like it, but at least you can say you gave it a fair chance!
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Author Address: Glenys Oyston, RDN
1806 Corinth Ave. Apt 8 Los Angeles, CA 90025 USA