Hi all! I’m Laura Kessler, a notorious picky eater who has made some serious strides in expanding my palate over the last decade. Let me tell you a little about it.
Growing up, I always struggled with trying new foods. My parents dealt with me spitting out foods I didn’t like, crying in public over the food set in front of me, and outright refusing to even discuss trying new foods. It had gotten so bad I couldn’t sit by foods I didn’t like the look or smell of (I’m looking at you Swedish Sausage). How my mom ever got me to try new foods is a miracle — though I must admit, some minor bribing took place for things like oranges (ew) and bacon (OMG why did I fight it?!).
Many people attribute a child’s picky eating to them being stubborn to just not want to try new foods, whether they have an actual disorder is out of the question because they’re just trying to get attention. Though for some children this is true, for me it was the exact opposite. In fact, I believe I have the true eating disorder, Avoidant/Restrictive Eating Disorder (AFRID) that makes trying new foods a painful, and sometimes traumatic, event for me.
Thankfully, as an adult I no longer have the “if I try this food I will die” mindset, but trying new food is still an extreme fear of mine I haven’t been able to shake on my own. Parents of children with ARFID and adults with ARFID can get treatment to help work through it. I have not sought treatment, but instead have figured out a process I like to try new foods.
Though I’ve made some progress in trying new foods, I still find it difficult to be excited at the idea of going to a new restaurant, going out to eat with new people, or doing anything food related with people outside my close friends and family. It has been so bad that an anxiety has formed around food for me to the point that it’s unusual if I don’t feel nauseous at the idea of going out to eat at a new restaurant.
That being said, I’ve looked for help, ideas, resources, etc. to try to expand my palate. When preparing for this blog, I’ve googled picky eater blogs to try to see what others are writing about and get a general idea of my approach. However, I haven’t found nearly as many that offer tips/tricks for parents of or picky eaters themselves. I’ve typically found recipes and ideas on “food even your pickiest eater will love!” that, honestly, I wondered if they asked a picky eater to try it before posting it (for example, spinach and snow pea pasta?? No thank you!). Most blogs or recipes I’ve found have been written by parents of picky eaters, not the eaters themselves. Now, that’s not to say all posts/blogs I’ve read were unhelpful – on the contrary I found some I’ve agreed with quite a bit – I just struggled to connect with these writers in a way that would make me trust their suggestions or recipes.
That’s why I thought I’d begin this blog – to give other picky eaters or their parents an insider’s look into how I am managing my eating habits and am working towards expanding my palate. Through this blog, I hope to help others understand how picky eaters (including those with ARFID) view food, give tips and tricks to make trying food more appealing, and (hopefully) greatly expand my palate as well!
I must note, I am not a licensed dietician or chef by any stretch of the imagination. I am simply a woman trying to earn my Un-picky Eater status one blog post at a time.