Photo Credit: Primarily Paleo
My daughter and I keep running into a boy, Nathaniel, at the playground. He proudly told me he doesn’t have to get any more shots until he is 5. I asked him how his summer was going and he said pretty good. He then asked me quite seriously what we’ve been doing this summer. I responded by sharing that we’ve had a lot of fun this summer with homemade popsicles, days at the beach, and lots of running through sprinklers. He was curious about how we made homemade popsicles. I mentioned sometimes we add frozen spinach to them. “Oh, I am not sure if I would like those because I don’t like spinach”, he informed me definitively. I said he might be surprised, sometimes I trick adults at fancy dinner parties by serving them decadent, fudge-y brownies made with spinach and they have no idea! He said his Mom was a better cook than his Dad, but maybe she could make them.
Kids aren’t the only ones who are picky eaters. When I was pregnant with my daughter I had major food aversions for over 21 weeks of my pregnancy. I had to wonder while I was so miserable and could practically only lay on the couch to get through the day eating the blandest, bare minimum of food I could force myself to eat. For months I couldn’t eat meat or any vegetables. Research on the evolution of our taste buds indicate being sensitive to particular tastes was necessary for our survival during the Stone Age. Bitter foods were typically toxic and sweet foods were typically safe. In modern times food manufacturers have engineered foods that appeal to maximize “bliss point” and promote a positive “mouth feel.” This should come as no surprise considering how many children often only want to eat processed foods and how difficult it can be for adults looking to make positive dietary habits, but struggle to give up sweets and other manufactured products like pizza and pasta. When it feels “too hard” to eat cleanly, an opportunity is presented to evaluate what’s behind these feelings and why our taste buds have been conditioned to prefer these modern foods.
Check out my latest article for The Paleo Diet with 5 Simple Tips to Expand Your Paleo Palate for more information on how to reset your taste buds to remember that grapefruits can be sweet!
Need support for feeding the picky eaters in your life? Contact me for a free 10 minute phone consultation to see how I can help.