30 December 2009

Fussy eaters

I was watching Foxtel at my parents this afternoon. There's so many programs, but NOTHING APPEALING ON! I happened to flick to The Farm of Fussy Eaters, a reality tv show. It's rehab for extreme fussy eaters, filmed for TV.

As this was the first show of the series that I watched, I wasn't sure the calibre of their fussy eating. The voiceover man said there's a lady who lived on a diet of white foods only, a man who didn't like vegetables, and a man who just ate peanut butter and cheese sandwiches (though I hope not peanut butter and cheese together).

The contestants are introduced to new foods - the foods that I'd think nothing of eating every day. Green beans. Mashed potato. Fruit smoothies. They are helped along by nutritionists, counsellors and cooks. Some of them are more willing to try new foods than others. Some didn't even like the action of going to a restaurant and sitting down for a meal. And probably all of them were seriously lacking nutrients.

I can't fathom fussy eating. Maybe because my appetite is voracious. And the range of foods I'm willing to try is extensive.

The number of foods I don't eat can actually be counted on one hand.
- rockmelon
- plain milk
- caramel
- most offals (but I don't mind tripe)
- broad beans

Yes, you put it in front of me, and I'll eat it. Despite this, when I have breakfast somewhere other than home and turn down the cereal, people think I'm weird (I hate cereal with milk on it, so I get around this in extreme occasions by having fruit juice on it).

Of course there may be variations of foods I don't like, but I'm hardly fussy. Example: I don't like all foods served at a Chinese restaurant, but I will have yumcha. I prefer raw or smoked salmon to cooked salmon - find these lighter than cooked salmon. I will eat milk in smoothies and desserts. I prefer scrambled eggs to poached or boiled. And I don't really eat much chocolate unless it's dark chocolate and good quality, and maybe in the form of dessert. You can twist my arm!

I eat for fuel. My body needs the food to produce the skin that renews itself in quadruple time compared to most people. But I mostly eat for pleasure. I love food -I love cooking it, trying new foods, talking about it, watching it being prepared...

I love a good steak, mooing, seasoned with only salt and pepper.
Cheeses of all kinds - except Kraft Singles, unless that's all there is to eat - and the stinkier the better!
Macaroni and cheese
Curries from all countries
Fruit smoothies
Raw salmon and smoked salmon
Steamed vegetables
Cooked breakfasts
Rice paper rolls...
And so on.

I just love food. And, if the hours weren't so long and the pay far less than my current job, I'd consider studying to be a chef.

Fortunately because of my super fast metabolism, my body doesn't look like I eat for pleasure!

So I can't understand this fussy eater business.

I have been out to dinner with fussy eaters. I have cooked for fussy eaters. And it makes me uncomfortable. I don't want to offend anyone reading my blog in case they are a fussy eater, in case they are my friend and have eaten with me. But I will say fussy eaters are not fun at the table.

when I was watching the Farm of Fussy Eaters show today, I wondered why people can be so fussy. How they can be so unpassionate about food. (Well, maybe they only hold passion for plain cheese sandwiches - at least that's a start!) Sometimes fussy eating seems like a phobia of food.

Is it masking an eating disorder or a diet?
Is it hereditary - as in, their parents never ate spaghetti bolognaise so they don't either?
Is it laziness? Don't they like cooking?
Is it lenient parenting - they didn't have to eat the things they dislike at a young age, and their parents just let them eat the things they like - even if it was just limited to boiled eggs, chocolate, apples and bread, and these eating habits then last a lifetime?
Is it paranoia - they think certain foods aren't good for them?

One of my favourite online newspaper columnists, Paula Goodyer, wrote this blog about getting fussy eaters to eat vegetables.

It's interesting because even Paula, a nutritionist, has children that are fussy eaters.

I have also just Googled 'what causes fussy eating?'and found this website - Adult Picky Eaters UK. It looks like interesting reading.

So now I've speculated and voiced my opinion about fussy eaters, possibly offending the fussy eaters in my life in the process, I'm going to read the website in more detail.


  1. Fussy eaters are a strange breed. Eating is one of the most natural behaviours of human kind. Once upon a time, we ate purely out of necessity. Now it is a fad!
    I thought my children were fussy eaters, but it turns out that one just doesn't like spaghetti bolognaise, and the other prefers her potato mashed. My cousin is a fussy eater, once upon a time he'd only eat weetbix or vegemite on toast, born out of a myriad of allergies that had him frightened of food. He's older now but still has little preferences that his family are used to, but annoy everyone else!

  2. Kelly you said it right - fussy eaters' families are used to their antics but others don't understand.

    Whatever happened to ýou will eat what you're given'? My parents made me eat everything on my plate, all the vegetables, all the offal, even chilli. And because of a broad palate from birth, I've come to like lots of foods.

    I also agree with you when you say eating is a fad - there are so many diets and állergies' these days - my allergy specialist says most people haven't actually got the allergy they claim to have.

  3. I broke out it spots once...a naturopath said I was allergic to everything I was eating. A nice long list of things to not eat any more. Funny...my eating hasn't changed but I've had no reoccurences of the spots!

    We had to eat what we were given, but now we have so many fast food options, many kids aren't even sure what real food is. Home made biscuits for recess, replaced by tiny teddies. Back in my day....

  4. Wow, I used to consider myself a fussy eater, mostly because i was afraid of the taste, particully of certain vegies. However thanks to my ex-boyfriend mother, i didnt have the choice to be fussy when i was basicully living at their house, and i was introduced to a brand new world of food that i now love. My ex came from a well to do family, both parents were doctors, one a private specialist, so there was certainly not a shortage of money. They would shop at expensive grocers and supermarkets, and thanks to them, i have expensive taste! However good quality ingredients certainly changed my tastebuds and although it wasnt that i was recieving poor quality ingredients at home, i was combated with 2 things: no choice in the food i ate, and a new lifestyle from which i was not used to.
    Thanks to Barb, im no longer a fussy eater and apart from a few things that i just dont have the taste for (Beer, Cake, Chocolate...) and a weird thing for i dont like to "mix" my food on my fork (as in i generally eat things on the plate seperatly) i think im much better off than i was younger! vegies = YUM!!

  5. So just spending a lazy saturday afternoon reading your blog and just wanted to let you know I wish I could be more like you, you seem so optimistic, smart and beautiful.

    Also I love the you don't drink plain milk and do not have it in cerial either, just like me :):):)

  6. Wow Anonymous - that is so nice of you :)
    I'm very flattered.

    Another non milk in cereal person - yay!


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