Picky eaters

I found it interesting and weird that people who grow up in the same family have totally different taste and preference for food.

My son Andy eats most of the food we prepare at home, vegetables and meat, except seafood. He loves and eats a lot of fruit, except banana from its original package, I mean peel.

My daughter, on the other hand, eats some seafood, but she does not like vegetables and fruit. There are only a few vegetables that she eats, and she eats vegetables only because she has to eat some no matter what. Normally we have two or three different kinds of vegetables on the dinner table, she eats only from one of them. She tries to eat as less as possible while I want her to eat as much as possible.

When it comes to fruit, Amy is even more picky. She only eats banana and doesn’t like anything else. Banana is all her fruit intake. She doesn’t even want to try other kinds of fruit. So one of my daily tasks is to make sure that she at least eats her banana every day.  That’s what she has been doing for her whole life (she is almost 11 now).

What’s weird is Amy likes her banana right out of its peel, unlike my son who hates banana out of the peel.

My son and daughter come from the same family background, yet have so totally different preferences. I don’t know why.  

I tried to think of some reasons that might have caused this difference, and look for something/someone to blame.

“What did I do wrong when they were babies?” 

“What was different when they were little?”

The only difference I could think of was my son was born in Chicago, Illinois and my daughter was born in Twin Cities, Minnesota.

Chinese people believe that kids become smarter when they eat more seafood. So when my son was born, I ate fish and had fish soup almost every day. The soup helped to increase the breast milk.

Chicago has Chinatown and it was easy to buy live fish. That’s what I had, a lot of fish and fish soup. I had more breast mild that my son could consume. I breastfed him for about 11 months.

My daughter was born after we moved to Twin Cities. I did not eat a lot of live fish and had fish soup when I breast fed her.  The breast milk fried out much faster. My daughter was on breastmild for almost 6 months. I remember I made my own baby food puree with carrots and other vegetables for her, as I did for my son. But my daughter definitely had more vegetables than seafood as a baby.

Could it be that when you eat too much of something as a baby, you develop a dislike for it when you grow up?

Is our preference for food something we were born with or is it determined by the environment?

Nature or nurture, which one is the determining factor?

I really don’t know the answer.

Lately I have been making smoothies for my kids every day. I use bananas, apples, strawberries or other fruit to make the smoothies. This way, my son gets to eat banana that he normally doesn’t eat and my daughter gets to eat fruit other than banana that she normally doesn’t eat. It’s a good solution. I am glad that Amy is willing to drink smoothies now. Before I made smoothies only for my son. Amy was never interested in it.

The only good thing about my kids’ picky eating behavior is that they never fight for food. They each can eat as much as veggies or fruit as they want, it doesn’t bother the other one, because they don’t like the same thing.

Candies and snacks are a different story though.

By the way, it turned out that my daughter is actually as smart as my son, if not smarter. So the Chinese saying that seafood makes people smarter has not proved to be true in our family.

One Response to Picky eaters

  1. [...] wrote about my daughter who is a picky eater. She only ate a banana a day. That was all the fruit she would eat. The good news is, starting with [...]

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