Login
Start
Articles
Courses
Events
Community

Picky Eating: Articles On Picky Eating And Trying New Foods Without Stress

At school I ate a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for lunch almost every single day from 1st grade - 10th grade. When I say almost every single day, I mean that I can literally count on both hands the number of days I didn’t eat PB&J.

I was one of the pickiest eaters you can imagine. Everything had to be a certain way. EVERYTHING. I had to have a specific brand of bread. I had to have a certain type of jelly. And if you used the same knife to cut my sandwich that touched anything green, it was game over.

At school I ate a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for lunch almost every single day from 1st grade - 10th grade. When I say almost every single day, I mean that I can literally count on both hands the number of days I didn’t eat PB&J.

I was one of the pickiest eaters you can imagine. Everything had to be a certain way. EVERYTHING. I had to have a specific brand of bread. I had to have a certain type of jelly. And if you used the same knife to cut my sandwich that touched anything green, it was game over.

This extended well beyond PB&J. Up until the age of 12, the list of foods I ate were:

  • PB&J
  • Rice, beans & chicken (Mexican style only)
  • Grilled chicken
  • Mac & cheese (but only sometimes! Other times it was evil)
  • Pasta (But I didn’t try that until I was 6)
  • Chili (turkey, beans, tomato sauce, seasoning packet.. That’s it)
  • Milk & Cereal
  • Waffles & Pancakes
  • Bacon
  • Pizza (but I didn't try it until I was 12)

That’s about it.

Fast forward to today at the age of 26, this is what I made for dinner a week ago . . .

Keep Reading

I was often concerned about Danny’s eating habits. He wasn’t willing to try pizza or pasta until he was 9, and has never tried red meat, fish, or most vegetables. He would have a meltdown if we cooked anything involving fish or olives that he claimed “smelled up the house and caused him pain,” and would be agitated if any prepared meal had anything green on it. As for school lunches, he ate the same thing - a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and apple sauce - every single day for 7 years!

I attributed his picky eating habits to his Asperger’s, but really didn’t understand the problem, and I regret that I initially scolded him for reacting so adversely. Now I know that Danny was, and is, hypersensitive to smells, textures, and flavors, a trait which is not uncommon for those on the spectrum. Certain smells, textures, and flavors, or even the thought of this sensory overload, would cause him to retreat into Defense Mode.

Early on, I would insist that Danny eat what was served, but that didn’t work well at all as he just didn’t eat. I also tried bribing him to try new foods, but that didn’t work either. To keep peace in the family, and to keep him out of Defense Mode before I even knew what Defense Mode was, I became willing to cook separately for him. I tried to keep it simple and if, for example, I made chicken with an elaborate sauce for the family, I’d have some plain cutlets just for him. 

Keep Reading