Chef Dr. Dusty Pettes from Ballygiblin’s original question was:
Question: Do picky children become adults with infantilized palates whose restricted tastes will make for a duller culinary world?
Hang on a second while I grab my stepstool I am about to climb onto my soap box………
Being picky is now being taught, are parents to blame?, is it the restaurant and the competitive marketplace that make businesses bend over for picky and choosy eaters who believe they can change the menu options to suit their liking, is society to blame for creating a generation of entitled assholes….
For a generation, many North American parents have indulged children’s picky eating tendencies by sticking them in an endlessly repeating loop of chicken fingers, burgers, pizza, plain pasta, mac and cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Anyone who has sat down for a meal with youngsters over the past 25 years will recognize this list of typical “kids’ foods.” Pushed out of the picture, to varying degrees for different children, are fruits and vegetables and anything else that might challenge them, from spicy delicacies to unfamiliar proteins.
I feel that the less meals that are cooked at home and the meals that consist of microwaveable pre-cooked crap the more likely that a person grows up no knowing how to cook anything more than the simplest of items. It is a shame and I believe that makes the masses become more lazy with their food choices and thus in turn more picky when dining out.
Mealtimes for children were quite different just a few decades ago. As a general rule, people who grew up in North America and are now over the age of 30 recall that when they were children, kids ate what the adults ate. Families usually dined together at the table. There might have been foods you didn’t like; depending on the rules of the house you might have been expected to try them or even finish them.
With the advent of countless convenience and snack foods, from pre-cut fruit that won’t spoil, chicken nuggets pressed into “fun” shapes and food items changed into more suitable colors to foods kids could assemble themselves, have helped transform the landscape of how food was perceived and help kill the traditional family dinner even grocery stores have increasingly sold meals that resembled fast food many of them portable and/or frozen and have ready to go hot dinners.
The war has not been lost, we can change the way we perceive foods as a whole. A few pieces of advice I read are:
Sit with children and serve them the same meal you get. Serve them challenging foods and encourage them to eat, but don’t force them. Fighting about it can create negative associations for that food. Listen to kids’ ideas about what they want to eat, but don’t turn the menu into a point of negotiation once dinner has been decided upon. Involving children in food preparation sharpens their appetites, so involve them whenever possible in grocery shopping and gardening, and let them watch you cook!
Thanks for reading but…
Enough of my opinion, Jamie Oliver called and he wants his rant back!!
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