Kids aren’t the only picky eaters, adults can be as well because those same kids become adults. Picky eaters are usually people that have a limited amount of foods they consume and/or make a certain way. They tend to only stick with the foods they’re comfortable with. Living with someone like this such as your spouse, adult children, parents, in-laws, or dealing with this yourself personally can truly be challenging. Therefore I wanted to provide you with some of the best tips for adult picky eaters to help you and others experiencing this.
Keep trying to go outside of those usual comfort zone foods on a regular basis. You never know what food make take you off guard and hooks you. Sample a little here and a little there.
Practice patience, give yourself and/or others time to go beyond the typical comfort foods. It’s not a race, it’s a lifelong journey to continue to improve upon. If you’re one that has to deal with the picky eater, no fighting with them, respect their choices and remain patient.
Get involved in the meal prepping process by helping to cook. Being involved in the cooking of the food allows the individual to have some control. This can allow one to prepare similar to their usual foods but that is slightly different, slowly expanding one’s palate.
Eat food together as a family without any distractions so the only focus is family or friends, and food. If possible always add one food the picky eater doesn’t mind eating while exposing them to more foods.
Try a variety of foods that are prepared in different ways. Change the seasoning and/or use a different method of cooking. These changes may engage one’s sensors differently and appeal to them more.
Complement Your Food
When eating a food that you do like, pair it with food that’s you normally don’t eat. You may be able to find a dish that has the two foods in it, another great tip for adult picky eaters. Try this when eating out at a restaurant.
Do not try one huge dish of food you don’t whether or not you’ll like. Start small by cooking a small amount or if out eating, try an appetizer or ask someone you’re out with to try a piece of theirs first. Save that money, don’t waste it.
Make it Fun
Make trying different foods fun with someone you trust. Do taste testing blindfolded to take the visual out of the equation. You’ll be shocked how something tastes so good may not look as appealing as you thought it should.
Make it Less Stressful
Keep the amount of stress down in one’s environment. Don’t surround yourself with people that are judgmental and pushy when it’s time to eat. You want your relationship with food to grow, not dry up and perish because of negativity.
Find something that motivates you to go outside of your food comfort zone Perhaps you’re interested in dating someone that loves to dine out and you want to be to impress them. You’re a parent wanting to set a good example for your kids to have a healthy diet. Find your “why”.
Dial Back on Comfort Foods
Again, control the environment by not having so many comfort zone foods around in the house. By doing this, one may be more open to eating other foods due to the fact their usual foods are not available.
Surround yourself with people that are understanding and supportive of what you’re trying to do. It’s good to have a little push from someone you trust when you may become hesitant about trying new foods.
Seek Professional Help
If one gets to a point where it becomes unhealthy, it’s time to seek professional help from a registered dietician, psychiatrist, and/or psychologist. This may be a sign of avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), which is considered a mental disorder that can lead to nutrient deficiencies, significant weight loss, dependence on supplements, and/or interference with psychological functioning (1).
There you have it, the best tips for adult picky eaters laid out for you. Apply these tips for yourself and/or someone you know to help expand your and/or their palate. Remember, having variety in one’s diet helps to provide a better chance of fulfilling all of one’s nutritional needs.
Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You