Let’s talk about making yourself like veggies when you’re a picky eater.
This is such a common thing that I hear in practice and many of my clients struggle to get enough produce even though they know it’s good for them- whether because of taste or texture issues.
It is possible to develop a taste for veggies even when you’re a picky eater with texture issues. I know because I’ve seen it happen, in others and myself.
I was VERY vegetable averse, even into my twenties and would gag at a bite of salad. I had to have everything covered in cheese to even choke it down.
But it was important to me to change this, so I started taking small steps forward. First, I would wrap a spinach leaf around a crouton to eat it and gradually I would add more and more vegetables into my meals. Sometimes I would only take a single bite, but that was a single bite more than I did before.
I also began to be interested in cooking- once I had less off-limits foods, the world of gourmet recipes opened to me. When I learned that combining fat, salt, and seasoning with vegetables- as well as cooking them in different ways like roasting or sautee were options for me, I began to enjoy the taste. First, I liked the salt and fat, then I began to actually like the taste of veggies.
For a few years I would only eat cooked vegetables but eventually I began to apply these same principles to raw foods. I began to try different salad combinations, discovered that fruit is actually really good on salad, and different dressings could bring out different flavors. I began to like the crunchy taste that previously had made me gag.
I want to emphasize how much time this took. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I even began to eat salads because I genuinely liked them.
But that dedication has created a completely new relationship with food- one where when I see a strange recipe I don’t immediately think “ew”, instead I wonder what those two flavors might taste like paired. I assume the recipe tastes good first and trust that gourmet chefs’ understanding of flavor pairings is better than my own.
These days, I now understand intuitively the many pairings that taste good to me and consume them regularly and my health has benefitted dramatically.
If you struggle with taste and texture, here’s some good steps to begin changing that:
As a goal for the week, think about incorporating some of these steps. Let me know how it goes for you!