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Selective Eating Adults: Permission, Trust, and Patience for You Too!

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Blog Posts | 2 comments

basket-of-eggs

Aren’t these the most gorgeous eggs?

From a reader on FB:

“Wanted to share something with you…we’ve been trying to be really mindful of feeding our kids. I was really selective as a child and even into adulthood. I wanted to make sure my kids didn’t feel badly about their food choices, whatever they are. At any rate, one hold out for me was eggs. I have this vast set of rules for how I will eat them that makes no sense to anybody else. I decided to treat myself the way I treat my daughter and allowed myself to try without pressure. I found that I actually didn’t mind them and they didn’t taste as I had imagined! A while later, the worst thing happened: they got my order wrong at a restaurant and the eggs came fried and runny instead of scrambled (this was only my second time trying them!). I again allowed myself to try without pressure…and I enjoyed them! For more than 30 years, I’ve been afraid of them! I can’t say that it’s something I immediately think about eating when breakfast is suggested, but it’s nice to let go of some of the burden and some of those “rules.”

One of the most satisfying things is when I work with parents of children with picky eating or selective eating, and parents make their own discoveries and progress, finding their own joy around food. Many adults read my blog or ask for help with their children because they themselves are picky, and want to do the best they can to help their children enjoy a variety of foods. Many clients remember being forced to clean their plates as children, or forced to eat a food (at times even vomiting) that they won’t touch to this day… They know they don’t want to do that with their kids, but don’t always know another way.

I loved working with adults with selective eating, but now work almost exclusively with children. (Working with adults directly was so much fun. Watching them make a discovery during a mindful eating activity, or share their progress with wonder was really fun. Now, I love having parents share the successes their children make, but hearing it from the client directly was really a kick!)

If you are an adult looking for SED resources, I highly recommend the book, Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family (the first 1/3 is on adults and eating), which some readers have called their “blueprint” for picky eating as adults. If you need personal support, my friend and colleague, Michelle Allison at thefatnutritionist.com is my go-to resource.

Here’s what a recent client of Michelle’s wrote on Twitter: “helped me deal with picky eating and food anxiety. AND turned me into a unicorn. Now I just eat rainbows.”

The same principles apply whether it is to children or adults: pressure almost always backfires, and curiosity, kindness, permission to eat-or not- are the keys. What say you?

Join the discussion on facebook! Seems like all the fun happens there these days :)

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2 Comments

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  1. Jenny

    I love this story. I had a similar experience with eggs as I always like my fried eggs cooked til the yoke is soft but not hard and the whites cooked through. I ordered eggs benedict at a restaurant and the egg on top was visibly much runnier than I normally liked. I remember thinking “ewwwww I can’t eat this!” But really it looked quite good. I decided that a restaurant is unlikely to serve something dangerously underdone and to try it anyways. I did and now I order benedict all the time. It’s my favorite breakfast. So strange that it took 28 years to figure out that Im not as picky about eggs as I thought I was.

    • katja

      I love this story too! Thanks for sharing. I think so many parents of young children feel an urgency to see things get better, and kids eat more variety very quickly. It takes time and patience! LOVE eggs bene, but I have to say I usually order the sauce on the side bc I don’t like it if they sit too long and the muffin gets really soggy :)