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Topic: Picky Eater Problem  (Read 2434 times)
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« on: May 16, 2010 02:12:30 PM »

I've got a friend trying to feed a boy who refuses to eat veggies. At all. Now, at 20yo it's gone past 'phase' into 'phobia', and I figured there wasn't anywhere in the world I could find people better at making dread veggies into carnivore pleasing meals. Please, Craftster gurus, tell me how to get the brat to eat his vegetables!
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010 02:20:43 PM »

If this is a genuine phobia the only thing that will help is help.

Try getting him Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and remember; You can't change someone. They have to want to change themselves.

« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010 10:54:32 AM »

Is your friend the young man's parent, or significant other?  In a parental situation, I would say 20 is old enough for him to cook for himself if he doesn't like what his parents are making.  When he gets tired of hot pockets, those healthy veggie meals might seem more appealing.

In a romantic relationship, things are a little tricker, but I do have some experience with this (my husband was also a very picky eater, although I wouldn't say there were any phobias involved).  

The question is - how picky is picky?  Are there any veggie he does like?  Corn, carrots, potatoes, zucchini...?  I would focus on building meals around "likes," and not worrying about the "dislikes" at least at first.  But, I will reserve further comment until the relationship is clarified.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2010 10:55:13 AM by Kaitlinnegan » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010 04:57:00 PM »

Kaitlinnegan: Live-In Girlfriend. And no, there aren't. Their other roomates managed to talk him into eating some green beans, and it was both a labor and a celebrated triumph. She put peppers and onions into spagetti sauce, and he wouldn't eat it cause 'There were little green bits'.
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2010 08:50:53 PM »

You might try this-- veggie-based desserts. Zucchini bread, carrot cake, spinach-orange bread, and so on-- there are lots of excellent sweets that have lots of veggies but you'd never guess it unless someone told you. Try slipping him a couple of these, and once he's announced that he likes them, drop the bomb on the ingredients.

I once made a zucchini chocolate cake that not only completely hid any veggie taste, but was also one of the most delicious things I've ever had.

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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2010 12:08:32 AM »

Yes, how picky is picky? Can he taste the difference if you chopped it into little bits and include it in between meat to make meatballs?  If he cannot taste the difference, treat him like a kid and hide veggies in meat dishes.

Chopped veggies into very small pieces.  Blend it if you need to.  Hide them in meat sauces, meatballs, burgers, cheese sticks, pizza.

Blend cucumber with other fresh fruits to make fruit shakes.
Cut sweet potatoes into strips and deep fry them to look like French Fries.
Chopped Spinach leaves, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dip it in batter to make Crispy Spinach Chips.

Hope this helps.

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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010 06:11:08 AM »

Hiding veggies in things might be an idea for kids when you're at your wits end, but adults should choose to eat veggies of their own free will.  It could work if he wants to eat the veggies, but has issues with the texture or flavor.  But, if he's actually opposed to eating veggies, the girlfriend would probably have to hide the whole practice from him.  If he's around at all during food preparation, it will be almost impossible to hide - "Honey, why are you blending cauliflower?  I thought we were having macaroni and cheese."  Good luck getting him to eat anything she makes after he finds that out!  And what would it accomplish anyway?  I think the goal is not only to get him to eat vegetables, but for him to expand his palate a little bit.

I know the original post is a little old now, but if you're still looking for ideas, there are a couple of ways to go.  She could leave him on is own for dinner and just hope he comes around once he sees and smells the wonderful things she's cooking.  That would take a bit of a thick skin, though, and it never really worked for me.  Probably the best thing to start is cooking "veggie optional" dishes where the veggies would be cooked separately and added at the end.  If he's just discovered he likes green beans, that's a great place to start.  Sounds like he also likes tomatoes, at least in sauce - that counts!  If she keeps trying new vegetables, she might find even more things that he likes.  Maybe he would prefer veggies cooked in a particular way - my husband didn't like it when green peppers were still crisp, but he didn't mind them if they were cooked until totally soft.

Anyway, it's a slow process and it probably won't be an all-or-nothing change - think baby steps.  But, it will happen!  It might be easy to think of the picky eater as a "brat," but things will go a lot more smoothly if your friend approaches things with an attitude of caring and understanding.  All of us were raised differently, and taste is different for every individual.  We all have foods we don't really like - but, the list is longer for some than others.   Wink

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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010 09:27:42 PM »

There's probably a good reason for him not eating the veggies, and if he still won't eat them at 20, then I'd want to know what that reason was. Maybe they upset his stomach. It could be anything.

I also wouldn't see it as his girlfriend's role to make him eat veggies. She's not his Mum.

If he wants to allow her to help him start eating veggies, that's fine. Otherwise I think it's a bad idea.

So, assuming you already know all that, and boyfriend says yes to the concpet of eating veggies, here's some suggestions.

Pureeing them in a food processor so there are no 'bits'.
Baking them into things like bread.
Making them into things he already likes - chips, tempura battered whatever.
Maybe totally (mandolin grated into long very thin strips )can be used like pasta
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010 10:22:48 PM »

What about legumes? like I always hated beans, lentils, etc when I was a kid- what changed me was meeting people from different I don't know... "cultures" ? for example- my best friend in high school was indian and she always ate dishes packed with different types of beans- she was cool- automatically her food was cool- and I ended up loving it- maybe he just needs a subtle influence like that?  like not someone to say "eat this". so maybe you need to find him a cool older vegetarian guy friend to trick him! ha!
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