How My Picky Carnivore Still Eats His Fruits and Vegetables

My apologies for not posting in a while. I am currently a full-time graduate student, and I barely have time lately for anything but studying!

I know that many parents struggle to get their kids to eat enough fruits and vegetables – whether those kids are picky eaters or not – so I thought that my readers might be interested in hubby’s explanation for why he truly despises some fruits and vegetables, to the point where he will fight me if I try to force him to eat them. Hubby has explained to me that some fruits and veggies are ok all the time, some are never ok, and some are ok when prepared in certain ways. This communication really helped hubby and I fight less about food.

Interestingly, the taste of the fruit or vegetable is not usually the problem with hubby. The problem is most often the TEXTURE. Some textures make hubby want to gag (like how some people might feel about snails, or worms). Understandably, hubby just can’t bring himself to enjoy any meal that invokes that feeling. He mostly has problems with vegetables that have more than one texture, such as peppers (hard on the outside and soft on the inside). But sometimes, if I cook the vegetable enough, the consistency is a bit more homogenous and hubby can then enjoy it. This is true of tomatoes, which he cannot eat raw, but not peppers, which would be disgusting if cooked that much.

Here are some examples of fruits and vegetables hubby can and can’t eat. I do say can, not will, because if he does eat these, he will feel ill. I would love to hear how other picky eaters feel about these same vegetables, and if they understand hubby’s “texture not taste” explanation.

Fruits and Vegetables Hubby Will Eat:
peas
carrots
broccoli
cauliflower
corn
onions
cooked tomatoes
raw spinachr
lettuce
pumpkin
green beans
apple
orange
mango
banana (only if cooked in a bread or dessert)
grapes
blackberries
raspberries
blueberries (only if cooked in a bread or dessert)
strawberries
cranberries (dried)
peach
nectarine
plum
pineapple

Fruits and Vegetables Hubby Has A Texture Problem With:
raw tomatoes
squash
zucchini
peppers
raw broccoli
mashed beans
celery
eggplant
cucumber
cooked spinach
mashed beans
bamboo
turnips
lentils
any melon
kiwi
pomegranate
pear
banana, not cooked
blueberries, not cooked

Fruits and Vegetables With Which Hubby Has No Texture Problem But Rather Simply Hates the Taste:
brussels sprouts
asparagus
cabbage
shallots
beets
grapefruit
papaya

You might have noticed that none of the fruits or vegetables on the “taste problem only” are particularly popular in the US. This is partially why, now that I actually have the list, I run into very few problems with fruits and vegetables. The only ones that continually present problems are raw tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, zucchini and bananas. By now my family knows that he won’t eat those. All in all, since hubby has such a long list of fruits and vegetables that he is willing to eat, I can easily modify recipes and remove or replace any offending ingredients. Once I realized that texture was the issue and hubby wasn’t just being obnoxious, we got along so much better at mealtime.

So, has anyone else tried asking your picky child / significant other / friend for a list? Does it work for you?

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