Am I a fussy eater?

If you sometimes look at a plate of food at home or school and think “YUCK”, you’re not alone!

Mixer from the Eat Move Learn team with his fussier friendThere are lots of reasons why we might turn our noses up at certain foods (especially vegetables) without trying them. If you think you may be a picky eater, read on to find out why – and how not to be.

We’re born with a sweet tooth

Did you know that humans prefer sweet food when they’re born? And when we’re babies, we don’t like bitter tastes as much.

We don’t know exactly why this is. Some people think that the reason could date back to prehistoric times! As hunter-gatherers, we wanted sweet foods because they have more calories and fill us up. Some bitter-tasting plants could be poisonous, so our bodies were warning us against them.

But now, the vegetables we eat AREN’T poisonous. They’re actually really good for us.

Do you want to become a food expert? No one wants to be a fussy eater! Here are some things to try with a grown-up to help you get adventurous with food.

Don’t give up!

What we like and don’t like the taste of changes – you could hate mushrooms and then absolutely love them! The trick is to keep trying them and don’t give up.

You could ask your parents or guardians to cook the foods you think you don’t like in a different way. If you don’t like boiled broccoli, try steaming it or having it in a stir-fry. Or if you’re not sure about brown bread, try making a sandwich with one slice brown and one slice white! Eventually you will like foods all the colours of the rainbow!

Get cooking

A headshot of Mixer holding a spoonCooking is really fun. There are so many recipes you can try – you can cook new things that you’ve never tried before. Plus, is it just me or does the food you’ve cooked yourself taste so much better!?

You could try adding veggies to your favourite meals. If your favourite food is pizza, try making your own with sliced mushrooms, peppers or sweetcorn. And why not try sweet potato chips instead of normal chips?

> Check out recipes for young cooks

Get adventurous

A headshot of Searcher with a magnifying glassWhen we know about different types of food, we’re more likely to try them and like them.

  • Ask your parent or guardian to buy a new fruit or vegetable that you’ve never tried before. Stuck for ideas? Check what’s in season now.
  • Explore: What does it feel like? What does it smell like? Does it look different on the inside? What part of the plant is it?
  • Challenge you and your family to try it. Go on – we dare you!

Grow it with Flower

A headshot of Flower with a plant she has grownIf you want to know more about where our food comes from, try growing your own. We have lots of easy ideas of how to grow fruit and vegetables.

> Grow things with Flower