My friends comment on my eating habits pretty often. My roommate always tells people that I won’t eat anything with flavor. My boyfriend usually says, “plain Jane, wins again” when we are at a restaurant and I can’t decide whether to try something new or have my medium burger with American cheese and nothing else on it, I tend to go with the burger. I don’t eat condiments, most vegetables and fruits, anything spicy, no seafood …. the list goes on. There are many reasons for me being the picky eater that I am today.
My mom is a picky eater to begin with, but being one out of eleven children her parents always made her eat whatever was cooked that night. My mom hated some of my food she had to eat as a kid and decided that she would never do that to her kids. Thus, more picky eaters were born. My mom only cooked food that she would eat and so those were the foods we got used to. She didn’t use many spices (never garlic- since half of her family is allergic), never cooked seafood, and basically stuck to a simplistic menu that she knew we would eat willingly.
I typically started my day with a Devil Dog as I ran out of the house to get to school. That’s right, my mom had no problem with me grabbing a cream filled chocolate “cake” as my way to start out my day this way I could sleep until the very last minute. She said it was better than me grabbing nothing. Luckily for me, I inherited a very fast metabolism as well as athletic interests to keep me busy all day long so the 180 calories per “dog” didn’t really affect my weight. If we were out of Devil Dogs I would have an ice cream sandwich which my mom claimed was healthy enough since it was made from milk, therefore had some calcium. My dad, being a diabetic, nearly had a heart attack every time he noticed me and my siblings eating such sugar enhanced food right at the start of our day.
I think I had a typical lunch as a kid: a bologna sandwich every day (no crust of course) with some form of candy and chips. If I branched out, it would be with pizza or pasta. Nothing spectacular because I was always saving up for my after school snack (typically candy of some sort).
One of the most important meals in my house was dinner. This was the only time when my whole family sat down together to eat. We waited until my dad came home from work, no matter what time that happened to be that night. Some nights we started dinner as late as 9-10pm. If that was the case, we would have some “crappy appys” such as bagel pizzas, nachos, or crackers and cheese to hold us over until it was time for family dinner. Dinner itself was always pretty big. A typical dinner would be: chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, and bread sticks. Most healthy eaters would be nervous about this combination of multiple starches and lack of color variety, yet at my house this was considered a good, healthy meal- probably my healthiest of the day.
I like to think that after going to college, I have really broadened my tastes and started to eat healthier (especially since I was a collegiate athlete). I still don’t like many vegetable, spices, or breakfast in general, but at least I am trying new foods. I think my health and eating habits would be better if my parents pushed healthier foods on me, but I am grateful that they just allowed me to be a kid and eat all the crappy food before the consequences started to show. Imagine what I would weigh if I ate a Devil Dog every morning now!