I was a horribly picky eater as a child and teenager, and – for a very long time – my excuse was “I can’t eat a healthy diet because I don’t like fruits and vegetables and ‘healthy’ food.” My parents are probably still surprised that I voluntarily eat (and avidly enjoy!) carrots. So if you are a self-confessed picky eater, I’ve got a few tips:
- Make a pledge to try a new food each weekIt took me several attempts to bring myself to try cottage cheese – I kept buying tubs of it and chucking them away unopened. It’s now one of my favourite snacks! If there’s something you’ve not tried before, buy a small serving and give it a go.Even if you aren’t too keen the first time, try it again the next day – it can take your taste buds a while to adapt.
- Order something new when you’re eating outIf you’re not very confident how to prepare or cook a new product, eat it at a restaurant. Don’t base your entire meal around something you suspect you might hate, or you’ll have a rather disappointing time – but try a out different starter, or an unusual side dish.
- Have a taste of someone else’s mealWhen you’re eating with people who are family or close friends, persuade them to let you have a bit of their meal! You might discover a food you love.
- Prepare your vegetables differentlyLots of people grow up “hating” vegetables because they’re used to bland, overcooked veg at school dinners. If you boil veg, don’t overcook them, leave them slightly firm – carrots and broccoli are much nicer this way. Try roasting sliced carrots and courgettes (with a little olive oil and black pepper, if you want); it really brings out their sweetness.
- Buy in-season fruitThe flavours of fruits such as strawberries are much stronger when the fruits are at their best. In-season produce also tends to be cheaper. Ordering an organic box (such as from Abel & Cole) is a great way to try out some new fruits and vegetables.
Challenge yourself to try one new food this weekend, either something you think you “don’t like” (prepare it differently) or something you’ve not ever eaten before.