The Picky Eaters of Arapahoe Libraries

Think your food peccadilloes are weird? Well, you're not alone. Meet members of our staff who are also particular about their food.

Me: Don't get me started! No bananas. No mushrooms. No pickles. Little to no sauce on spaghetti. Condiments? No thank you! French fries and M&Ms have to be eaten in groups of two. A pack of Starbursts needs to be eaten in a specific color order. I could keep going. However, as I get older, I am more willing to try new things. In the last few years, I've developed a taste for seafood, steak, sour cream and guacamole.

Sarah D., opens a new window I've never been a picky eater but one thing that I've never liked is cucumbers. No matter how fresh they are, they taste like moldy melon to me. Even the smell nauseates me. Cucumber water at weddings or spas? Guess I'll be dehydrated today!

Susan M., opens a new window: I haven't had a glass of milk since I was 8-years-old. I took an unexpected big gulp of sour milk and I can still taste it after all these years. In cereal or with cocoa powder added I'm fine, but just plain milk is a no go.

Emma H.: I've always strongly disliked bananas. I know, who doesn't eat bananas? It's everything about them, the taste, the texture, how they turn brown and spotted. My parents never experienced any issues feeding me the foods kids typically avoid: broccoli, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms. But bananas, oh don't even try. A few years ago my aunt baked a banana cake and didn't tell me it was banana in an attempt to trick me into liking bananas. Not even the delicious maple frosting could mask the banana funk within the cake. I spit it out when my aunt wasn't looking and quickly begged my sister to please eat my cake. She happily obliged, but still said I owed her one. Lol.

Erin S., opens a new window: My kid won't eat corn (off the cob) without being able to mix them with mashed potatoes. And she won't eat mashed potatoes without either corn or peas stuck to it. We have established the "No Thank You Bite" where all you have to do is try something and then you can refuse to eat the rest. Just as long as you've taken a bite.

Christine S., opens a new window: My youngest son won't eat food that is touching (even now as a teenager). AND he has to have a different utensil for each food item.

Lori N., opens a new window: I loved mashed potatoes when I was little! I pushed a spoon in the middle and poured gravy in like my dad showed me. Then when I was 8, I could no longer swallow them and have not eaten them since! I do not like them to touch me at all and my hubby has to wash the pan they are mashed in. I LOVE baked potatoes now though!

ArapahoeSocial, opens a new window: I think I had a texture problem as a child. If a food was too tough, too chewy, too strong-smelling (like fish) or too crunchy, I didn't want to eat it. What helped me get over my aversions was to cook in the kitchen with my mom. Then I'd see everything that she did and see everything that went into my meals, and then I'd add things I liked. I love cooking, and now my mom calls me for help on her recipes! I still don't like seafood (smell and texture), cottage cheese and yogurt because of its texture (unless something like granola or fruit is mixed in).

Andrea P., opens a new window: I was a very picky eater when I was a child. I didn't like food mixing, so I didn't like sauces on my meals. I remember throwing a fit because when I asked for plain pasta at a restaurant, they still put olive oil on it. It even took a lot of forcing me to try it to realize that mac and cheese was not that bad. I also didn't like food that looked gross.

What helped me get over some of my pickiness was my last job would provide catered meals if you had to work past 8 pm. So it forced me to either eat whatever was provided or go hungry. Also I had a roommate a few years ago that liked cooking and sharing. I didn't want to disrupt the awesomeness of getting home-cooked meals when I got home from work, so I'd eat whatever was shared, even if I didn't like it.

Rebekah L., opens a new window: My daughter seems to have inherited her pickiness from her dad. She refuses to eat peanut butter and jelly, fruit snacks, grapes and lots of other "kid staples." She often decides she doesn't like a food simply based on the look of it. We've tried to establish the rule that if you don't taste it, you can't say you don't like it—but we still have to fight tooth and nail to get her to try something new!

As for myself, I couldn't STAND bananas when I was little (still don't like them unless they're green). They made me gag. So when my mom wasn't looking, I used to wrap up the banana in my napkin, pretend I had to go to the bathroom, and then throw away the banana. I was only caught once.

Elizabeth P., opens a new window: Whenever my sisters and I didn't want to eat something, my dad would pretend that he would take a picture of us while we were eating and then he would try to get the photos "developed" to prove that we had eaten it. But inevitably the photos couldn't be "developed" for some reason (they were lost, stolen, ruined, etc.). Then he would get us to eat more so that he could take more photographic "proof." And then he would repeat the process.

Patty I.: I had never been to a fancy restaurant until my Uncle took me to a Broker Restaurant when I was 12. They served the shrimp cocktail while he was in the restroom and I just took one, dipped it into the sauce and put it in my mouth. I did not know you were supposed to peel them and I have NEVER eaten one, single shrimp since!!

Years ago, one of my kids happened to get sick at school the day they served Salisbury steak...he cannot, and will not eat it or go near it, ever!

Sheena A., opens a new window: I don't like eggplant and while at an Italian restaurant my mother insisted I try a bite of her eggplant parmesan. I couldn't swallow it, so I kept taking sips of water trying to force myself to swallow instead and had puffed out cheeks full of water and eggplant parmesan. I had to go to the bathroom to spit it all out. She has never insisted I try something since.

Read T., opens a new window: I wouldn't eat yellow or orange cheese as a kid, just white. I have no idea where this came from, but I have outgrown it.

Megan S., opens a new window: I have always had a strong aversion to foods with (what I consider) over-powering flavors like pickles, olives and anything with mustard on it. Those flavors tend to just drown out anything else. Also mushrooms, I can't stand mushrooms. On the other hand, when I was little my grandmother got me to eat broccoli by telling me I was a giant and that broccoli florets were tiny trees; I only ate the tops but that still counts in my book!

Tiegan Z., opens a new window: I have a strong aversion to red cabbage. As a kid, I decided I did not like it. One night, my mom made me eat it within my dinner and later that night I got sick. I tied my being sick to the red cabbage, as kids will, and have avoided it ever since.

Daniel A., opens a new window: When I was a kid I hated green beans and sloppy joes. If my mom put either of these on my plate, I would cry and cry until she finally gave in and didn't make me eat them. To this day I still hate green beans and sloppy joes. I also don't like any of my food to touch regardless of what it is. And while I was staunchly opposed to eating these foods, which are actual food, I was known to sneak into my aunt's room at my grandma's house and eat drops of lotion and Vick's Vaporub. LOL! I was a weird kid.

Shelley A., opens a new window: I'm not really a picky eater, but I have "Food Rules." My biggest one is that different foods can't touch...unacceptable and gross. In my family, it's a joke that my food can't touch. When we go to buffets, I use about 5 different plates because I have to get small portions of everything on their own little section of the plate. I also eat all of one thing, then spin my plate to the next thing, eat all of that, spin the plate.