The Wisdom of Young Picky Eaters

I’m sure that what we want to eat is a good guide to what we should eat, so long as you ask what our preferences would have led us to eat 100,000 years ago — before we killed off the woolly mammoths. (Curiously, I’ve never seen this obvious idea in any nutrition text.) A vast amount of trial and error is embodied in those preferences. Because we learn to like foods, our best guide to unlearned preferences may be what children want to eat.

The great essayist George Trow doesn’t quite get it, I’m afraid:

In the New History, the preferences of a child carried as much weight as the preferences of an adult, so the refining of preferences was subtracted from what it was necessary for a man to learn to do.

The Wisdom of the One-Year-Old Picky Eater. The Wisdom of the Five-Year-Old Picky Eater.

2 Replies to “The Wisdom of Young Picky Eaters”

  1. Seth,
    I recommend you spend a day following the local ice cream man. Based on this, I’m pretty sure you’ll find that we should all be eating SoftServ all day and all night.

  2. And the only way to get my 3 year old to eat her yogurt is to put crackers or malted milk balls or the like into it. She turned her nose up at the free-range hard boiled chicken egg served in my home made chicken stock (also from a free range chicken).

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