05/06/2014 12:24 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Picky Eaters Are Made, Not Born

Travel anywhere in the world from Vietnam to France and you will see children happily eating vegetables, liver, even crickets.

Only in America do we produce children who only eat buttered noodles and chicken fingers. Only in America do we have children who won't touch vegetables.


Who is creating these fussy monsters?



Parents can create a different type of child. They do it by exposing their children to many different foods when they are young. They refuse to give into demands or begging.

I've seen the children of foodies happily dining on roast vegetable sandwiches or mushroom pizza with truffle oil.

Yet there are other parents who demand fries or macaroni and cheese because that's all he will eat.

My mother's response to not eating something..."You can go to bed hungry then." or "Anyone who does not eat his peas won't get dessert."

Food I initially rejected, I soon embraced. My favorite snack was carrot and celery sticks. She knew that and always had them in the house for me. Soda was a rare treat, one glass with popcorn and usually when Carol Burnett was on.

I love and embrace all kinds of food. Big flavors make me very happy.

The worst product of parents who produce picky eaters are adults with baby tastes. I hear it every day, young women who can't eat cheese, or tomato on a sandwich or one who refuses olives, but will eat olive juice.

I had a request from a diner in one of my classes that there be "no visible onions" in a dish. She could eat them, but only if she could not see them. I blame her parents.

I guarantee you your child will not grow up a fast food junkie, unless you start him or her young with McDonalds or other garbage food palaces as a treat.

What are you teaching a child when you feed them toxic garbage as a treat?

It's pretty simple. Stop eating crap yourselves parents. Set a good example. Cook at home as much as possible. Simple meals are fine, it does not need to take hours.

Let's end childhood obesity and baby tastes syndrome.

Consider it an act of love.