There are times when it can be hard to eat with a picky partner who won’t try new foods. However, you can break out of a food rut with these helpful hints.
Why Your Partner is a Picky Eater
Before you try to change your picky partner, try to understand why your partner may be a picky eater. It could be genetic – there is actually a technical term for picky eating, neophobia. Studies have found that neophobia, which literally means ‘fear of the new,’ can be a combination of genetics and environment.
“Some adults may find that picky eating is something that developed in childhood and carried into adulthood, while others may have developed aversions or dislikes to foods in their later years, ”said dietitcian Crystal Karges.
Your partner may also be a picky eater because they’re risk averse in life. People who don’t take risks in life may be less likely to try new foods.
"There is a thrill-seeking personality trait,’” said said Dr. Marcia Pelchat, a researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. "It’s been shown, especially with spicy food, that there is some correlation with trying new foods and thrill seeking.”
Another reason why your partner may be a picky eater may not be the taste of the food – it could be the look or the smell. Picky eaters tend to be more sensitive to smell, so they may not eat food that smells weird to them. Your partner also may not like foods that they don’t like the look of, such as slimy okra or slippery eggs.
How To Get your Picky Partner to Eat Anything
There are many ways to get your partner to try new foods. Here are some tips before your next date night at a restaurant.
Pair a familiar food your partner already loves with a new food. If all your partner eats is fast food, try to pair a burger with avocado on the side. By taking small steps, your partner can gradually incorporate new foods into their diet. They can try a piece of the avocado, then eat their familiar burger if they don’t like the new food.
Try a new food in private. A crowded dinner party is not the best place for your partner to try a new food. They could be shamed by other dinner guests if they don’t want to eat all the food at the party. Your partner could try a new food on your next date alone so there’s no pressure for them to eat different foods. You can even make the food part of a romantic night together.
Reward your partner for trying a new food. Your partner is trying very hard to try new foods and you should be proud of them. Reward your partner by going outside of their comfort zone by giving them positive reinforcement when they try new foods.
*A picky eater partner can seem like a bore if they won’t try new foods. However, with patience and love, your partner can venture out with you to add new flavors to your romance. *