A few years back my family hosted a friend from a few commands back at our house for dinner. She brought her daughter with, and we had a simple dinner: pizza, salad, and brownies for dessert. Yes, not the healthiest thing in the world, but something that would please most people.
Apparently not. The daughter would not eat the pizza or dinner. She didn’t like the “texture” of those foods, and had been diagnosed with “Avoidant Food Intake Disorder.” If you didn’t know that was a thing, don’t feel bad, because I didn’t either.
She would eat the brownies though! And, apparently, according to her mom, whenever she didn’t want to eat something, she would simply eat ice cream instead. After they left, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t in some sort of weird dream world.
Today I read this article about a teenager in the UK going blind due to eating only “potato chips, sausage, French Fries and white bread” for almost a decade. Same diagnoses about “food textures.” No surprise in the outcome.
Look, parenting is hard. My first child did not want to eat dinner, and I don’t know how many times I had to send her to bed hungry, with all the screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth that accompanied it, until she broke and ate dinner like a normal person. It sucked. But, it was important, because now my kids eat a balanced diet and will at least try new foods when we travel. It’s far more enjoyable to take them places and know I have almost unlimited dining options.
Rather than sucking it up and just doing the job, parents seem inclined to find a medical diagnosis to make up for their lack of parenting. Whether its food textures, food neophobia, fear of going down the playground slide, requirement for a service turkey, or some thing I simply can’t imagine right now, it boils down to having an excuse.
Now, that fear of food texture might be totally real. I won’t deny that. But it doesn’t matter. If you want to live in this world, you need to learn how to eat a balanced diet, or expect to suffer and die young. Providing excuses won’t make up for the nutrition your body needs.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.