Are foodie kids any better than picky kids?

I grew up as a severely picky eater. I wasn't one of those kids that would only eat chicken nuggets for breakfast, lunch and dinner but I was pretty close. Most of my meals consisted of some variety of pasta or pizza with very few veggies (if any). In fact, I can count the number of fruit and vegetables I would eat until I was in my early 20's on one hand.

Now that I'm an adult, though, I've kind of turned into a foodie. It's come slow and I often have had to force myself, but I genuinely enjoy trying new foods these days. I joke around with my friends who are foodies too and we often talk about the last delicious meal we had, describing every plate in detail. But I can't imagine ever doing that as a kid. With the rise of food culture and the locavore trend, though, some children are becoming foodies in their own right.

But is being a child foodie a good thing?


Read more ¿Qué más? Why you should be worried about your picky eater.

That's the question that is asked by TIME magazine writer Josh Ozersky, who contemplates whether foodie kids are a sign of the End of Times. In my opinion, though, there are two very different definition of foodies: the kind that have a true love of food and experiencing new flavors and those that are, when it comes right down to it, food snobs.

He describes a kid who won't eat canned or jarred foods and actually spits out bottled tomato sauce. Can this kid really tell the difference or has he developed into a food snob at only 8 years old? He actually goes on to suggest that it's wrong to "encourage prepubescent epicureanism" because kids need to know that there are others who are starving while they're indulging a "rarefied interest in unusual foods". But he's the one that's wrong.

While I agree that kids need to know about what goes on in our country and that not everyone has access to expensive, rare food, kids also need to learn about different cultures. Food is such a rich and important part of our Latin culture, isn't it? It's how our families connect and share their history, their stories and their love. Who doesn't have at least one memory of their grandmother cooking or teaching us something about food? So what's wrong with a child learning about another culture through its food as well? And if we help to not make them picky eaters, what's the harm in that?

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When it comes down to teaching my kids about food and culture, I hope they will take after mom and develop a love of food and trying new things as well. It's not that I want my kids to be food snobs (I really don't!) but I fear for them if they fall into the other end of the spectrum, the picky eater. But I honestly want my child to be a foodie, meaning they enjoy the food and flavors of different countries and aren't afraid to try new things. After all, how can courage be a bad thing?

Do you think a child being a foodie is a good thing? Are your children foodies, food snobs or picky eaters?

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