My son turned 16 almost two weeks ago, and another post on another board got me thinking about his eating habits.The post in question asked for how to raise a kid who isn't a picky eater.
I can give our experience to you in a nutshell: We never "assumed" Ian wouldn't like a given food. As a result, he's always been a person who will try anything twice; as he puts it, "The first time they may not have made it right."
I really think that an awful lot of picky eaters are the result of an upbringing by parents who either eat a fairly limited menu, have food issues of their own, or both. They project their issues onto their children, assuming that the kids won't eat something that they've never even tried, when in reality the kid may love the item in question. As the child grows up, this skittishness about food becomes ingrained. My niece, who lives up the street, is the Poster Child for this sort of thing. She doesn't even like ranch dressing. Who ever heard of a suburban American kid not liking ranch dressing?
We just always assumed Ian might like just about anything. And indeed, he has very few dislikes. He doesn't like raw onions or any food where onion is the primary ingredient (French onion soup, for example). Brussels sprouts are a challenge. He won't touch organ meats, but that's OK because with the exception of chicken liver neither will I. But those are the only major hangups. He's been eating seafood since he could eat solid food, and when he was little senior citizens in the grocery store would do a double-take when he'd ask for broccoli in the produce aisle. Sushi is a passion of his. And when faced by something he's never tried before, his reaction is always the same: "Let's give it a try."
I'm thankful for this, but he has no siblings so I need some other models if I'm to answer in this question: How out of the ordinary is he for his age?