NO TOUCHING! - Separate Foods for the Picky Eater

Updated: Mar 30

With Judith Yeabsley

foods not touching #parentlikeyou

"DON'T LET MY FOODS TOUCH!"

Does this sound familiar?

Wanting foods to remain separate is super common.

Many children are uncomfortable with foods that touch well into the primary years and there are a surprising number of adults who still find it a challenge. The official label is brumotactillophobia – try saying that five times without making a mistake


The official label is brumotactillophobia – try saying that five times without making a mistake


Why no touching?

Any time we have a child that is less comfortable around eating then small things can become a real challenge. There are many logical reasons why separate foods are more easily accepted:


i) Contamination.

This is something that is a common complaint among children who find new foods a challenge. Having a food that is not a favourite, touching one that is, can be upsetting.

It can bring up all sorts of fears about how it may affect the accepted food. Will it make it taste or feel different, for example.

Moreover, just having a food that is not in the comfort zone next to something else on the plate can be really off-putting. A good way to understand this as an adult is to think about how easy it would be for us to eat comfortably if there was a hair sitting next to our potatoes!

This is absolutely not to say that we should not have foods that are not favourites on the plate, in fact we absolutely should be working towards this!


ii) Visuals

Separate foods can look cleaner, clearer and so more appealing. We do eat with our eyes and this is especially true of a picky eater. That first look – as many parents will attest to – can be the make or break!


iii) Simplicity

Mixing introduces all