Most kids outgrow food neophobia as they mature, but those who do not outgrow it by young adulthood may struggle with the fear throughout their lives.Cenophobia, or the fear of new ideas, is a subset of neophobia.
Rocking child #2 during her infancy, I didn’t have a doubt that this was the kid who would embrace the rainbow on her plate, would grow up noshing on raw chard and heirloom tomatoes.
Neophobia, or the fear of new things, is a relatively complicated phobia. We may spend decades in the same house, working for the same employer, driving the same car and even eating the same thing every Friday night. We constantly strive for knowledge and achievement. In its mildest forms, it may not even be recognizable as a fear.
We eagerly await raises, promotions, and vacations.
It’s not exactly up there with the 2-year-old who gained admission to Mensa, or the kid who paints like Rembrandt, or the 13-year old best-selling author. She is what they call “neophobic.” Which is just a fancy way of saying that she’s a picky eater.
Now, I know that the moment I put those two words down – picky eater – plenty of people out there have already made their judgment about our family: Except you’re wrong.