Martha Stewart Has Some Controversial Food Rules For Kids

Whether you have an aversion to leafy greens or don't like the texture of shellfish, most people have a food that they just can't stand. But when you dislike more foods than you do like, you begin to veer into the category of picky eaters.

According to National Library of Medicine, a picky eater is someone who has "strong food preferences" and expresses an "unwillingness to eat familiar foods or to try new foods." While everyone has met a picky eater before, these choosy individuals are most commonly found in the 5-and-younger crowd. For kids, the picky eating period is most extreme from approximately 1 to 2 years old to 3 to 5 years old, as noted by Your Kids Table. According to The New York Times, pickiness is a common phase for children in this age group, but it is largely up to parents to help them grow out of it. 

When it comes to picky eaters, every parent has their own strategy. Guy Fieri has a creative parenting hack for picky eaters involving exposing young ones to a range of foods, while Chrissy Teigen finally got her "picky" daughter to eat by letting her have a say in menu planning. 

Given that children are normally the pickiest eaters, it makes sense that a typical kids' menu in the U.S. consists of chicken nuggets, hot dogs, French fries, and pizza. But not everyone agrees that feeding this type of food to kids is a good idea — including Martha Stewart. In an interview with Insider, the lifestyle guru shared her thoughts on "kid-friendly" meals.

Stewart believes kids should be more adventurous eaters

In an Instagram post from this month, Martha Stewart shared her recipe for "kid-friendly" fish stew. "Kids are sure to spoon this stew up," she captioned the post. Unfortunately, Stewart's followers couldn't agree less. "Have you met children?" one user wrote, while another commented, "Looks delightful, but my kids wouldn't touch it I'm sure." The stew featured a broth made from clam juice and heavy cream, with ingredients such as potatoes, corn, and salmon floating in the soup.

In a follow-up interview with Insider, the New Jersey-native backed up her stance on "kid-friendly food," stating, "I don't think children should be fed chicken fingers and mashed potatoes or French fries. I don't think that's really what it's all about. It's about exposing children to as much as possible." Not only did Stewart's daughter Alexis eat the infamous fish stew as a child, but the cookbook author's grandchildren are also adventurous eaters, having consumed dishes with ostrich, caviar, and oysters as kids. 

Stewart may be onto something. In an interview with Self, Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D., an expert in human food preferences, discussed how exposing children to unfamiliar foods is a great way to encourage more adventurous eating. "If you have parents who don't really like to try anything new, you will also be exposed to fewer new foods," Pelchat shared.