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Picky eater in your family? Try using a different color of dishware, study suggests

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Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/picky-eater-family-try-color-dishware-study

Color may influence the way food tastes for picky eaters, according to a new study published in the journal Food Quality and Preference.

Picky eating usually “include[s] a limited diet, specific food preparation, strong dislikes and difficulty accepting new foods,” the study noted.

Picky eaters will generally consume fewer than 20 different food items in their lifespan, according to a previous study — which can lead to nutritional deficiencies in iron, zinc, and fiber, plus health issues such as heart disease, dental problems and osteoporosis.

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“There is also a social cost because normally enjoyable moments between family members can easily turn into stressful, anxious and conflict-causing situations when picky eaters feel ashamed or pressured to eat food,” said lead author Dr. Lorenzo Stafford.

The researcher studies the sense of smell in the department of psychology at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, according to a press release.

"Picky eating usually starts in childhood," Dr. Lama Bazzi, a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, told Fox News Digital. 

“Picky eating usually starts in childhood,” Dr. Lama Bazzi, a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, told Fox News Digital. 
(Gpoint Studio/iStock)

Stafford’s research team did an experiment with some 50 participants to assess their food “neophobia, which is a reluctance to eat or try new food,” the press release about the new study noted.

The smell and texture of food can affect how that food tastes for picky eaters — but research is limited in terms of how other senses influence taste for these types of eaters.

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So the researchers set out to find out how color influences taste in adult picky eaters.

The results showed the color of the bowls influenced how the picky group perceived the saltiness and desirability of foods. 

The participants were mostly young adults with a mean age of around 20, but they ranged in age from 18 to 33 years old; 15 of them were male, 31 were female and one was non-binary.

The study divided the individuals into picky and non-picky eaters, based on their responses to a standardized measure called the Food Neophobia scale. 

Both groups then sampled the same snacks served in red, white and blue bowls.

A new study has found that the color of the bowls in which food was served influenced how the picky eater group perceived the saltiness and desirability of the foods in front of them.

A new study has found that the color of the bowls in which food was served influenced how the picky eater group perceived the saltiness and desirability of the foods in front of them.
(iStock)

The results showed the color of the bowls influenced how the picky group perceived the saltiness and desirability of the foods — but did not influence the non-picky group.

The picky group rated the snack served in the red bowl as least desirable and the snack higher in saltiness in the red and blue bowl — compared to the white bowl.

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“In the U.K., salty snacks are often sold in blue packaging, and the team believe that this might explain some of the saltiness findings,” according to the press release. 

The colors blue, green and purple are considered “safer” colors — compared to the color red, which is usually associated with “stop,” said one expert.

“Picky eating usually starts in childhood,” Dr. Lama Bazzi, a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, told Fox News Digital. 

“All kids are picky eaters … and the reason is it’s about control,” said Bazzi, who’s also an expert in trauma and eating disorders.

“As humans we want to be individuals, and we want to have control over our environment, so children get into the power struggle of being picky eaters — especially if their parents will engage,” she added.

What color are the bowls or dishware you're using to serve food? For picky eaters, it might make a very big difference.

What color are the bowls or dishware you’re using to serve food? For picky eaters, it might make a very big difference.
(iStock)

She explained that if picky eating is not addressed properly as a child, it can evolve later into certain eating disorders, such as ARFID, or avoidant restrictive food intake disorder.

“All of this comes down to a sense of control and a sense of safety,” she told Fox News Digital.

So “when talking about the colors of the bowls [in the research study], it probably has to do with what makes that person feel safe, such as what colors are associated with safety,” Bazzi said.

Sippy cups are colorful by design to entice kids, to give them a sense of safety and to make it fun for them to drink something. 

The colors blue, green and purple, she said, are considered “safer” colors — compared to the color red, which is usually associated with “stop.” 

It makes sense, she said, “if you think of it from the point of view of control — and control being related to feeling safe in your environment — that eating food out of a bowl that’s blue or colored in a color that feels safe, that you would want to eat more.”

The concept is similar to the psychology of certain packaging grabbing people’s attention in the supermarket.

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Sippy cups are colorful by design to entice kids, to give them a sense of safety and to make it fun for them to drink something, Bazzi noted.

On the other hand, bait for cockroaches or ants — or other items designed to stop the spread of something — are often in red-colored packaging. 

The research is preliminary, yet the data may help picky eaters “expand [their] repertoire of foods.”

When advertisers want to entice consumers to buy chips or food, the packaging tends to use warm and inviting colors that remind people of their childhood, Bazzi added.

Stafford noted that the research is preliminary, yet the data may help picky eaters “expand the repertoire of foods,” the release noted.

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“For example, if you wanted to encourage a picky eater to try more vegetables well known to be viewed as bitter, you could attempt to serve [these foods] on a plate or bowl that is known to increase sweetness,” Stafford said in the press release. 

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“Through further research, we could determine ways to help positively affect a person’s diet, and as a result their mental and physical health.” 

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/picky-eater-family-try-color-dishware-study

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Groundhog Day quiz! How well do you know the facts about this unique day?

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Mobile app users: To access the quiz, click here!

Have you taken our car quiz yet? Try it here!

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To take even more quizzes from Fox News Digital, click here.

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10 facts about Black History Month that are well worth knowing during observances in February

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Every February, the nation celebrates Black History Month by honoring the contributions African Americans have made throughout history, while also recognizing that the fight for racial justice continues.

Previously, the theme for Black History Month was Black Health and Wellness, as outlined by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. This year, the association has announced the month’s theme is “Black resistance” with a planned virtual festival hosted by the association throughout February. 

“African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms and police killings since our arrival upon these shores,” said the ASALH in a statement. 

BLACK HISTORY IS AMERICAN HISTORY

“These efforts have been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond the United States political jurisdiction,” added the association. 

Jesse Jackson and others pose with copies of "Paul Robeson, the Great Forerunner" by the editors of Freedomways, 1980.

Jesse Jackson and others pose with copies of “Paul Robeson, the Great Forerunner” by the editors of Freedomways, 1980.
(Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

Scores of events across the country – in cities, communities, college campuses and more – are scheduled for this month.

10 key facts about Black History Month

1. The current population of Black and African Americans is 46.9 million, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. Also, 89.4% of African Americans age 25 and older had a high school diploma or higher in 2020, as Fox10 Phoenix reported.

2. A founder of ASALH, Carter G. Woodson, first had the idea of celebrating Black history. Woodson was born in 1875 to newly freed Virginia slaves. He later earned a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He worried that Black children were not being taught about their ancestors’ achievements in American schools in the early 1900s, as Fox 10 noted.

3. By the late 1960s, Negro History Week – the precursor for this month’s celebrations and events – changed into what is now known as Black History Month. In February 1969, a group of Black activist students and teachers at Kent State conducted the first celebration of Black History Month. Within a decade, Black social and cultural institutions throughout the country were celebrating the month, and by 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized it. 

4. The month of February was picked for Black History Month because it contained the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Lincoln was born on Feb. 12, and Douglass, a former slave who did not know his precise birthday, celebrated his date of birth on Feb. 14, Fox 10 also noted.

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5. ASALH has celebrated Negro History Week and Black History Month for 96 years. Woodson, along with the association, announced in 1926 that the second week of February would commemorate the achievements of Black Americans. Initially, prominent Black leaders and newspapers supported the idea, and some education centers along the East Coast observed the monthly celebration. 

6. Fifty years after the first celebrations, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month at the country’s 1976 bicentennial. Ford called on Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,” as History.com noted.

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7. Forty years after Ford’s recognition of Black History Month, President Barack Obama delivered this message, in part, from the White House: “Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington or from some of our sports heroes… It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans.”

Former President Barack Obama 

Former President Barack Obama 
(Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

8. Canada also commemorates Black History Month in February. Although Black Canadians are approximately 3.5% of the country’s total population, community leaders and activists still celebrate the historical achievements of the Black community. Canadian politicians Jean Augustine and Donald Oliver were instrumental in getting Black History Month officially recognized in the country by 2008. 

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9. At the time of Negro History Week’s launch in 1926, Woodson believed the teaching of Black history was key to the physical and intellectual survival of the race: “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” he said in part, as the Journal of Negro History reported.

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10. The 2023 theme for Black History Month is resistance; past themes have included Black health and wellness, family, migration and Black women in American culture and history, among others.

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Reddit user asks her adult daughter to pay half the monthly rent and utilities — family drama ensues

A Reddit user sought advice from others on whether it was OK or not for her to ask her adult daughter to split the rent with her.

Reddit user “throwaway_dating224” posted on the “Am I the A*****e” (AITA) subreddit on Jan. 30 asking if she was in the wrong for wanting her live-in 25-year-old daughter to pay part of the house rent payment.

The user said her daughter moved into her home in 2019 while she was attending college. 

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It’s unclear from the post whether the daughter had moved out, then moved back in; but the daughter has since graduated from college and gotten a paying job, although not enough to move out on her own. 

“I have asked her to split the cost of rent and utilities in half with me … and [she] doesn’t consider it fair,” the user wrote. 

The Reddit user said her daughter (not pictured) does not want to pay rent to her mom for her share of the home — claiming she's either saving for her own extended education or a down payment on a house. 

The Reddit user said her daughter (not pictured) does not want to pay rent to her mom for her share of the home — claiming she’s either saving for her own extended education or a down payment on a house. 
(iStock)

The poster said her daughter does not want to live with her and has told her that she’s saving money for continued education or a down payment on a house. 

The mother and daughter live in an area with a high cost of living, the Redditor said — but their rent is below average for the area. 

“Why are you too tired to move your stuff but not too tired to cash your daughter’s checks?”

Additionally, the mother said her daughter refuses to invite guests to the house, as she is “embarrassed at the state of the house,” repeatedly asking her mother to get rid of items in the home to make space for more of her things. 

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The mother claims she tends to be tired after work and finds it hard to clean up after herself once she’s back home.

The daughter (not pictured) claims her mother does not pick up around the house and that there's no room for all of her things, the Redditor wrote in her Jan. 30 post detailing a family standoff. 

The daughter (not pictured) claims her mother does not pick up around the house and that there’s no room for all of her things, the Redditor wrote in her Jan. 30 post detailing a family standoff. 
(iStock)

The Redditor ultimately wanted to know if it’s OK to ask her daughter to split the rent costs 50-50. 

An expert weighs in

This scenario is an example of a classic power struggle between a child and a parent, California-based parenting expert Stef Tousignant told Fox News Digital.

As a parent, there are three choices for how to approach this situation, Tousignant, a parenting expert for Parentdifferently.com, said. 

“Use your power to force or coerce, give in and let your child dictate the complete outcome — or use love, empathy and patience to come up with a solution with your child,” she also said. 

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The daughter in this situation is aware of the consequences of her actions as well as the concept of personal boundaries, said Tousignant, who recommended that the mother and daughter have a civil conversation. 

“Why should she pay half when the home is filled with all [of] your things?”

“The mother needs to come to the table with compassion for her daughter but boundaries for herself — and the daughter needs to come to the table with respect for her mother and accountability for her actions,” the expert recommended. 

The mother and daughter (not pictured) each need to "come to the table" with key points to make in a conversation, said California-based parenting expert Stef Tousignant.

The mother and daughter (not pictured) each need to “come to the table” with key points to make in a conversation, said California-based parenting expert Stef Tousignant.
(iStock)

Reddit users offered varying opinions on the hot topic. 

“Why should she pay half when the home is filled with all [of] your things?” one commenter wrote, addressing the mother. 

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Another user commented to the mom, “Why are you too tired to move your stuff but not too tired to cash your daughter’s checks?”

On the other hand, some users agree that the daughter should be pitching in and helping with expenses — but maybe not at a 50-50 split.

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“Charging her rent? Fine, no problem there,” one Reddit user responded. 

“But if she doesn’t have … use of half the space in the home yet, then remedy that before you charge her or adjust the rent [percentage] accordingly,” the same user added.

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