Weekend Reads: Snake Oil, Picky Eaters, etc

Well hi there! Welcome to 2016 everyone! Yeah we’re a few days in, but still in the “happy new year” range I feel. Anyway, I have had a pretty good start to the new year, and hope you have too. I got a couple links that might be worth your time today, and one slightly shameless one at the end.  Ready? Let’s go.


If you’re looking for….some beautiful illustrations:

Illustrations e.e. cummings drew for his daughter to illustrate his fairy tales.

If you’re looking for….some snake oil:

I love the title of this post “Parenting has a snake oil problem“. Good article too.

If you’re looking for….some help with a picky eater:

The Atlantic covers the psychology behind it.

If you’re looking for….a reason to be good enough:

A case for good enough parenting.

If you’re looking for….a gender in ads issue:

An interesting look at toy ads, and how they influence our perceptions of boy and girl activities.

If you’re looking for….some shameless self promotion:

For the past few years, I’ve given a talk to my brother’s high school class about how to skeptically read science on the internet. I’ve been attempting to actually blog out this talk in a series format, with the hopes that I can get some comments/feedback/new examples. I like having examples from a wide range of politic persuasions/social views/hobbies, because I like to make sure I have something for everyone. Anyway, if you’d like to check it out, the intro (and index!) is here. I’m trying to do ten parts, with Part 1,  Part 2 and Part 3 already up. Thanks!


Featured Image Credit: Flickr user bethany actually (no relation)


Bethany is a perpetual student who just won't stop taking classes. She's gone from engineering to psych and family systems to applied statistics, and is really fascinated by how people feel about numbers. She blogs about this over at Graph Paper Diaries, and experimenting with contingency tables at Two Ways to Be Wrong.

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  1. I have two personal tips for parents of picky eaters:
    1) Find out if they’re actually picky or if they’re just trying to fuck with you. Mine will happily eat whatever is put in front of them at school/daycare but complain loudly whenever I serve something outside of a small canon of approved foods.

    2) Calm down. Unless your kid is anorectic they won’t starve in front of a full table. If they insist on having dry rice  (even though that particular meal as their own idea), let them have dry rice. It’s not you who’s losing out on delicious Southwest chicken, right?

  2. Ah, picky eating.

    I actually didn’t dislike most foods, just the way they were often served. Mostly a texture and/or sensory issue. Things I had to learn to eat: sauce, on anything (pizza included). Food mashed or stirred together. Food even touching a different kind of food. I still don’t eat most chopped up meats, like in meatballs etc. Tbh most of these things still evoke an initial surge of sheer disgust when I see them on my plate, I can just get past that and remember that it doesn’t actually make it taste, or even feel, bad. Except minced meats or fruits mixed up with bread or cake-like stuff, eww.  The way I had to learn to eat them: being too shy/afraid to stand out any more than I did, to tell my friends’ parents my likes/dislikes at sleepovers, age 12 upwards.

    Then I could finally figure out which stuff I just genuinely don’t like, such as rhubarb.

    (I also can’t walk on grass, it just feels horrific to me, even with shoes.)

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