Reading Response: Picky Eater

Read Summary

In her essay, Julia Alvarez explores how her childhood experiences in the Dominican Republic shaped her relationship with food. Her mother’s concern for her children’s health led to strict rules against eating outside the home, resulting in Julia becoming a picky eater. However, as she grew older and started sharing meals with her husband’s family, she began to appreciate the importance of food in bringing people together. Alvarez reflects on the value of family dinners and the joy of feeling included at the table. Ultimately, her journey highlights the role of food in shaping our relationships and sense of belonging.

Table of Content

Julia Alvarez writes about how she became a picky eater and how food influenced her life, the way she eats and even perceived foods. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, foods outside the home where not necessarily safe and therefore forbidden. Since infant mortality was high, Julia’s mother worried about her children growing up healthy and hence forcing food on her kids. This carries over to her adulthood and she describes her eating habits during college as well as how her habits changed when she met her current husband and how food is now an important part of her life.

Being a picky eater, my one criterion for food was: is it something might eat? “‘ This is something can’t relate because I love food. love the different textures, how they come together and complement each other. The time spent together with family and friends is something that I still value. This is was totally foreign to Julia. Food didn’t seem important to her, but more of a nuisance until she started sharing the dinner table with her new husband, step children and In laws. She writes: “Eventually realized that If eat slowly and kept my ears open, I could learn a lot.

I also started to taste the food stead of swallowing it. ” To me, food ties family and friends together. Growing up we always had dinner together and that was something I continued with my family. I was kind of sad for Julia and felt she had been missing out on quality family time and it was even confirmed for me when she is questioning herself on belonging. When read her last sentence: “… I’ve put down what had in my hands-my contribution to the feast-and looked around, I’ve found a place set for me at the table”, this made my heart sing a littler for Julia because to me, that is the best feeling ever!

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Reading Response: Picky Eater. (2017, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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