Children are known for being picky eaters. Studies have shown that some of it is biological: kids are hardwired to have a stronger preference for sweets. Children have taste buds that are more sensitive to bitterness – evolution’s warning sign against toxins – and they also have greater sensitivity towards colors and textures.

As we progress into our college years, though, we usually become more willing to experiment with different foods as we increase our exposure to different culinary experiences and cultures.

Nonetheless, fussy eaters make for memorable stories. Didn’t eat broccoli as a kid? You’re not alone. We asked around UMD to find out exactly how ridiculous our students were with their eating habits in the past. Below, we’ve summarized our findings and collected some of the oddest food shenanigans, as quoted by students on campus.

Some had selective eating habits


Photo by Wendy Zhou

“My foods had to remain separate. If the peas and the potatoes touched, I wouldn’t eat either of them. Also, I wouldn’t eat anything green.” —Mitch

“I wouldn’t eat anything but shrimp flavored cup noodles for the longest time.” —Aaron

“I refused to eat anything besides bologna & butter sandwiches all throughout elementary school.” —Megane

“I only ate the fluffy top portion of broccoli and not the stem. ” —Danny

“I didn’t eat any vegetables for a five year period from 4-9 years old. I also refused to drink milk (I would flush it down the sink). My mom was like, ‘MILK IS SO EXPENSIVE WTF’ and I’m like, ‘Mom, this is me: love me or leave.’ The sink still smells like milk.” —Hannah

Some ate the weirdest, most random sh*t


Photo by Wendy Zhou

“I loved snacking on dried octopus weekly. We’d buy bags in bulk whenever we went to New York.” —Ming, Connie

“I used to eat crayons and the tops of markers. Also, I ate tofu and hummus together a lot as a kid. That’s because I had a lot of food allergies.” —Sam

“Those Chapsticks that had flavors like Skittles or Dr. Pepper? I used to nibble on those all the time.” —Dania

Some had strong feelings about ketchup


Photo by Wendy Zhou

“I drank ketchup straight out of the bottle.” —Julia

“In elementary school, every time I ate popcorn chicken or fries, I would make a special sauce using all the sauces they had at the cafeteria. I mixed ketchup, sweet/sour duck sauce, mustard, hot sauce and barbecue sauce together, then dipped my fries or popcorn chicken in that.” —Jack

“I couldn’t touch, look at, or even be in the same room as ketchup. If I saw a bottle of ketchup at a restaurant, I would run away.” —Imad

Some had really odd noodle rituals


Photo by Wendy Zhou

“I would only eat 100 strands of pasta. My mom would plop down a plate of spaghetti, and I would count the strands as I ate them, one by one, until I got to 100.” —Ramya

“I put cold milk in my ramen noodles instead of boiling water. The ramen was really spicy and hot, so I thought milk would counteract that.” —James

Some even had nit-picky relationships with their fruit


Photo by Kristine Mahan

“I always needed to eat apples and oranges together. I couldn’t eat one fruit without the other. Also, the only time I ate peanut butter was with toasted cinnamon raisin bread. I would not eat peanut butter with any other type of bread.” —Imad

“Once, I saw someone peel to the brown pointy end of the banana and was really grossed out by it. From that point on until I was about ten, I would only eat half of a banana and throw the other half away, just to avoid seeing the end.” —Pran