Are You a Food Prep Picker?


Do you find cake batter irresistible and can’t help nibbling as you prep food? You definitely aren’t alone! But how do you leave the eating part until your meal is well and truly cooked?

Over the Christmas break I was making some beautiful little shortbreads and fruit mince tarts to give to people as gifts. While I was waiting for the tarts to finish baking, I phoned a friend of mine for a catch up and we had a chat about why she doesn’t bake or cook much.

She confessed that she is a chronic food picker and told me that while she is cooking she often eats half the dish during the prep process!

I can see why this would put you off getting into the kitchen. All that effort and you don’t even get the end result! Also eating half a bowl full of cookie dough is a sure fire way to gain a huge amount of calories and a sore stomach.

My friend is definitely not the only person I know that does this so I thought I would give some advice to help deal with the urge to eat while cooking.

  • Drink Up
    Have a drink beside you while you are cooking or baking. Make it a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of water flavored with lime or lemon or something that has quite a distinctive taste. The stronger the flavour in the drink the less likely you are to want to pick at that as your tastebuds will be preoccupied!
  • Minty Fresh
    Chew a piece of chewing gum or clean your teeth before you start cooking. The minty taste in your mouth will not blend well with whatever it is you are cooking, thus prevent you from picking in the first place.
  • Write it Down!
    Challenge yourself to spend a day writing down EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth as you consume it. The process of documenting what you eat in a day is a real wake up call for a lot of people as often they realise how much extra food they are consuming without realising. It’ll make you think twice next time you go to mindlessly eat!
  • Snack On This
    If you really cant stop yourself grazing chop up a carrot, some celery sticks or capsicum and only pick at those. These options are low in calories and they also take a while to eat!

Your kitchen is ground control in the war on weight loss and there is no way you can maintain health without putting in some time there. But there’s no reason why you can’t have fun in the kitchen and still be in control. Like cooking itself, it’s all about being prepared!

Georgina Moore
Dietitian with over ten years of experience in hospitals and private practice, Georgie is a self-confessed fruit and vegie queen with a soft spot for pumpkin. Swapping doughnuts for apples as a child, she is your ultimate shopping list and nutrition planner, keeping your meals in check and your pantry clean. Running marathons in her spare time, she winds down drinking plenty of tea.

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