Tag Archives: picky eaters

Picky Eating May Be Genetic For Some

No matter how hard you try, your kids may still be picky eaters. Lest you feel like it is your cooking skills that are lacking, a new study shows that picky eating may be genetic. In other words, if you were a picky eater, your kids just might be too.

It appears, based on the study, that children are genetically predisposed to liking and disliking certain tastes. Until they have determined whether a particular taste is one they do, in fact, like, they may be prone to turning it down. They will also commonly put food in and out of their mouths, repeatedly, before they decide one way or another.

So what is a parent to do? Should you give in to biology and picky eating habits and simply stop feeding your kids the nutritious foods they are turning down? If your parents had done that, you would not have developed the ability to eat a wide range of foods, as presumably you now have.

One way to help your child stop fearing new foods is to expose them to it every day, for five to 14 days. This is difficult on a tight budget, but placing a tiny amount of food on your child’s plate, but not requiring him to actually taste it, just may work.

But, in reality, you are going to tire of constantly throwing away perfectly good food, especially if it is costing you hard-earned money.

Another option is to hide foods into the foods your kids accept. For instance, you can turn pancakes pink with pureed beets, and your kids will likely not notice the change in taste. An avocado disappears in chocolate pudding, and brownies can hide nutrient-packed spinach.

This may not be the best strategy for teaching your kids to accept new foods when placed as they are on your plate, but for some moms, it is the best way to ensure that your kids picky eating does not prevent them from getting the nutrients they need. In the end, you need to do the best you can to feed your kids a healthy meal on a limited budget. With picky eating habits, you may need to be a little sneaky, but with good intentions. Although picky eating may be genetic, there are ways around it.

Healthy Eating Tips for Picky Eaters in Your Family

If you are blessed with a picky eater in your home, then you are probably at your whit’s end with all of the things you have tried to get your kid to eat. These tips for picky eaters will help you relax a little and rest assured that your child is unlikely to starve, no matter how picky he is.

First, it is vital that you resist the urge to force your child to eat. Children are not going to let themselves starve, so if they say they are not hungry, then listen and respect this. Do not turn it into a battle.

Next, keep your routine the same each day, with set meal and snack times. It is vital that you do not give your kids snacks in the hour or so before dinner, because they will not have enough hunger to entice them to try new foods. Snacks will only deter the picky eater from enjoying a healthy dinner.

When you do serve new foods, serve them with accepted foods. Be patient as your child experiments with the food. It may take multiple times before the child willingly eats a new food. Talk about the food using descriptive terminology that describes factors about it other than its taste, and let them see you enjoying the food.

Finally, set a good example of healthy eating, but don’t be afraid to be sneaky. If you can sneak spinach or grated zucchini into something that is an already accepted food, then do so. You will increase the nutritional value while you are encouraging your child to try veggies outside of those you sneak in. Over time while using these healthy eating tips for picky eaters, you can help your child develop a wide range of accepted, and even loved, healthy foods.

Hiding Veggies in Food

While it may not be the best possible nutritional option, hiding veggies in your kids’ foods may be the best solution for you as a busy single mom. After all, you simply do not have the time or energy to fight with your child to eat his broccoli. If you are interested in becoming a “sneaky chef,” consider these foods that are easy to hide.

Broccoli can be snuck into food if you can chop it fine enough. It will look like seasoning to your children. Many sauces can easily hide the taste. Grated carrots can also be easily snuck into your kids’ favorite foods, and if you grate them fine enough, they will not even know the difference between the carrots and shredded cheese.

Purees can also work well. Spinach and cauliflower can both be pureed and mixed into sauces without changing the taste too much. Cauliflower will not even change the color. If the food you are making is red in color, you can puree beets as well. You will need to experiment with the taste of the veggies to make sure that you are not changing the taste or texture of your child’s favorite foods.

The best way to have your kids eat their veggies is whole and fresh, if possible. But realistically, this is not always going to happen, and you need to make sure your children are getting adequate nutrition. Hiding veggies in food your children like may just be the solution you need to get those nutrients into your kids effectively and without a fight.

Picky Eating Increased by Nagging

How many times did you hear as a child, “You can have dessert after you clean your plate?” As a mom, you often struggle to get your kids to eat healthy foods, no matter how tastily and creatively you present them. Yet, nagging your kids or making rules about eating can increase picky eating problems. In fact, kids who are forced to clean their plate or eat their veggies before dessert may grow up to be eternally picky eaters or prone to over eating.

So what can a busy mom do to ensure that her kids get adequate nutrition, even if they are picky? First, avoid making it into a power struggle. You do not want negative emotions associated with food. Children naturally eat when they are hungry and avoid food when they are not. So instead of fighting with them if they claim they are not hungry, insist that they eat at meal times only, and provide healthy options. For most children that do not have a sensory or eating disorder, they will eventually eat if they are hungry enough. Avoid snacks, juice, and milk for at least an hour before mealtime if possible to increase your child’s need to eat when you present the healthy food options.

Remember that small children need to be exposed to a food many times before they will actually eat it, so provide new foods more than once before deciding that your child hates it. Allow a preferred option at your meal if you are introducing a new food so you can be certain there is something on the table to nourish your child.

Finally, find out if there is a dip that will entice your child to eat his veggies and stall the picky eating. If your little one will eat her green beans dipped in ketchup, then offer the ketchup, even if you think this is an odd taste. After all, she is eating her veggies, and getting a little added nutrients from the tomatoes in the ketchup!