Satisfying the Pickiest of Eaters January 17, 2014
Today, we’re super excited to feature a blog post from our amazing resident nutritionist, Rebecca Washa. Not only is Rebecca a huge help here at HelloFresh, but she also has a pretty inspiring story. When her mom passed away from breast cancer 7 years ago, Rebecca decided to change hers and others’ lives by reconnecting with real food. Rebecca’s passion lies in getting people back into the kitchen, as she explains it, “There is a disconnect between real food and cooking – we’ve lost an entire generation of kids who don’t even know how to cook. This is a big problem being shown through our current health and way of eating.” Rebecca, we couldn’t agree more! Now on to today’s topic…Picky eaters!
If you’re a parent with picky eaters, you are not alone! It can be very frustrating when you are trying to help your child eat a healthy diet and they reject the foods you provide them with. Don’t give up; on average, it takes over a dozen presentations of a new food before a child is willing to just taste the food — and as much as a further dozen tastes before a child will actually eat something new.
If you have a fussy eater, encourage your child gently. Children shouldn’t be forced to eat a new food, but they should be encouraged to simply taste the things that are served. With this in mind, try not to offer new foods unless you yourself are in a relaxed mood so that the experience is pleasant for both of you. It also helps to make sure there is always at least one thing on the table your child likes.
One way to increase the variety of new foods in your child’s diet is to try eating fruits and veggies of all colors of the rainbow. You can make this a fun activity by doing “taste training” with your children. For example, choose one type of food (like citrus) and try many different varieties (i.e. lemon, orange, grapefruit, and lime). Ask children to pick a favorite – it may turn into their new favorite flavor! You can also build variety on top of what kids already like by introducing variations on your children’s favorite food dishes. For example, if they like one type of rice, try others (i.e. white, brown, wild, Arborio, basmati, jasmine, etc…).
Bottom line, it is important to remember that as parents, you are in charge of your children’s food education. In fact, children will eat what adults eat, so modeling positive eating behaviors yourself is critical. If you eat well, chances are your children will as well. Lastly, take a look at your family’s schedule: is your busy lifestyle preventing you from eating proper meals? If so, try to make sufficient time in your schedule for healthy eating in order to teach this important skill to your children.