Are YOU a Picky Eater?
Sometimes it feels like we eat the same things day after day and we have our select favorites. Or our kids keep eating the same meal over and over...why do we do it? How can we change? Do we need to change? Those are some of the questions we often asks ourselves when we look at our eating habits. Hopefully this article can help you answer some of those tricky questions or help you to feed a picky eater.
As I was looking at ways to curb my horrid little addiction to potato chips, potatoes being my food I used to eat with almost every meal, I can across this interesting chart:
It pointed out that sometimes when we like to eat a particular food, it is because we are missing a particular nutrient in our diet. Finding out what you might be missing in your diet can help you fix and overcome particular food habits you want to avoid and figure out why you were doing what you were doing.
However, as I am sure every mom to a picky eater can attest to, it may not always be about what is missing, but rather of preference. So, what do you do when your child has a particular food preference and you can't get them to eat other foods?? One thing that can be helpful is to figure out exactly why they like a particular food and to find other foods that share that same characteristic. For example, do they like Mac and Cheese because of the cheesy flavor? Then try giving them cheese blocks as a snack. Or do they like the color? Find other yellow foods to try then. Or, maybe it's the shape. You get the idea. Take their favorite food, find similar foods and built upon that. Make it fun. Kids are often excited to try new foods when it appeals to their sense of fun. You can even read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss or Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, both of which deal with picky eaters in a fun and humorous way.
One of our favorite ways at our house to introduce new foods to our family, young or old, is to try ethnic foods from our ancestors. For example, my family is from Poland, and we have recipes that use sauerkraut. My husband never had sauerkraut until the day we got married. However, he was willing to try it because it tied into my heritage. Now, I will admit, he still doesn't like it, but he tried it because of its importance in my family.
Of course, many of us don't have recipes that are generations old that we can use. However, we can use Grandma or Grandpa's favorite meal to make new traditions in our families. For example, my girls were willing to try out Tuna on Toast, a memorable meal of my parents because it was meaningful to their grandparents.
So, as you think about what you would like to do for yourself or your picky eaters, take a fresh approach, be daring, be bold, and have fun! But most of all, give yourself a pat on the back for trying to tackle old habits. Good for you!
Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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