Picky Eaters – Choose Healthy and attractive Foods for kids

2 years ago
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Feeding children can be challenging, especially if your child is a picky eater. Many parents find themselves needing to cook multiple meals when confronted with a picky eater, or turn to less healthy ‘kid’ foods like chicken nuggets, hot dogs or macaroni and cheese. Finicky eaters typically fall under 2 categories- neophobics and picky eaters. A neophobic is not prepared to try new or unfamiliar foods, whereas a picky eater is unwilling to consume a variety of familiar foods.

Neophobics might have mothers that are reluctant to try new foods, while pickiness could reflect a genuine dislike of foods or an effort to resist parental control. Researchers think that neophobics may eventually learn to try new foods, however this may be innate. Picky eaters are not as likely to change habits, but may grow into liking a wider variety of foods as they age. Before you give up and then cook multiple meals for your family, try the following:

  • Offer a variety of foods, but don’t nag, hassle or bribe
  • Model good eating behaviors
  • Be non-judgemental about food choices
  • Do not try to sneak healthy food into dishes your child normally eats
  • Offer new foods with favorite dishes
  • Monitor your child’s development through regular pediatric visits
  • Supplement your child’s diet with a daily multi-vitamin
  • Do not use food like a reward
  • Relax! The greater anxious and upset you're, the greater your son or daughter may refuse food

Parents may worry their child isn’t getting adequate nutrition when he’s a fussy eater. But, which nutrients are most significant? Carbohydrates, protein, fat? Browse the list below for that top 10 nutrients to focus on for normal growth and development. You may be surprised at how many choices your picky eater has.

  1. Protein– For growth, strength and immunity (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, milk, peas, nuts, tofu)
  2. Iron– For blood, immunity and normal development (meat, fish, poultry, fortified grains & cereals, peas)
  3. Calcium-For strong bones & teeth, and blood pressure control (dairy products, calcium-fortified juice, dark/green/leafy vegetables)
  4. Vitamin C– For wound healing, immunity and iron absorption (lemon or lime, kiwi, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes)
  5. Vitamin A– For skin integrity, immunity and bone growth (orange and dark green fruits and vegetables, liver, egg yolks, dairy
    products)
  6. Zinc– For growth, immunity, sexual maturation, skin integrity (meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, whole grain products)
  7. Vitamin D– For normal calcium absorption, healthy bones & teeth (fortified milk products, casual sun exposure)
  8. Carbohydrate– For wind turbine and fiber (grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables, dairy products)
  9. Fat– For energy, fat-soluble vitamin transport, shock absorption (cook with unsaturated fats for example olive, peanut or canola oil, limit saturated and trans fat, fried foods, high fat desserts and processed meats and cheeses)
  10. Water– For digestion, transport & absorption of nutrients. Prevents dehydration, maintains BP & regulates body temperature. (strive for a minimum of six 8 oz cups of water per day)
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