Healthy food for picky eaters
Most people start out as picky eaters. The flavors of various foods are both exciting and frightening to feel on our tongue. But also, children have a natural ability to know when to eat, and when not to eat. If we force small children to eat more than they want, and to eat foods they find distasteful we’re more likely to create a picky eater. Therefore, start young and don’t force children to eat anything. Provide a large choice of healthy foods, limit or eliminate empty calories from the choices, and provide fresh filtered water for hydration instead of flavored drinks. Most children prefer “mono” meals, to casseroles or mixed foods. It’s okay, over time they are getting what they need.
If it’s too late, or this didn’t work, there are ways to feed a picky eater, whether it’s a child or a spouse.
Involve Them — Most people who take part in cooking the meal will delight more in eating it. Get everyone involved with cooking a healthy meal. Someone can mix, set the table, chop, and stir. From growing backyard gardens, to helping grocery shop, to putting it on the table, if everyone does their part to get the meal on the table they’ll appreciate the labor much more and eat more.
Don’t Force — You can’t please everyone all the time, all you can do is offer healthy choices at each meal. If a child, or spouse, doesn’t like something that is on the table, let them eat more of what they do like, and let it go. Making it an issue will cause more problems than just letting people be. There are times that people just don’t like something.
It’s Science — Scientifically, there are reasons people like things and not others. Some foods taste different to people based on their genetics. This is why some people love broccoli and others hate it. Some kids hate milk because they have a milk allergy or are lactose intolerant, don’t force them to ingest things they hate. There are always alternatives to meet their nutritional requirements.
Hide It — If you have people who say they hate veggies and simply won’t even try them, try hiding them. You can add many pureed veggies to sauces, meatloaf, and other foods and they won’t even know. Think of colors, for instance, add squash to mac & cheese, and they’ll never know. Add carrots to spaghetti sauce, and it won’t even show. Create nutritional smoothies with bananas, and other fruit with a little spinach added in. It’ll look green, but it’ll taste like fruit.
Relax — No picky eater purposely starves themselves. It’s okay to say no to some items and it’s okay not to cook special replacements for the picky eater, but it’s not okay to force them to eat things they don’t like. A few days of not having a replacement food will cause the picky eater to get hungrier, their digestive juices will start flowing, and formerly unsavory foods will naturally taste better.