Most of you have given up, while the rest are on the verge of giving up on making a picky eater in the house, get rid of the fatty food addiction. You scream, you love, you force, and finally you just give up! You can hear this in every other house and trust me the problem does not lie only with kids being picky. When we say picky eaters, most of us will be surprised with the variety in ages that are included. Adults too have been in the list for being picky and fussy eaters.
Fussy eating or picky eating, once in a while is acceptable, but denying healthy food on a regular basis or in certain cases almost everyday, is not a good sign. You may end up with health complications in the long run. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and cereal, nuts and seeds, legumes and more make a healthy platter and one must include all these in a daily diet. At least make sure to include a balance of these foods throughout the week. We have some tried and tested solutions on how to make picky eaters eat healthy, and that too all with a smile.
How to Get Picky Eaters to Eat Healthy
As we discussed earlier, picky eaters are not limited to children only, but we find many teenagers and adults too, who are in the league. Tackling each one according to the age group is also important, you can make a deal with a child who is a picky eater. For a wish or a reward like a weekly treat or increased time for video gaming or similar. But the same cannot be applicable for an adult. We have compiled these tips that can help you to get your picky eater eat healthy foods and balance the diet.
Follow It Personally
This is the most important point to consider. Do not be a hypocrite, when you expect somebody to eat right and healthy, you must be following it first. Do not expect your kids to eat healthy, when your personal lifestyle lacks a balanced diet. So set that example for your picky eater to listen to you.
Shop and Stack Right
The easiest way to keep unhealthy snacks and food out of reach is to not buy it at all. When making the grocery list make sure that you fill it with the healthiest of foods. Avoid buying the occasional packet of fries and chips, candy, cola and all that puts cholesterol at risk. Buy more fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and low fat yogurt or mayonnaise, whole grain bread. Avoid white starch and packaged or frozen junk food. While stacking up snacks, store oatmeal, nuts, cereal, healthy peanut butter, etc. in places where they are easy to reach. Keep all accessible snack counters filled with healthy food. Stack your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, etc. So even if the craving arises, there will not be any junk to fill it, your child will have to feed it with some healthy foods.
Variety is the Key
There are many foods that will give you your daily dose of nutrition. If your picky eater is not happy with spinach, try broccoli instead. There is a wide variety of vegetables filled with nutrition, do not force him to eat spinach all weeklong, give the choice of many vegetables throughout the week. The same goes with fruits, do not expect him to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereal, all in one day. Try giving veggies on a day, after a day or two, focus on more fruits and nuts. Play with the menu, so that food does not become boring. Include as much variety in the food that you can.
Cook it Right
This is the secret to making the most fussy eaters enjoy their food. How you cook the food is important. Using different recipes and cooking methods can make a big difference. Grill or bake the veggies instead of boiling them. Sneak them in sandwiches, burgers, salads and desserts. You can puree the vegetables and use them in cooking, while fruits can be made in delicious smoothies and desserts. Cook in variety, add some of their favorite foods in the vegetables, low fat cheese and yogurt is a good option. Make snacks out of vegetables, like finger foods when veggies are diced or cut in stripes, and prepare delicious dips or sauces as a combination.
Serve Right, in Style
It is believed, we first eat with our eyes, and it holds true. Food should be served presentable and made to look delicious. You can cut veggies in different shapes, make sandwiches and salads more colorful by adding variety of vegetables. You can also make the platter fun and interesting, just buy the way you serve the food. Be realistic about the serving, do not dump food in huge quantities, start with a small quantity and gradually increase the serving. For kids, foods served in smaller and bite sizes works. Know what is the nutritional requirement and accordingly plan a routine and diet to follow.
Understand the Eating Habits
It is important to understand his/her eating habits and the possible underlying cause. Some kids will not eat because you will force them to eat. While some will not eat because they will genuinely not like the taste. Know what fruits or vegetables does he like, take him shopping and let him choose his favorite veggies and fruits. For some, binging is like an addiction and may have an emotional or mental connect. Make sure you talk to him/her, if you find signs of addiction and a possible emotional issue.
Let Go for a Day
A break is a must, and it is absolutely alright to let go for a yummy cup of ice cream or a slice of pizza. For a little change, let the picky eater have his favorite food, but in moderation. That one day should not wash away your effort made on healthy eating for a week.
Do not force to the extreme that the picky eater will never listen to you. Be patient, explain the importance of nutrition and health to him/her. Tell them that you care, and that is the reason for the strict diet. Most of the time, they will understand and after they get used to, they will also develop a liking and taste for it, soon there will not even be the need to force or make an effort to help them eat healthy food.
Easier said than done, I agree. But let's not lose patience, come on, we all were fussy eaters at some point in time. It is natural to be picky, especially for kids. So it's normal to be picky, all you need is some patience and tricks that work. All the best!