We all have our go-to’s and favorites when it comes to foods. But what to do when whole food groups have disappeared from the acceptable list? If it seems like all kinds of foods have made the “naughty list,” what can we do to bring back some variety into our family’s diet?
First, let’s tackle some of the pickiest eaters in the house, Kids. One of the MOST challenging issues when it comes to eating a well-rounded diet can be dealing with a limited or “picky” palate.
If your child is healthy and eating a nutritious and varied diet, this is the most important point. If your child is healthy and eats a nutritious and varied diet, yet seems to eat very little, he or she may simply need less food energy (calories) than other children. This is ok. And some children need more daily calories than others the same age or size, and they eat more than you might expect. Every child has different calorie needs.
To avoid a power struggle at meals, it can be helpful to think about the what, where, and when of eating.
As a sub- comment: Stay out of these decisions (avoid the clean plate club).
If you are worried about food waste- offer smaller portions with greater variety and then allow for seconds when your child is still hungry.
Remember food is about more than just fuel or just satisfaction!
Putting all this into practice can be difficult, so tackle a few at a time. Select 1 or 2 of the habits listed above that you feel you (or your family ) could grow into, and focus there. When you have that down, move on to another skill to build.
If budget is a barrier to getting a variety of foods in the house, there are a variety of programs to help you access good, nutritious foods. Working with a dietitian can help you identify programs and services you may qualify for, as well as help boost your cooking confidence. We can help with shopping, cooking, and eating the right kinds of foods. Very basic cooking classes can get you the skills and confidence to try new foods yourself.
Remember, when working on making meals healthier, it can sometimes seem like it’s all about the family and their needs. If you are the primary meal preparer in the house, it’s important to care for yourself and sustain your curiosity and zeal for this everyday task. Make it fun for you too! New cookbooks, social media feeds, or even trying a new restaurant can spark your interest in new foods and rekindle a love for foods you didn’t even know existed.