Adventurous eating, tends to lead to better nutrition, but unfortunately, not everyone is open to trying new foods. Particularly picky eaters, they often miss out on many essential nutrients because they are scared of deviating from their favourite comfort foods. It can be a challenge to introduce healthy fruits and vegetables into a picky eater’s diet.
Our Food and Nutritionist, Mohammad Adnaan has put together a list of 9 adventurous and useful tips to help your kids overcome their fussy eating habits and hopefully begin to enjoy a balanced and varied diet!
Here are some methods to make healthy eating a routine for your kids:
Avoid placing constant restrictions on food
Heavy restricting of food increases the risk your child may develop eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia later in life. It can also have a negative effect on growth and development. Instead of banning foods, talk about all the healthy, nutritional options there are, not only when they ask for the non healthy options, but in general too — encouraging your family to choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy, while avoiding heavily processed, low-quality junk foods.
Stay Clear of “good” and “bad” food labeling
Instead, associate foods to the things your child cares about, such as sports or doing well in school. Let your child know that lean protein such as chicken and calcium in dairy products give them strength for sports. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables add luster to skin and hair and so on.
Don’t be on their case constantly over their food choices
Rather, when children choose fatty, fried, unhealthy foods, redirect them by suggesting a healthier option. Instead of regular potato chips and dip, offer baked tortilla chips and salsa (They are so much more flavoursome too!).
Too busy? Keep naturally sweet dried fruit at home, this will engage and control their sugar craving. Instead of buying French fries, try roasting sliced potatoes in the oven (tossed in just a bit of oil and some spices).
Be a role model.
If you’re constantly on a diet or have erratic eating habits, your children will grow up thinking that this sort of behaviour is normal. Be honest with yourself about the kinds of food messages you’re sending. Trust your body to tell you when you’re hungry and when you’re full, and your kids will learn to do the same. They learn so much more from what they see others do than what they are told to do.
Having Family Dinners in the Evening
If this isn’t a tradition in your home, make it one. Research shows that children who eat dinners at the table with their parents have better nutrition, not to mention all the other benefits that family dinners bring. If every night is difficult then work up to three or four per week, to gradually build the habit.
Profeta Prophetic Gem
Not to mention, a saying of the holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH);
‘Wahshi bin Harb (RA) reported: Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “We eat but are not satisfied.” He (SAW) said, “Perhaps you eat separately.” The Companions replied in the affirmative. He then said: “Eat together and mention the Name of Allah over your food. It will be blessed for you.” [Abu Dawud].
In this hadith we are told of two things, if done together, result in Allah (SWT) blessing our food and putting barakah in it: saying Bismillah, and eating with others. Family dinners have the potential to increase the barakah of our food, a great blessing only attained when eating together.’
Sprinkling Some Sweetness
A little sprinkle of brown sugar on carrots, or a little dash of sweetness on fruits are acceptable. They’ll eventually outgrow this need for extra sweetness, but in the meantime, they’re eating fruits and vegetables.
Reward not your Kids With Food
This could create weight problems in later life and it forces them to label their foods in association to reward rather than nourishment and nutrition. Instead, reward your children with something physical and fun — perhaps a trip to the park or an activity of their liking.
If your kids won’t eat vegetables, experiment with condiments and dips. Thinly cut carrot with some hummus, salsa, guacamole the list goes on. Choose a dip or condiment with real ingredients, like Simply Heinz Ketchup (it’s made without high fructose corn syrup).
9. Its a long term mission
Short term supplements, long term habits.. To find out more about the ideal supplements for fussy eaters or children that are left deficient of certain vitamins and minerals check out this post –
The Importance of a Well-Balanced Diet
Well-balanced, consistent nutrition is extremely important for growth and development starting from birth and continuing into adulthood. Healthy eating patterns incorporating low-fat dairy products, plenty of fresh fruits and a rainbow of vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains should start early in childhood. Model healthy eating for your child. Aim to get your child’s nutrients through foods, but supplement nutrients when needed after talking to your pediatrician.
Supplements aid a balanced diet and are a useful way of you ensuring your child is getting their essential nutrients in, which can be particularly important for fussy eaters. One of these methods is by providing your kids daily multi-vitamins; Multi–vitamin’s can indeed be a good nutrition insurance against missing out on important nutrients, like iron, vitamin D, and calcium.
Depending on the needs of your child’s diet. Profeta Health offers a wide range of Vitamins including; Vitamin D for bone health, Multi-vitamins, Omega 3 and Vitamin C Gummies. Our gummies range has been carefully formulated for optimised nutrition via a tasty gummy bear which children love!
Pick up our children’s gummies bundle below for a discounted price! Link