The Picky Eater and Health

There are times when getting your child to eat is a huge task, there is always that one kid that chooses to be the picky eater. No matter what you may put in from of him or her you can’t seem to find that dish that they will like. So when you try to make them eat healthy you can find that this is a job within its self.

We all want our kids to eat healthier but sometimes it’s just not in their agenda they will refuse to eat what you put in front of them because most children don’t do healthy. We need to find alternative ways of getting out children to eat healthy and we first have to determine the way in which we will accomplish this goal.

Encouraging Your Child to Eat Healthy

When you first make your attempt at healthy eating there may be a lot of trial and error before you find what works with your child. Some children are turned off by food that is green, so try putting your green vegetables in other food that the child does enjoy, for instance, soup is something you can always get a child to eat. You may be surprised to know that celery sticks is something that your child would enjoy eating especially dipped in a salad dressing such as fat free ranch. This is a healthy snack that your child may enjoy, if you just can’t get them to eat celery try carrot sticks.

Another way in which to encourage your child to eat is to let them help prepare the meal. Children enjoy helping mom or dad out in the kitchen and they will also want to eat what they just helped prepare. Also steer clear of those sugary sodas and unhealthy snacks that most children love. An alternative to soda pop is juice, read the labels before purchasing because some juice has more sugar than soda. You could also try juicing, where you can juice fruits and vegetables to make a delicious and healthy drink or smoothie. What child can resist a smoothie? Give your children food and drinks that will build their bones such as milk, regular tap water that provide the fluoride which is good for the teeth. In terms of your child’s oral hygiene and avoiding Gum disease foods/drinks like Milk and cheese as well as chicken are amongst foods that are regularly said to be good for maintaining their oral hygiene as they re-deposit minerals taken from the teeth by acids in foods/drinks.
Be Creative

There are also creative ways that you can hide healthy foods in the foods that your child enjoy, adding vegetables to spaghetti and casseroles is a way in which you can get your child to eat them. Try fresh fruit such as apples with a sweet dipping sauce or cut up fruit to put over cereal. And don’t force your child to eat something that he/she doesn’t want to eat because it can make matters worse.

A Healthy Child

Children need nutrients that adults do not because they are still in the growth process of life. A balanced diet for kids should include fruits and vegetables, whole grain and dairy and getting your child to eat these foods can be taxing at times. Figuring out creative ways to get them to eat will help in providing your child with those healthy foods that will make them healthy. Remember don’t force or bribe and make it fun for them, you will find that it works wonders in your child’s development.

[box type=”info”]This article was written by Jem who is a freelance writer and health fanatic.  He is keen to educate the general public on gum disease/gum treatment, general/oral health and nutrition issues.[/box]

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  1. What about when children get older and they learn quickly from the world around them that there are foods that are quite different and may seem more appealing than what they are used to getting? Or if healthy eating is new to you and your family, your kids may be quite possessive of their junk foods. It’s not a good idea to force the healthy foods. Start slowly and gradually substitute with appealing alternatives. Kids need to be able to indulge now and then in sweets, but a well-nourished child does not crave sweets. Try not to label a food “good” or “bad”. This can create guilt and shame around wanting unhealthy foods, causing cravings and food addictions. A better way may be to call foods such as broccoli or whole grains “everyday” foods and cake and cookies “sometimes” foods. If children are made to “clean their plate” or are bribed with desert, they may feel that healthy eating is a chore. Some parents even serve a healthy desert with the meal so all foods have the same emotional appeal.

  2. Studies on nutrition show that parents who consume a healthy portion of foods from the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and other proteins, and dairy products) on a daily basis are much more likely to get children to make better food choices and greatly reduce the chances of developing obesity and many other health risks. Remembering to introduce foods from the five food groups at an early age helps develop their taste for healthy foods rather than a taste for salty or sugary treats.

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