Fussy eaters. We have come all across the term and know that such people cringe or dislike eating certain food varieties at a given time and tend to eat the same food on another occasion.
Then, there are also picky eaters who chose their food from a select variety of items and are particular to the extent of even how the food is prepared.
This is common in children and when they display such behavior parents are helpless and give in to their demands by offering them food rich in calories.
But research has something important to say about this kind of eating. According to RD Professor and Didactic Program Director at the Auburn University, a majority of the food eaten by such people will either be insipid, salty or highly processed, leading to consumption of required or excess calories but not enough nutrients.
Furthermore, a recent study conducted on picky eaters found that they consumed lesser fruits and vegetables, unlike people who eat everything. This not only deprives them of protein but also essential nutrients including iron and zinc.
Picky eating can also lead to serious health issues including cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes and at the psychological level, such eaters tend to fear trying new foods. Moreover, it leads to increased levels of inflammatory markers.
“Picky eating leads usually to a one-sided diet with an aversion toward healthy foods that help lower inflammation,” shares Heikki Sarin, Co-Author of Childhood Obesity research project.
Here are some tips to help your family or dear ones overcome picky/fussy eating, especially if their health is beginning to concern you.
1) Get Them to Try Something New
Research suggests that picky/fussy eaters should sign up for cooking classes, tasting sessions and visit new restaurants as this helps improving their food preferences. So if your kids are throwing you a challenge with their choice of food, then enroll them to the nearest cooking class or dine in at the new restaurant near home and try out something different from the usual.
2) Add Different Flavors
If a family member doesn’t like the vegetable you prepared for dinner, you don’t have to get rid of it completely. Simply try a different preparation method or add in some palatable flavor that they like. Try different methods of preparation to keep food interesting.
3) Encourage to Try More Often
Most people tend to avoid food based on their first experience. However, research suggests that for people to get accustomed to a particular flavor, they need to keep eating it for at least 10-15 times.
The more you encourage a family member to eat more of what they don’t like, the more they will get accustomed to eating it. Picky eaters can try expanding their palates beyond regular or limited healthy food. It’s about your health so there should be no compromise.
While fussy/picky eaters are found in every household, getting them to eat what they dislike is quite possible. You can always make food interesting by trying different preparation methods and adding extra flavors. But don’t forget to track calories while they eat.Download Fitness App
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