As a registered Dietitian I meet many families with picky eaters.” It is my experience that it is easier to prevent bad habits from developing countries to begin with than it is to correct them later. That being said it is much the adults in the family can do to help family members solve this problem
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For many people it is difficult to make dietary changes. If a person has limited their choice of food can be a challenge to encourage them to begin to expand them. Helping families to understand the importance of having a variety of foods in your diet may make them more willing and open to change. It is especially difficult to get kids to eat if the adults do not model good eating behaviors.
There are many scientific and medical studies to support the idea that fruits vegetables and whole grains can help to promote health and reduce risk. It is especially important to promote optimal immune function with the threat of a swine flu pandemic.
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I recommend that families begin their new eating plan by having a family meeting to discuss why and how they plan to change their diet. Even toddlers can understand simple concept of eating healthy food to be more healthful.
Because everyone has different preferences food it is a good idea to let each family member a fruit and a vegetable that they will not be asked to eat. This should be in writing and subject to review every six months.
It is then understood that except for a fruit and vegetables are all expected to at least take a few bites of food offered at every meal. (Studies show that toddlers may need to try a food 10-15 times before it is accepted.) Even if a food is frowned when tried it is to be tested each time it is served.
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Finally while waiting for everyone to expand their palate you can sneak fruit in smoothies vegetables in soups or puree and chopped into sauces or casseroles. The important thing is to make sure that everyone is different colored fruits and vegetables included in the diet. Each color has a different action in the body so that variety is the key to good health.
Tips and Warnings
Adults must model good eating practices.
Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Avoid having unhealthy food in the home.
Encourage fruit and vegetables for snacks.
Try low-fat dips for vegetables.
Try different cooking methods. Some children like raw others prefer steamed.
Babies and toddlers can choke on raw fruits and vegetables.
Introduce only one new food at a time in case of allergies.
Increase fruits and vegetables in your diet slowly as it added fiber can cause stomach upset.”