We all know people who remove broccoli from their curry or refuse to eat tomatoes, and it used to be okay to be picky. However, in these times of terror with Covid-19, our immune system is important. Our health is important. Therefore, our diet is important.
Eating french fries, grilled toast, maybe Maggi is alright. But we need more. We need a balanced diet. Our bodies require certain nutrients to function, certain amounts of energy to keep walking, certain amounts of calories to keep the brain turned on. Now is not the time to be picky. Everyone can benefit from a healthy diet. Empty calories can be consumed in the form of fruit and energy drinks, cheese, cookies, and other desserts.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, dairy and oils should be consumed in adequate amounts. Fruits are a great source of nutrients. A few may be high in sugar, so if you need to keep your sugar levels in check, you could go for the low-sugar fruits such as peaches or citrus. Vegetables are important for vitamins and minerals and the leafy ones are the most nutritious. Grains, especially whole grains and proteins (an essential component for brain development and immunity) are very important. Anything including lentils to walnuts may be beneficial for you. Dairy is the source of calcium and vitamin D, again, very essential. Oil should be used less. The low-fat and low-sugar oils are recommended.
Tips for picky eaters;
- Serve a variety of fruits and add twists to them for the most tasty snacks
- Serve a liked side meal with the vegetables or include them in liked meals
- Try personal recipes by eating part of the meal with grains and vegetables and the without
- Serve your own cooked meals so that oversensitivity to certain textures, flavours and smells can be eliminated
- Scale back on snacks so that you are hungry during the meals
- Provide at least one acceptable dish (comfort zone)
- Change the preparation to make it look more appealing
- Offer a variety so that they don’t get bored
- Avoid mushy, multi-textured or chewy food
- Let them prepare the meal so that they are more interested
- Set a good example
This works differently for every individual, but with the right guidance and support, even the picky eaters can benefit from a healthy and balanced diet.