Monday, September 28, 2020

5 Ways to Expand a Childs Palate.

January 18, 2020 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Many parents must brave the battle of dinner on a daily basis. You try to prepare a balanced meal only to be met with a fight from your little people. These are quick to tell you what they don’t eat, and what they don’t want. For some kids the battle is food of a certain color like green, for others it is an issue of texture. Whatever is causing the rub at dinner time it’s safe to say we must find a healthy solution. After working a long frustrating day the last thing you want to do if fight with your children about dinner. It’s not that you don’t care, you are just out of mental energy. In these moments’ hot dogs, fries, chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, or fast food comes into play so that you can at least take the win of having gotten the kids to complete a meal. Unfortunately, we run into the risk of our children becoming picky eaters. We are also trying to combat childhood obesity and health challenges related to children one child at a time starting with our own. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of life and expanding your child’s palate at a young age might help cut down the dinner wars. These are five ways to expand your child’s palate, and they can be adjusted as needed to accommodate any allergies or health issues.

1. Try to eat a variety of different foods while breastfeeding your babies. So much is going on when you have a child you do the best you can to take care of you and baby. It’s easy to get stuff into a routine of eating even if it’s healthy. Try a few new veggies and fruits while nursing or experience different foods in general. This will give your baby different flavors to explore which will make the next phase of food introduction a bit easier.

2. When children are babies most are a blank canvas. Baring any allergies allow them to try an array of different foods when they make it to the highchair…preferably starting with the veggies. Green peas are cool but throw in a bit of kale or squash. The goal is to get them use to different is good.

3. When you hit the toddler, phase try to resist the convince of the all mighty chicken nuggets. It might sound funny put those nuggets, hot dogs, cheese pizza, mac n cheese and foods like it become a quick go to but it can easily undo the path you set with baby food. You want to continue the path of different is good. It’s not that they will never see a chicken nugget, but it won’t be the norm. They would be used to fruits, veggies, different grains, and lean meats because it’s always been there.

4. Know that this applies to drinks as well. We know milk of some sort, and some fruit juice will happen, but if you can make water a part of what we do at a very young age it will become normal. Drinking water has many benefits to the body, and to their mind. There are many adults that struggle with drinking water so if we start young with our children, we are creating healthy habits that become a healthy lifestyle.

5. Make exploring food fun and embark upon that fun with your children. I remember one Valentine’s Day we have to take our son with us to lunch at the hibachi grill. We thought nothing of it as he was two and we figured he wouldn’t want much of our food. However, he saw mommy eating her (cooked) Naruto sushi roll and he thought to eat it too…he ate it all. If mommy or daddy ate it, he was going to assume he could too. Though I admit…I really wanted those rolls, but I was glad he tried it and liked it. Explore food with your kids.

You might have a kid that gravitates a bit slower when it comes to food, but if you keep variety going from a baby you may be able to avoid the picky eater. If fast food is not a staple the kids can’t get use to it. I admit school, and daycare, can make this rather difficult as this is how some kids are exposed. However, just stick to the healthy food culture you have in your home, and you will find that dinner is not such a fight. You may find that your children want to help prepare meals; this will give them a greater appreciation for the different foods they ate. This will also make them eager to eat…as they helped cook the meal. In this way food is fun, and healthy.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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