Have you ever overheard another parent talk about how their little Taylor loves salmon, asparagus with hollandaise, or spicy gumbo? You know, foods your kids won’t touch! Why is it that Taylor loves these foods, and your child doesn’t?
Lucky Taylor (and her parents) for developing an advanced palate at a young age. The good news is, you are not alone if your child has a limited range of foods she likes. Try to see if there is a pattern around their issues. Is it all new foods, or is it only specific food types?
It is always wise to consult your pediatrician for advice if your child is a picky eater because it sometimes indicates food sensitivities or allergies to certain foods. Notice how most foods considered “kid friendly” are bland? Any child who has food sensitivities is more likely to embrace bland foods to protect themselves.
When my son was young, he didn’t like tomatoes, as in no spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce! The other kids thought he was crazy, but it turns out the acidity of the tomatoes didn’t sit well with him. He has food sensitivity to tomatoes. As he grew older, his body was better able to handle it, and he enjoys both now. As a little boy, he knew tomatoes hurt his tummy so he decided he did not like the taste. It was how he was able to verbalize that tomatoes did not agree with him.
As a young girl, I didn’t like fish because the fish I was served was not deboned. The fear of catching a bone in my throat terrified me. It wasn’t until I was older, and realized not all fish is served with bones, that I was willing to try it again. I now love fish, and I made sure that there wasn’t fear associated with fish when I served it to my children. Something as simple as the way a food is prepared can make all the difference.
So why does your child seem to be a “picky” eater? Fussy, picky or choosy eating habits are linked to and affected by many factors including personality traits, parental control at mealtime, and social influences. Or, it could just be your kid being, well, a kid!
Thankfully, there are steps to take to help your child develop a broader palate.
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