THE PICKY EATER

A picky eater eats a restricted variety of foods across food groups yet maintains adequate nutrition..The picky eater is characterized by unpredictability and fussiness at mealtimes.

A eating-disordered child may eat only 3 or 4 foods often skipping entire food groups, putting his physical and mental development at risk, and his behavior is predictable. Picky eating is a matter of taste ...taste buds, that is. We all have inborn tendencies to like or dislike specific foods depending on the number of taste buds on our tongues. Hypertasters (supertasters) have lots of buds and are highly sensitive to tastes, textures, and even temperatures. Hypotasters have fewer taste buds and tolerate, even enjoy, many more foods that are spicy, sweet, salty ,or fatty. The medium tasters make up the largest population and fall in between the other two. Supertasters can become picky eaters. Serve them mild and bland foods.

 

 

FOR PICKY EATERS OF ALL AGES

1. Accept your child's variations in appetite. Food intake can vary from day to day; let him decide how much to eat. Make sure your child is hungry at mealtime by limiting snacks and beverages especially before meals.

 

2. Keep offering a new food, even if rejected. Ten offerings before Apprehension subsides is not unusual; caregivers often give up after three tries and assume the child doesn't  like the food.

 

3. Be matter-of-fact about serving new foods. Say something positive or say nothing at all. Realize that your child may not like tha taste or texture, and respect her preferences and dislikes.

 

4. Avoid a power struggle. Eating is one area kids feel they can Control. Eating is your child's responsibility. 

Offer nutritious meals and snacks and let her decide whether or not to eat it. Never force a child to eat.

 

5. Model good eating habits as you eat with your children to improve intake and acceptance.

Avoid passing your own dislikes on to your child(ren).

 

6. Turn off the TV. See that kids have a quiet time before mealtime. Kids eat better when they are calm.

 

                          Appetite Slump   

 

After your child's first birthday, you may notice a decrease in appetite. Many parents worry about this "appetite slump" in their toddler or preschooler child. Most  of the time, this is perfectly normal as toddlers do not need to eat as much as infants because they grow more slowly. However, your child should continue to gain weight and grow when your pediatrician plots these measures on a growth chart. In a child with an appetite slump, you may notice the following eating  habits:

         - reliance on bottle feeding

        - excessive fruit juice consumption

        - picky eater with limited food preferences

 

 

There may be other reasons for poor appetite such as parental concerns regarding obesity and cholesterol which leads to restriction of sweets or high fat preferences.

 

Treatment:

 

   - offer a variety of foods, moderate amounts of fat and sugar are okay

   - schedule 3 meals and 3 snacks

   - serve child-size portions on a small plate

   - encourage self-feeding, even though it is messy

   - wean to cup feeding

  - limit juice consumption to 4 oz. or less a day in a cup

  - avoid giving more than 10 oz. of milk a day

  - restrict beverages and food before meals and planned snacks

  - offer beverages after meals

  - do not punish your child for not eating or force your child to eat.

 

 

Remember:

- your job is to purchase, prepare and present appropriate foods

- your child's responsibility is to determine how much (if any) to eat.

 

Remember:

PROTEIN 

-Carnation Instant Breakfast

-Cheese - munster, cheddar

-Egg white(cooked) 1 egg per day

-Bites of fish + meat at lunch/dinner

 

   To increase the calories of food and meals:2-3 x a day add:

       butter(stick)

       corn oil

       shredded cheese

       Half & Half (instead of milk)

- add in small amounts to food

 

FOOD GROUPS

         2 fruits or more

 

Protein 4-5 ounces /day  

 

Each meal include complete carbohydrate fat for extra calories.

 

STARCH

 - wheat thins, whole wheat crackers

- pasta, rice, potato, sweet potato

 

BEVERAGE  

 - 4 ounces juice (white grape)

 - offer milk - no more than 24 ounces per 24 hours.

 - try 4 ounces of milk mixed with 1 package carnation instant
breakfast, give at the end of meal

  - yogurt

  - no beverages 1-1/2 hours before meals