If you have a picky eater, you may be wondering, what causes picky eating? What can I do to help my picky eater? Picky eating is something faced by parents all over the world. In fact, it’s natural. Picky eating, while frustrating, has its roots deep in our human history and biology.
As early as in the womb, children are being exposed to flavors. Research suggests that flavors from a mother’s meal are translated into the amniotic fluid in utero. Research also suggests that flavors from mother’s meals are transmitted into breastmilk. These early exposures can help a child find familiarity, even though they may not be conscious of it, in flavors later in childhood. If you loved lemons, mushrooms, or basil during your pregnancy you child may love those flavors, too! If you craved tacos, your picky eater may find themselves loving these easy taco pockets, too!
Children, from birth are genetically wired to want sweet foods. Breast milk is naturally very sweet. It is a “safe” food for babies throughout history. Bitter foods have long been a sign of a potential toxin, so our bodies have adapted to keep us safe. Our bodies, and our picky eaters bodies, do this by disliking bitter foods, especially at a young age. When children and babies are born, they are much smaller and experience rapid growth. A small amount of a potential toxin would do more harm in their little body than our bigger bodies, so they reject those bitter tastes. Not all bitter foods are poisonous or toxic. As we grow, we learn to accept those flavors.
The rapid growth experienced by children also leads them to need more calories and energy than adults. By naturally being drawn to starchy, carb dense, sweet and salty foods children are unknowingly choosing foods with “energy density”. Today’s energy dense foods, like donuts, will provide them calories, but not necessarily nutrients, for growth. Think about a small squirrel, who runs quickly, and eats energy dense seeds and nuts. Compare that to a large elephant who can eat large quantities of grasses. The squirrel cannot take in the volume of food an elephant can and so it needs to choose calories dense foods in little amounts. The same is true for our little kiddos.
So, what foods can you offer your picky eater? Try thinking outside the box for healthy meals for picky eaters. Choose energy dense foods that are sweet and savory, like these tasty sweet and sour meatballs. The sweet orange ginger sauce on the soft meatball is a real crowd pleaser! It’s also packed with protein and fiber. It also subtly introduces other flavors, setting your picky eater up for future food trying success!
Coming up with healthy meals for kids lunchboxes that your child will actually eat can be exhausting. Yumble meals are perfect for just that. They are picky eater approved, nutrient packed, and ready to heat and eat! A kids meal delivery service, Yumble provides variety, convenience, and nutritious meals made just for kids.
Looking for healthy and easy kids meals for picky eaters? Yumble delivers fresh, delicious, fully prepared kids' meals right to your doorstep so you don’t have to worry about preparing nutritious, balanced meals every day. Simply pick the plan that works best for your family, choose your weekly meals, and Yumble will take care of the rest! No hot oven or stove required!