Blame it on the taste buds. That is right. There is someone, well, something to blame. However, blame does not build a healthy body.
The taste buds are little receptors that send impulses to the brain. These taste buds are on our tongue and at the top of the mouth. That is why sometimes something will taste better in one part of your mouth than another. Taste is often closely affected by the smells we have around us.
There are different levels of tasting that we all can be categorized in.
Average-taster: Most of us are in this category.
Most of the time women have a more sensitive taste buds then men. Children can be ranked anywhere between these three. However, since children are younger and their taste buds are likely more sensitive, it is easier for them to have a hard time eating specific foods.
There is scientific testing that has determined that we eat with all of our senses: first with our eyes, then our nose, then touch, and sound. If the food we are eating does not mesh with these four senses, it can likely be that we would avoid those foods.
Take for example an apple. The color of the fruit is bright and inviting. The smell of the fruit is sweet. The touch of the fruit is firm and fresh. The sound is crisp and delightful. This is why many people can eat apples.
However, take a Brussel sprout. The color is green, which to me is lovely, but to many is not. The smell when cooked is quite strong. The look of Brussel sprouts when cooked can be slimy. The touch of a Brussel sprout can feel slimy. And the sound is often squishy. Therefore, if these sensations bother a picky eater, or any eater for that matter, they will likely avoid this food.
Now that you know what happens with our bodies when we are deciding what to eat, it is important to know how to introduce new foods to your picky eaters. The reason is that if there are not enough of a variety of foods in a diet, the body lacks the nutrients and vitamins it requires for healthy growth.
Our children learn what they will eat for the rest of their lives at a very early age, toddlerhood. If you start them tasting a good variety of foods at that time, there is no guarantee that their taste buds will like Brussel sprouts, but it is more likely that they will have a wider variety of foods they will eat.
If it is past that time in your child’s life, it is time to bring out the guns. That is right, the little guns. A child needs to be able to choose the healthy food they eat. Here is how to get them to eat a healthier variety.
• Start by offering a couple new healthy food options each week.
• Make the bites small.
• Have them use the One Bite Rule! They only have to taste one bite; if they don’t like it then they do not have to eat any more.
• Offer a variety of healthy choices that they do like with each meal. This does not mean make a separate meal for that child. It means have enough of a variety that there are healthy choices they can choose happily.
These are the first tips to knowing what you need to know about a picky eater. When you work with that eater, and teach them to eat a variety of foods, you will see that they are not as picky as you thought.