Picky eating is such a broad term and something that may mean different things for different people. So what actually is a picky eater?
- A picky eater is a child who will have a decreased range of foods but still eat quite a variety.
- Foods are eaten for a while and then lost due to ‘burn out’ and then often regained after a break from that food.
- Picky eaters are often able to tolerate new foods on their plates even if they won’t eat them but will be selective about what they choose to taste.
- A picky eater will most often eat at least one food from each of their food groups but will most likely favour one or two food groups over the others.
The risk with picky eaters is twofold - both nutritional and emotional. If your child is consistently avoiding a whole food group eg the fruit & veggie group then he will be at risk of certain key vitamins and fibre. If this is ongoing you as a parent are likely to become stressed and this will lead to a stressed out feeding environment and unhappy eating time. (Emotional fallout).
To put it simply, during a picky eating phase it is important to supplement the missing food group by adding a good multivitamin. If you feel your child is missing out on energy (eating too little overall) as well as avoiding a whole food group then adding a milk supplement for picky eaters may assist you in managing this phase to avoid added stress around meal time. You need to diffuse the situation and avoid food battles at all costs. Remember your responsibility is when, where and what you feed your child and your child’s responsibility is how much they eat. It is a phase, which will pass, maintain their health with the use of good sound supplements if necessary and relax as they explore foods and find out their own likes and dislikes!
By Kath Megar