When your child prefers sweet or salty flavours, it can be challenging to get them to eat a broader range of more healthy foods. However, if your child is overweight, it is even more important to make the effort to switch out unhealthy, processed foods for more nutrient-dense options.
Children who are overweight aren’t usually considered fussy eaters, however they may certainly prefer high-fat, high-sugar options. It can be an adjustment to cut down the salt and sugar and may take some convincing for them to eat foods that are blander than what they are used to.
To help you out at home, here’s some tips to encourage your child to change up their palate and reduce their weight in the process:
- Make a healthier version of their favourite foods. If they always go for spring rolls, try making your own full of veggies and oven-bake them. If they can’t go past dessert, offer a serve of chopped fruit with home-made banana nice-cream.
- Serve sweeter veggies at meal times, like sweet potato and pumpkin. Steaming and mashing is an easy option, or roast with oil and cinnamon to bring out their sweetness even more.
- Gradually reduce and replace the sugar used in baking. Start with Tip 1 above and make a homemade version of a treat they like, such as biscuits or a cake. Then each time you make it, gradually reduce the amount of refined sugar and replace with a natural sweeter, like coconut sugar.
- Include nutrient-dense foods in their meals and snacks. Put a handful of spinach in a smoothie, use almond meal or coconut flour in your baking and add some chopped veggies to pasta sauce. This will help them get used to different flavours and boost their nutrient intake while still enjoying foods they know and like.
Adjusting your child’s food and flavour preferences is a gradual process. Making subtle changes over time and being consistent will produce the best results and help your child regain their health.
For support, more tips and recipes, and an analysis of your child’s nutrition status, visit me for a consultation to gain an in-depth assessment.