Who exactly is a picky eater?
Well, at the very beginning it really needs to be said that the very word picky actually means particular or discriminating. Hence, when we say picky eater, it actually refers to any person who makes a hell lot of discrimination while eating anything and everything. Picky eaters are extremely selective of what they want to eat.
There is a lot to worry about a picky eater. According to scientists, this condition of selective eating of food is better termed as Food neophobia. This reluctance to eat new foods or new varieties of foods is quite a problem in the case of parents or guardians.
What are the problems associated with a picky eater?
In kids, who are very selective in their foods, several types of health issues arise. Theses often lead to the stress of their parents as it is not very much simple and easy to deal with them. Studies have successfully shown the bitter truth about the consequences of being a picky eater. Children who are very much selective about their foods they eat are often victims of several psychological problems like depressions, lack of sleep, anxiety and even attention deficit disorders. What is more, kids who are too much sensitive in selecting their foods suffer the most and fall prey to depression quite easily. With the advent of time, sometimes these conditions often tend to become worse.
Now, let us come to the case if the picky eater is an adult person. In the case of adults, another type of problem often arises. Some adult people, who are picky eaters, often feel embarrassed by their habit of selective eating. And this is the underlying problem due to which they often tend to hide this problem of theirs and try to keep it hidden from their closest friends as well as relatives. Some people often tend to become picky eaters while trying to cope up with some other parallel problems or health issues, like obesity or diet restrictions due to allergies.
Is the habit of picky eating in the genes itself?
If we are observant, we can see clearly in most cases that if parents are picky eaters, then their children also fall prey to this same problem. This is due to the fact that the genes have been passed on by the parents to their children. Several types of research based on this have been conducted by scientists who revealed something that can be truly called as a bitter truth. Studies suggest that the TAS2R38 gene is responsible for encoding the taste receptors.
However, the good news is that scientists believe that with further research on this, several remedies can be developed in the near future that may help to literally turn off these receptors, and hence can cure the selective nature.
How to deal with someone who is a picky eater?
Let us have a glance at some of the tricks and tips that are a must if you really want to deal with a picky eater, be it your child or any adult. Here they are, as follows:-
• Always try to respect the person’s appetite – If a person who is a picky eater, is not much hungry, you should not force that person. Try serving small portions to that person so as not to overwhelm him.
• Try to introduce some healthier elements in the food that the person actually likes – You can include such types of food that the person actually likes, in the daily diet. For this, you have to be attentive and understand what he likes. Who knows it can be a healthy food.
• Quit buying unhealthy food stuff – Try not to buy unhealthy foods for your home. Unhealthy foods affect the appetite and are one of the reasons for making anyone picky eater.
• Try to keep up patience when it comes to new foods – This is the case of young children. Often we see children try to taste newer food stuff. We can encourage them to eat properly by including their favorites along with the regular foods.
• Try to stick to a routine – Always try to maintain a perfect routine no matter what. The proper routine of daily intake of food also helps to reduce the selection of foods by picky eaters.
• Try not to cut down on treats – Try to think and always remember that a cotton candy or a scoop of ice cream will never harm the food habits. A nice treat often works when it comes to picky eaters.
• Encourage them to eat their favorite colors – This is a perfect trick that works with kids. If you assist them to eat a variety of brightly colored foods, then there is obviously intake of more nutrients.
• Include the person in your prep work – You can include the picky eater in the process of buying the food items. You can take him/her along with you to the market.
• Try avoiding the TV while having food – This is a bad habit among most of the people. They always opt or watching the TV while having lunch or dinner. TV is one of the biggest distractions when it comes to eating. So try to avoid the TV while having food.
• Try to be a good role model – Last, but not the least, it can be said that perhaps the best way you can adopt is to influence as well as motivate other people. You can never actually expect your children to eat bitter gourd if you do not have it once. Similarly, you cannot even influence a person to have spinach if you yourself do not touch it even once.
Well, it can safely be said that there are certain tips if you really want to deal with a picky eater. The problem of malnutrition that is often associated with such a person can clearly be struck off if you keep these tricks in mind, the next time you deal with a picky eater.