Picky eaters are a common concern for all parents all over the world. It is the reason why countless shows are showing how parents can sneak in vegetables and fruits in the daily meal plan. How to get creative in order to entice the child into trying healthier food options and not to consume same kinds of food every day?
Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder (ADHD) are no different. In fact, sensory issues can make kids even pickier than average. Another factor to consider is the intake of medications that may affect the child’s appetite. ADHD medications such as Concerta, Vyvanse, and Adder all have side effects precautions causing the child to lose appetite. Also, a good number of studies reveal that children with ADHD brain’s show low levels of dopamine activity which predisposed a person to crave sugar. Thus, the child might push away many nutritious foods like fish and vegetables. Sensory defensiveness and some motor challenges are associated with picky eaters. They can get easily disgusted over offensive smells or by the appearance of food that can affect their appetite.
When the child says that the food doesn’t taste right or proper, don’t negate his/her perception. He might be telling the truth. Each of us is wired differently concerning what appeals to the senses and palate. It might be possible that are included in a population of children who are known to be hypersensitive to particular types of food. For instance, one study conducted concluded that middle ear infections which children with ADHD are prone to results in cruciferous vegetables to taste bitter to some children. Experts believe that infections can damage the nerve responsible for taste information from the tongue to the brain. Despite these hindrances to healthy eating, there are tips and tricks recommended by fellow parents and experts in order to change the negative perception of the child towards healthy diet and food.
Take them grocery shopping
It promotes a sense of ownership and pride when the child becomes part of the purchasing and cooking process for a particular meal. Try to bring them to a grocery store or weekend market. Let them experience how various fruits and vegetables are.
Keep available foods that are healthy
You can’t eat something that is not available or not readily on hand. Removing the soda, fruit juices, processed food and junk food will not remind yourself as well as your child that there’s temptation inside the house
Follow an eating schedule
Through scheduling, the child can somehow predict the interval of meals and routine; promoting structure and consistency. Practice good eating habits and take pleasure in eating. Create an ambiance of relaxation and coziness by turning off the television and maybe turn on soft background music. Make the experience a pleasurable one instead of something to dread about.
No sugary beverages and fruit juices
Picky eaters upon feel satiated when eating with high sugar fruit juices, soda or chocolate milk. Offer plain water as the only beverage at the table.
Pick your battles well
Don’t force the child to eat. If he/she has small requests in order to eat, indulge the child if possible. One of the common reason for eating disorder is the power struggle over food in the early years. Try to eat with the child and serve as their role model during eating time.