To help parents bring peace to the dinner table, Dr. Aimee Gould Shunney, a licensed naturopathic doctor, offers five ideas for transforming a child with finicky tendencies into an amazing eater with optimal nutrition.
1. Cook more. Cook for your children and make their dishes simple, without lots of sauces and spices. If possible, let them help you cook so they can be part of the fun. Cooking whole, unprocessed foods will ensure your family is getting the freshest ingredients possible, with less sodium, sugar, additives and preservatives.
2. Eat more veggies. Present them with choices: Would you like carrots or red peppers? Pickles or olives? Try starting dinner with a raw veggie plate and let your kids select what they want to eat. It’s a healthy appetizer that makes eating whole foods a regular part of the meal routine.
3. Pick your protein. Find three protein meals your kids like and serve them often — peanut butter and jelly should not be an everyday go-to. Other ideas are Alaskan salmon burgers, organic chicken strips, and scrambled or hard-boiled eggs. Choose animal products that are pastured and raised with organic feed. If you eat beef, choose grass-fed — this option provides better fats for development of your children’s immune systems and cognitive function, and limits exposure to chemicals and antibiotics.
4. Spice, sprinkle and sweeten. Use healthy spices like dill, fennel, lemon peel, garlic, and white pepper to mask fishy flavours. Sprinkle fish with juices your child enjoys, like lemon, lime and orange. Sweeten fish with a honey or teriyaki glaze before grilling.
5. Make supplements part of your daily routine. A good multivitamin can help bridge the nutrition gap for a picky eater. Add an omega-3 supplement to support your child’s cognitive function, emotional well-being and general wellness. Try Nordic Naturals, which has gummies and easy-to-dose products for infants and children of all ages. The potent, clean and tasty fish oil product is also guaranteed to be purified of heavy metals and toxins. Finally, consider adding a vitamin D supplement — check with your healthcare provider for the right dosage for your child.
Always speak to your healthcare provider before starting a new healthcare regimen.