5 foods your child hates and ways to replace them

5 foods your child hates and ways to replace them

Do you have a list of foods that your child hates? Are you anxious that he might not be able to consume all the important nutrients because of his picky eating habits? Worry not! Here is a list of foods that are commonly rejected by children and ways to find their nutritious replacements.

Foods most disliked by children

The most hated foods by children usually include milk, spinach, mushrooms, and water. Do not worry. Food preferences will change over the years and children usually grow up to develop a taste for the foods they hated in their childhood.

Spinach

  • Spinach, or palak, is a dark green leafy vegetable that offers various health benefits. It’s also an excellent source of fibre, an active ingredient that helps regulate bowel movements and prevents constipation.
  • Spinach is also rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, calcium, and iron. Eating spinach can protect good vision.
  • Regular consumption of spinach helps regulate digestion, growth, and development in children.

The best way to serve:

  • Add spinach to pasta, sandwiches, cutlets or burgers or as a topping on pizzas.
  • Prepare freshly chopped spinach salads with added onions, roasted garlic, and tomatoes.
  • Delicious curries such as palak paneer (cottage cheese), aloo (potato)-palak can be consumed with roti or rice.

Your child may develop a taste for spinach if you ensure variety while serving it. Spinach can be substituted with other green leafy vegetables like cabbage or lettuce.

Mushroom

  • Mushrooms are a great source of vitamins, iron, and minerals, including copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and others. Mushrooms also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that promote healing and fight inflammation.
  • Kids are often turned off by the look, taste, and texture of mushrooms. Since mushroom is rich in nutritional elements, you have to find a way to improve their taste and look.

    The best way to serve:

    • Include mushrooms in sauces (roasted or stuffed) and pizzas.
    • Add soy sauce and black peppers while cooking mushrooms and mix with rice. They enhance the flavour.
  • You can try other alternatives for mushrooms that include tofu, zucchini, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Water

  • Water aids in digestion, regulates body weight and temperature, prevents constipation, and helps transport nutrients and oxygen to various parts of the body.
  • Many parents are often concerned about their kids not drinking sufficient water. Make sure your kids are kept hydrated always with these tips:
    • Store water in colourful and attractive water bottles
    • Allow kids to carry a personal reusable water bottle during trips
    • Encourage water breaks during playtime to stay healthy and fit
    • Provide tender coconut water regularly to beat the summer heat. It is rich in electrolytes and minerals and is a good source of hydration.
  • You can replace water with refreshing fruit or herb-infused water recipes. These drinks will encourage your kids to drink more water. It is a smarter way to hydrate them without sugar.
  • The amount of water a child has to consume depends on the child’s age and weight. It is generally important to drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day.
  • Certain fruits and vegetables have high water content. Water-rich foods that help your kid stay hydrated include watermelons, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, lettuce, bell peppers, grapes, and cabbage.

Milk

  • Milk is a good source of vital nutrients such as calcium, vitamins, and proteins. These important nutrients support your child’s growth by building and maintaining strong bones.
  • Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for babies up to 6 months. Some children might dislike the taste and reject milk during childhood. You can substitute milk with other dairy products like curd, paneer, cheese, and yogurt, which are also rich in calcium and vitamins.

In addition to providing nutrition, functional foods have a positive effect on health. Regular intake of these foods adds value to your child’s growth by enhancing the metabolism and maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Talk to your child about the various colours, shapes, and benefits of healthy foods.

If your child does not eat a healthy and balanced diet, he or she may need a dietary supplement. Consult your paediatrician to know more about the importance of nutrition to support your child’s developmental milestones.