Are you one to turn your nose up to a plate of broccoli or do you gag when someone says, “brussels sprouts?” We know who you are; you're a picky eater and have a very selective palate, right?
As an adult having a selective food palate but wanting to get healthy and change to a healthier lifestyle, now is the time to face the foods that once made your palate pucker. And don't worry, there are ways to incorporate healthy, unprocessed foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables to create that well-balanced diet your body needs.
Where do picky eaters come from anyway? Are some people born to hate the taste of spinach and tomatoes? Some think their young, picky eaters will forever be selective in what they eat, but that is now always the case. You’ve heard the term “nature versus nurture,” right? However, a persons’ food preference may be genetically preset: A study completed in 2007 tested that exact phrase on some young, picky eaters. For some foods, mostly proteins and produce, children showed an instinctive like or dislike. Additionally, kids are born with palates that tend to be more sensitive to bitter or sweet flavors than us adults. So, what you detested as a child (canned spinach anyone?) you may like now as a grown-up. Then again, not all picky eaters outgrow the foods they once refused to eat. Some picky kids turn into picky adults.
Here are some creative and easy ways to get your vitamins, fiber and nutrients in your diet without having to revisit your childhood dinner table nightmares!
Change your usual into something else:
If you’re eating a burger or a chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles then you know you like everything about that meal. Now, change it up! Grill chicken or beef kabobs with tomatoes and onions and fresh herbs, our use any lean protein with a side of grilled veggies!
Create a yummy stir-fry dish with veggies, a lean protein and serve with brown rice, bulgar wheat or quinoa instead of the typical white rice.
Say Yes instead of No:
I know, easier said than done, right? If you’ve been saying no to certain types of foods for a long time, try saying yes! Having an open mind is a great way to reintroduce those foods you once you thought you disliked. Tastes change over time too, so you may surprise yourself by revisiting foods you once wouldn’t eat.
If you find you still can’t stand certain flavors even decades later, don’t fret there is still hope. Try cutting out sugary, salty, fatty processed foods for a few weeks then try revisiting those pesky foods again. You’ll be surprised how your taste buds can change and what naturally sweet versus “hyper-sweet” of processed food really tastes like!
Take Baby Steps:
Drastic changes don’t need to happen all at once or overnight. Take it one meal at a time, one day at a time. Instead of your sugary cereal top homemade granola on Greek yogurt, mixed with fruit and a little honey. Swap your bag of chips with a veggie filled pasta salad when you order a burger or sandwich. Also, try changing the way your cooking your foods. Instead of deep frying or pan frying, try baking or grilling. When you bake or grill it’s a great way to incorporate spices and herbs into the foods which add flavor and variety.
Order Something New:
Sometimes cooking with ingredients you either don’t like or have never tried before, the task can be intimidating. That is why I would suggest leaving it to the professionals. Let your first bite of something new be made by someone that can make it taste amazing! I would much rather eat garlic butter roasted carrots cooked by someone who knows what they are doing over boring boiled carrots any day! Transform your taste buds by changing what you are eating! Of course, there will be some trial and error, but you may find new foods you will want to add to your daily menu.
Tweak your go-to meals:
If Tuesday nights are for tacos try using lettuce cups in place of taco shells and Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Pureed black beans are a great sub for the usual refried pinto beans.
Try these great discrete veggie add-ins for your picky-eater family member:
Mac-N-Cheese: Add in some pureed butternut squash or carrots to add great flavor and lighten up this already yummy dish!
Chocolate Brownies: Yes, brownies! Adding black beans to your recipe adds fiber and protein but cuts out excess sugars and fats!
Sweet potatoes: These root veggies are great replacers for fries and chips and they can be baked or cooked in an air-fryer for healthy, crispy alternatives!
Zucchini’s, green cabbage and eggplants: These vegetables are perfect noodle replacements for dishes like lasagna and pasta-filled casseroles.
Cauliflower: This veggie is so versatile! It can be used like rice or potatoes. Make delicious mushroom risotto, fried rice, mashed potatoes, or a healthy, creamy cauliflower “potato” soup.
Get creative in the kitchen:
If you’re excited to try your hand at cooking or trying new recipes, this is a great time to introduce new ways of cooking those dreaded veggies or anything else you’ve turned away!
You don’t need to be a master chef to master new flavors. Fresh herbs and spices are easy to use and add great flavor to lean cuts of meat and bland veggies. Also, using simple cooking techniques like roasting, sautéing, and grilling brings out natural flavors of veggies and meats.
Take Advantage of Social Media:
While you’re in the kitchen whipping up new and creative recipes, don’t’ forget to snap a pic and post your creations to your social media pages! Not only will you impress your friends and family by your cooking skills and picture taking skills, you may get motivated to try all kinds of new foods, recipes and cooking techniques!
Take into consideration what types of foods your putting in your body if you are someone that is particular about what you eat. Processed, pre-packaged, high sodium foods and snacks are not what your body needs when you’re trying to get healthy. How vegetables and other types of food are prepared can make one person pickier than the other. Using different cooking methods can drastically change the taste and appearance of a type of food you once dreaded eating!
If you are still struggling on your new lifestyle journey it’s ok to enlist the help of professionals! Taking advantage of Express Weight Loss Clinic in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle is a great way to get the results you want and to see success!
Contact your local office, or better yet, make an E-Visit appointment online from your own home to speak to a licensed clinician!
Express Weight Loss Clinic of Tyler
4293 Kinsey Drive
Tyler, TX 75703
Express Weight Loss Clinic of Plano
230 W Parker Rd, Ste 100
Plano, TX 75075