Welcome to our new website!
May 8, 2020

EP 24: How to Handle Picky Eaters Whether it’s Your Kids, Your Spouse or YOU!

EP 24: How to Handle Picky Eaters Whether it’s Your Kids, Your Spouse or YOU!

This conversation comes up all the time in my work with women: You don't want to cook two meals but are trying to be healthy; you want to lose weight, but don't like vegetables; your spouse or kids are constantly fighting you on changes and it's overwhelming. This conversation is for YOU.

It’s not that vegetables, whole grains or healthy foods taste bad, it’s that you’ve trained your taste buds to think they taste bad. And you have to have patience retraining taste buds to appreciate good food. Nutrition is that which is eaten to sustain life, provide energy and promote the growth and repair of tissues. Most of us live to eat, we do not eat to live.

I got a new protein shake recently with absolutely no added sugar that I was excited to test as an option for my Health Rejuvenation Program. I couldn’t wait to try it. I made my shake and immediately thought “bleh”. It tasted bland and I had to choke it down. I realized what a huge difference the one gram of sugar in my current protein powder made, and made me realize I’d have to ease myself into appreciating the new shake. 

It’s kind of like running a marathon. You don’t decide you’re going to run a marathon and then just go do it with no training or preparation. You have a plan. You gradually increase your mileage and prepare your body to go for the long haul. By the same token, you have to gradually ease your body into eating (and liking) new and healthier foods. 

Some key things to know and try when making transitions with picky eaters:

  1. If healthy eating is new , mix the new healthier food with the previous unhealthy food in increasing amounts until you’re getting 100% of the healthy option. This is the approach I am using with my new protein powder. I’ve also seen this work for parents getting kids off of dairy and gluten (when their kids favorite meal is macaroni and cheese), making the move from why to whole grains, and moving from many processed foods to the real thing. We have to retrain our taste buds (which tend to recognize the heavily processed food as “normal”) to recognize and enjoy the real food!
  2. Smoothies are a great place to “hide” things like spinach or kale to get some raw veggies in them.
  3. Don’t make two meals. Dinner is dinner. Lunch is lunch. Do your best to include something the picky eater does like that’s on the healthy spectrum. Encourage them to branch out and try new things at least once or twice a week.
  4. Approach changes gradually and with patience. The day my 7 year old told me he loved raw kale and asked for seconds and then thirds, I nearly fell out of my chair. The more you encourage, emulate, include and incorporate the picky eaters into the process, the more you’ll find breakthroughs. Don’t try to completely rock the boat all at once. Just start making small changes and the rest will follow.
  5. Everyone should be on a quality whole food multivitamin, but ESPECIALLY picky eaters. For guidance on this see my video on what supplements you should be taking.
  6. Be wary of using food as a reward. This perpetuates the brain cascade reward system into identifying taste and treats with certain emotions. Instead use things like quality time, a favorite game or activity, an outing etc. 

When you start to approach healthy eating, getting your vegetables in and making better food choices like running a marathon, you will find you start to really enjoy healthy food. You’ll even start to crave vegetables and whole grains. And, you’ll have less bloating, inflammation and far more energy, all of which make the choices easier to make.

If you’re listening to this and thinking “this all sounds well and good Dr. Alex, but I’m already overwhelmed and I don’t know how to take on one more thing even if it means I’d start feeling better” then listen up. I’m not going to sugar coat it, finding the motivation and fortitude to make and sustain lifestyle changes, to get healthier and finally start eating the way you know you should, can be lonely at times. And challenging. And even overwhelming. 

But it doesn’t have to. 

Because I know it can help to have community support, and sometimes we all just need a kick in the pants to get started on something, I want to invite you to join me in theTribe of Rejuvenated Women community group on Facebook. This group is designed to help support you on your journey to running the health marathon, instead of trying to sprint and never getting the results you're looking for. 

If you enjoyed the show, please head over to iTunes to SUBSCRIBE and leave us a review. Each month I’ll select one lucky reviewer to receive a special “impeccable health sample kit” from me.

Also, I don’t want to be working with you on your health only once or twice a week. I want to be in this conversation and in the trenches with you every single day. I invite you to join me in my private Facebook Group for high performing women ready to transform their health and lives called the Tribe of Rejuvenated Women. There you’ll have access to free trainings, a community of like minded women from around the world and even more information, inspiration and motivation to transform your health and become vibrant, energetic and on fire.

Be sure to check out our website, follow us on Facebook and Linked In and Instagram.