If you’re one of those people who are just not into grilled fish or chicken, or just don’t get the hype over cauliflower (no matter how healthy everyone says it is), the good news for the picky eater is that there is hope! Just because you are a picky eater doesn’t mean you cannot lose weight, or maintain a healthy diet and wellness plan.
Making small changes to meals you love and trying different ways to prepare healthier foods in your diet is possible, all while still satisfying your sensitive taste buds. While whole, unprocessed foods like lean proteins, veggies and fruits, and whole grains help make up a balanced, healthy diet; if you are a fussy eater, eating a wide variety of foods is often difficult. In these cases, the ‘picky eater’ will have to find ways to prepare or eat healthy foods in a way that can also help you lose weight.
At NJDiet, we take weight loss and overall wellness to an entirely new level. By utilizing bloodwork and performing DNA testing on each of our clients, we can determine each individual’s idea diet and workout plan. We customize supplementation along with a personalized diet plan to help every patient attain their weight and health goals.
Luckily, there are many ways to get around your picky taste buds, and expand your food horizons! By preparing and cooking your own meals at home, as well as making small changes to meals you love, you can increase the nutritional value in your diet without torturing your palate.
Ways To Help A Picky Eater Embrace Healthier Habits
“Drink” Your Veggies And Fruits
Let’s say you don’t love spinach, but you do love fruit. A great way to get your recommended daily intake of both is to combine the two into one delicious smoothie. For example, by mixing things like strawberries, banana, ice, fat-free milk and *the dreaded* spinach into a blender, you get all the vitamins and minerals of the fresh veggies in a tasty drink. Frozen vegetables work excellent, and things like frozen cauliflower, for example, adds a big dose of vitamin C to your favorite fruit smoothie without affecting with the flavors a picky palate enjoys.
Swap Meat For A Healthy Substitute
You don’t need to eliminate all meat from your diet if you enjoy it, but experts say that replacing about half the ground meat with things like chopped or sautéed mushrooms helps cut saturated fat and adds a delicious (and nutritious) taste. In place of things like meatballs or meatloaf, you can mix corn, broccoli slaw or peas into the meat for added texture and nutrients. Experiment with different ways to incorporate veggies in place of meats for a variety of ways to get your daily health requirements met!
Incorporate Healthy Grains
Replacing white rice with grains such as quinoa, for example, may not seem appealing. However it’s worth finding ways to get this high-protein whole grain into your diet. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs) and can be used in many recipes in a variety of ways. Replacing the rice in stuffed peppers with quinoa, or using it as the base of any grain bowl! You can even try baking baked chicken coated in quinoa instead of bread crumbs for a much healthier alternative to fried chicken. Other healthy grains such as high-fiber barley can be incorporated in place of rice; and bulgur can be combined with beans to make a great meat-free burger patty!
Replace The “Pasta” In Your Pasta Dishes
The easiest ways to switch white pasta is to replace it with the whole-wheat variety. You can find many pasta alternatives these days such as lentil pasta, chickpea pastas and many more options! Additionally, you can add in vegetables and lean proteins with your pasta dishes for a more nutritionally complete meal. Even better, try spiralizing zucchini, squash or even broccoli stems as the “spaghetti” and pair it with your favorite sauce.
Prepare Foods Differently For More Flavor
Say you refuse to eat plain or grilled fish — instead, coat the fish with nuts or other healthy flavoring for a more satisfying taste, but without sacrificing your healthy benefits. You can take something you might not like, such as kale, and mix it into your favorite soup, or bake it into chips. Rather than eating plain steamed vegetables which lack in flavor, try roasting broccoli and cauliflower! Roasting offers a more robust flavor than steaming. These are just a very few examples of prepping your food differently, but really it’s all about trying different dishes until you find a healthy one you’ll want to eat again and again.
Other Ways To Eat Foods You Don’t Usually Enjoy
When you decide to change your life by attending the Initial Evaluation and Consultation at NJ Diet, we will explain how our unique individualized system works to reduce hunger and feel healthier. We will explain how many metabolic factors are assessed to genetically make sure you not only lose the weight, but ensures you keep it off and stay healthy for a lifetime.
Here are our tips to test out your taste buds, to see if you may enjoy foods you previously didn’t care for:
1. Cook Differently
While many healthy eating programs suggest to steam your sides or eat them raw, you need to cook your foods in the way you will enjoy them. Try things like a slow cooker or Instapot for variations on how to cook in a different fashion, and you might find yourself enjoying things you previously disliked before!
2. “Hiding” Foods In Other Foods
Kids are often “tricked” into eat veggies when they are pureed inside of their favorite foods. As an adult, you may not be fooled by this; however hiding foods that you don’t enjoy may work if you mask them with foods you already do enjoy! For example: you don’t enjoy veggies but like eggs. How about chopping veggies finely and adding it to your omelette? This way you get the benefit of both healthy items.
3. Make Eating New Foods Fun
If you make your eating experience fun, you might find yourself eating foods you never would have tried before! Here are some ideas:
- Use a spiralizer for foods like zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, or any vegetable
- Use a melon ball scooper to make small portions of softer foods that have been chilled
- Shave colorful citrus on top of your food, a dash of color enhances the eating experience
- Have fun with “mini” portions: things like meatloaves, mashed potato cupcakes, or egg muffins
- Drink your fruit-infused water out of a wine glass just for “fun”
4. Add Extra Flavor
Many people are afraid to venture beyond salt or pepper. By simply incorporating basic herbs and spices, you might discover a whole new world of enjoyable healthy eating! Try out some Italian herbs and spices, or things like paprika, saffron, cumin, or sesame. There is a whole huge world of flavor enhancements and other items to make even the most basic foods pop with flavor if you just experiment in the kitchen.
5. Add Color To Make Eating A Visual Experience
There are a variety of ways to change the colors of your foods that don’t use artificial coloring. There are many natural ways to color your food to incorporate more colorful fruits, veggies, and herbs:
- Use some fresh mint leaves, parsley or cilantro to add some green to your food
- Add a dash of turmeric for yellow that makes your food pop!
- If you love red foods, avoid the dyes and use tandoori spice or paprika instead
WAYS TO BECOME A MORE ADVENTUROUS EATER
“Retrain” Your Taste Buds
Even if you’ve refused to eat certain foods for a long time, you might want to try again. Believe it or not, tastes change over time, so it is important to revisit foods every so often to see if you’ve developed a taste for something you’d previously sworn against. If you find you’re still not a fan of specific flavors, you still may be in luck. Experts say by cutting out sugary, salty, and fatty processed foods for a few weeks may help to “retrain” your taste buds so that you can now recognize the natural flavors in whole, natural foods.
Take Your Time; Make Small Changes
Don’t try to revamp your entire diet at once. Instead of changing everything, start with small, simple changes. For example, instead of making your side dishes carb-heavy, try a veggie-filled salad instead. Slowly change your ways of cooking also; instead of frying, try baking or grilling! Small changes can lead to big changes, but will feel less overwhelming at the time. A few other healthy changes to make:
- Puree butternut squash or carrots to mix into the cheese sauce when making mac and cheese.
- Trade white rice for cauliflower rice instead!
- Instead of regular potatoes, try sweet potatoes, or make zucchini “fries.”
- Instead of prepackaged spice blends, salad dressings, or marinades, make your own healthier versions at home!
- Mix fresh fruit with plain yogurt and a touch of honey, instead of full-fat, sugary versions of pre-flavored yogurt cups.
- Swap out white pasta and instead incorporate veggie “zoodles” or spaghetti squash. There are also many bean pastas and whole-grain quinoa or wheat pastas that taste delicious, as well.
Experiment When Eating Out
If you are afraid of branching out into new territory when cooking (especially if you’re not sure how something is supposed to taste) try ordering different meals when you eat out to see if you like the new flavors and textures. If you’re not ready to commit to a full meal, order shared plates or family style meals (or steal a bite from your dining companion’s plate to see if you enjoy things you previously would have never thought to try). While it may take some trial and error, experimenting when eating out may help you find new healthier options to incorporate into your home cooking menu!
Experiment In Your Own Kitchen
You don’t have to be an experienced cook to master cooking or simply try new flavors. The easies way is to get creative with various spices and herbs. By adding spices to your vegetables, salad dressings, fish, meat, or chicken, you can quickly and easily switch up the flavor of your meals, all while still keeping things lean and healthy. Additionally, many times eating cooked veggies rather than raw veggies drastically can change the way you view their taste. So if you think you don’t like broccoli because you hated it raw, you may love it roasted or steamed! Try foods a variety of ways before eliminating it from your diet altogether.
Turn To Social Media And Friends
It sounds silly, but there is truth to the statement that people eat with their eyes first! By simply scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram “foodie” accounts can possibly trigger the urge to eat more adventurously. Similarly, if you’re just not sure what kind of new foods you might like, ask a foodie friend to give you some suggestions! Whatever you choose to do, don’t get discouraged and don’t stop trying new ways to enjoy healthy food.
As you can see, being a picky eater doesn’t mean you can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle, or lose weight. By rethinking your habits, and waking up your taste buds that have become sensitized to certain foods, you might open yourself up to an entire new variety of foods you will learn to love! While you shouldn’t expect to overcome picky eating overnight and finding foods you like will take time, you won’t know until you try!
At NJ Diet, our program is not only aimed at promoting healthy weight loss, but aims to improve your total wellness — where the side effect is weight loss, but the end result is better overall health and well being!
We welcome the opportunity for you to have a consultation with us. A consultation is normally $99, but by registering on our website it will only cost $27! At NJ Diet, you come into our office every 10-14 days to make sure you are burning fat and losing weight correctly. Supervised by Dr. Arthur Turovets, you will be provide the doctor’s personal e-mail and phone number — so if you ever have any questions or issues while on the program, you can always contact the doctor directly!
Even for the pickiest of eaters, it’s important to recognize that “pickiness” isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sticking to a healthy set of meals on a daily basis may actually lower your overall calorie intake, as well as help maintain your daily nutritional intake.
Are you ready to make a change in your life and improve your overall health and wellness? Contact NJ DIET to get started!