In March, I wrote about an awesome service that’s useful to all moms called Bundoo.com. Besides containing a TON of helpful articles on raising children, Bundoo offers a unique opportunity for moms who need a direct and personal answer to a specific question about their child. We’ve all been there: scouring the internet for hours, searching for the answer to our simple child-raising question, probably scaring ourselves along the way with all the misinformed posts and opinions we read…yes, it happens. And this is why Bundoo can be such a helpful service. With just a few clicks, you can get in touch with a child specialist. Since I’ve been partnering up with Bundoo for the last couple of months, they gave me the opportunity to try out their service and Ask Bundoo. Below is my questions and my Bundoo specialist’s answers regarding my child’s nutrition.
24/7 MOMS: My child won’t eat any green vegetables no matter how they’re prepared. What are some ways I can get him the nutritional content of these veggies without grossing him out?
BUNDOO: Often you can duplicate the nutrients such as vitamins and minerals in vegetables by using fruit. You’ll still want to offer veggies because research shows that exposure helps kids get comfortable with these foods. Try to prepare them different ways such as roasting, raw, blanched, with dips, 100% juices (keep to max of 4-6 ounces for kids under age 8), etc.
24/7 MOMS: If my child will only eat a few veggies and fruits, which ones should I give him to make sure he’s getting the most nutritional value?
BUNDOO: Vitamin A and C sources are the nutrients you’ll want to target! Vitamin A: carrots, sweet potato, cantaloupe, pumpkin, squash, spinach, kale and romaine lettuce. Vitamin C: orange juice, peaches, oranges, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, pineapple, cantaloupe, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, green pepper, kale and fortified juices.
24/7 MOMS: Are there any alternatives to vegetables and fruits if my child will absolutely not eat them? Will vitamins work just fine? What do you recommend?
BUNDOO: Yes, a multivitamin can cover the child who resists all veggies and fruit. It is a temporary solution, though. While using a multivitamin parents want to still include fruits and veggies in their meal plans. If kids don’t see them regularly, they are unlikely to develop comfort or a taste for them.
24/7 MOMS: What do you think is the best way to introduce new foods into my picky-eater’s diet?
BUNDOO: Get the toddler involved in food preparation. Serve a new food with an old familiar stand-by. Don’t react emotionally if your toddler chooses to not eat what you serve. Here is a blog post I wrote that will give you more ideas: http://justtherightbyte.com/2013/05/introduce-new-foods-kids-getting-practical/
24/7 MOMS: My child has told me before that certain foods don’t make them feel good, should I be worried that they’re allergic or are they just being picky? How can I tell the difference?
BUNDOO: I would ask what he means by “not feel good,” — does this mean tummy aches, diarrhea, vomiting, etc? If so, and it’s a persistent complaint, time to go to the doctor. Food allergies usually result in rashes/hives, blood in the stool (babies), swelling of the eyes/lips and respiratory problems or a full-fledged allergic reaction when food is eaten. The most common foods that children will be allergic to are: milk, soy, egg, fish, shellfish, wheat, peanut and tree nuts.
If the child is age 2-6 years, it may be picky eating, as this is the peak age for this normal part of toddler/preschooler development. Picky eating includes food jags (eating the same food over and over), fear of new foods, and dropping once liked foods. It is usually temporary and the best way to deal with it is to continue to serve a variety of foods (even if they are rejected), stay positive, let your child be involved in food preparation, and allow self-feeding (even though it’s messy!).