Try it! Becoming a More Adventurous Eater

Upon your diagnosis of diabetes, most likely you were encouraged to change your diet drastically. Counting carbohydrates, increasing non-starchy vegetable intake, and choosing lean meats have most likely been included in your doctor or dietitian’s recommendations. You may feel like you do not have as much variety in your diet. The best way to increase variety is to try new things!

With three young children, picky eating is definitely a topic of conversation around my house. As a dietitian, I do not tolerate it. As a mother, I do not tolerate it! I want to make one meal that everyone eats and likes. But that’s not always possible. Everyone has likes and dislikes. My husband and I joke that any meal that 4/5 of us enjoy is a success! Here are a few tips I use with my family to encourage adventurous eating. See if there are any tips you can try to become a less picky, more courageous eater.

The two-bite rule

We have a rule at our table that you have to try at least two bites of everything on your plate. Often, my kids think a vegetable doesn’t look very good but once they take their two bites they realize it tastes delicious and end up finishing the whole serving. Make a rule for yourself to at least try everything on your plate.

Sneak nutrients in

One of my other favorite moves is to add vegetables to sauces or smoothies to up my kids’ veggie intake. I like to keep frozen spinach on hand. I add it to spaghetti sauce, smoothies, and soups. With a relatively light taste, spinach packs a boatload of nutrients including iron, calcium and vitamin A.

Opt for variety

It can be easy to get stuck in a meal rut and make the same five things for dinner every week. Challenge yourself and your family to try at least one new recipe a week. Take turns being the one to pick it out. When kids help out in the kitchen, they are often more likely to consume the meal. Maybe scouring new recipes in a cookbook or online will peak your curiosity and make you more interested in trying new things, too.

Keep trying

You may find that even after trying a new food a few times you still do not like it. It can take up to twenty different introductions of a food before your mouth and brain decide you like it. So be patient and don’t give up just because you didn’t like something one time. Sometimes changing the way it was cooked is all you need to alter the flavor to your liking.

Have a good attitude

We all know those people that make terrible faces when offered a food they don’t like or don’t think they will like. Try having an open mindset when trying something new. Maybe even do a little research on the perks of eating that specific food so you can focus on the great things you are putting into your body. Have fun!

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