7 Steps to Kick the Beige Diet
Children are often inclined to eat what I call at the clinic a Beige Diet. If your child eats this way, then you already know exactly what I’m talking about.
The Beige Diet is very common in children under age 10 and can include foods such as breads, crackers, granola bars, macaroni/pasta, oatmeal, and bananas. If we’re lucky, children who love their beige diet can sometimes be encouraged to enjoy an occasional splash of red sauce.
So what’s the problem?
Beige foods are rich in simple carbohydrates (sugar) and are often preferred by immature little taste buds.
But high levels of carbohydrates that are not balanced with fats, proteins, and fiber can lead to higher blood sugar levels and sustained insulin levels over time.
The trouble with imbalanced blood sugar is that it can lead to lowered immune system function, improper hormone production, lowered attention span, and behavioral difficulties.
What’s a mama to do?
To kick your child’s Beige Diet, I’ve come up with a list of simple action steps that you can implement right now.
Dr. Julie’s 7 Steps to Kick the Beige Diet:
1) Make a rainbow on her plate. Include foods rich in red, orange, yellow, purple, and green colors from nature.
2) Introduce her to a variety of new foods, all the time. This includes colorful veggies, varied protein sources (nuts, seeds, meat, eggs, legumes), and alternative grains (quinoa, teff, amaranth, millet). Research finds we need to introduce our children to a food 11 times before admitting that she finally doesn’t like it. Try and try again.
3) Explain to her why you want her to try a new food. Use logical and easy to understand reasoning like: protein for muscles, veggies for energy, brightly colored fruits to fight off infections, etc. Your child may surprise you and may look to a food she previously disliked with fresh new eyes!
4) Plant a garden. Get kids involved in their food choices and teach them where real food comes from. This lesson goes a long way.
5) Try being sneaky adding greens to smoothies/popsicles/pasta sauce/rice. But don’t always hide the veggies. It’s important for children to see what they are eating.
6) Be family-friendly in your meal planning. Try to create meals that don’t just cater to your child, but include foods that the whole family can enjoy. It’s important for children to learn that they are part of a family unit and that their tastes are not the only ones being served.
7) Set a great example. Serve a wide variety of foods and eat them yourself. Your child will learn best from what she sees you doing at the dinner table. She will do as you say, but she learns best through imitation and by following her great role model, so encourage her to do as you do.
Please head over to the comments section below and let me know how you plan to ‘Kick the Beige’ from your child’s diet!