We all have our different food likes and dislikes but if fussy eating is stopping you from choosing a healthy diet, here are some practical tips.
- Make a list of healthy foods that your already enjoy and then note their characteristics. Perhaps they are spicy or maybe bland, perhaps they are smooth or maybe crunchy. This will help you understand your preferences and will make it easier to look for new healthy foods that you might enjoy.
- Pick one change at a time such as eating more vegetables, increasing your fibre intake, eating less sugar or cutting back on fat. Make a table with two columns. In the first column list foods that you love healthy or otherwise. In the second column list healthy choices that would enable you to achieve your selected goal. Use other posts on this site to help you. Then circle the healthy options that best fit with your preferences by comparing what you love with the healthy options. For example if you want to eat more vegetables and love smooth creamy tastes then you might want to think about soups or smoothies with vegetables.
- Alternatively pick one food group at a time eg carbohydrate foods, protein foods, dairy products, fruit and vegetables or fluids. Use other posts on this site to list healthy choices in your chosen foods group and look for options that best reflect your preferences. For example you might want to eat healthier carbohydrate foods. If you love nuts then the nutty flavours in brown rice and quinoa might work for you. Alternatively if you enjoy spicy foods then adding a bit of chilli to a wholemeal cous cous salad might make it more acceptable.
- Try a tiny taste of something healthy that someone else is having. You might surprise yourself and discover that you like it.
- You could also get together with some friends who also want to eat more healthily and have a recipe swap night. Ask everyone to cook their favourite healthy dish and bring some along for everyone to try. You might discover something new and delicious. Just make sure everyone understands that you are all trying to eat healthily and that you are all agreed that means low fat, low sugar, low salt and high fibre. You could ask a Dietitian to come along and check your recipes and perhaps suggest a few tweaks.