How To Choose Diet Plans for Picky Eaters

There may be some fruits and vegetables that excite your taste buds.

Man carrying salad to the table at family lunch

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Some fruits and vegetables may not be your cup of tea if you're a picky eater. You may wonder whether getting all of your daily nutrients is even possible. Developing healthy eating strategies for picky eaters can be challenging. But it's possible. So, here's how you can incorporate new foods into your daily meals and snacks. 

Well, have no fear. Managing your weight and eating healthily without fruit and vegetables is not impossible.

Still, the most important thing is to get the nourishment you need, whether dieting or not. Talk to a healthcare provider about the possibility of taking vitamin supplements to make up for the nutrients you're missing. Just be aware that research raises questions about whether vitamins are effective for most people.

Start With the Foods You Do Like

If the only fruits you like, for example, are apples and bananas, then eat them. They're great for your heart. Eating one of each daily is an excellent start to developing healthy eating habits. Some benefits of adding fruits and vegetables to your diet include:

  • Lower risk of chronic diseases
  • Help prevent some cancers
  • Manage blood pressure

Dietary guidelines recommend getting at least four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables daily. That much fruit and vegetables might sound overwhelming. So, take it slow. Each week, try adding one serving to your daily intake. Here are a few examples of what constitutes one serving of fruit:

  • One-quarter of a cup of fruit juice
  • One small banana
  • One medium apple, orange, pear, peach, or nectarine
  • Four large strawberries

And some examples of a single vegetable serving include:

  • Half a cup of cooked spinach
  • Five pieces of broccoli or cauliflower
  • Six baby carrots
  • Half a cup of vegetable juice

Look for Diet Plans That Let You Choose What You’ll Eat

You'll have to do more planning than you would on diet plans that give you a set menu. But you'll have a better chance of sticking to a diet if you get to eat foods you like. For example, diets like Weight Watchers allow you to select your foods.

Try picking two plans. Start on one, and use the other as a backup plan if the first one doesn't fit your lifestyle. 

Tips for Expanding Your Taste Palate

Don't feel like you need a cornucopia of new foods. But if you can add two or three new things you enjoy, that's great. Here are a few tips for adding fresh staples to your daily meals and snacks.

Challenge Your Taste Buds

Our taste buds change as we age. If you hated spinach as a child, give it a second try. You may discover that you like it now.

Try Different Forms of Your Trusted Favorites

If you had vegetables canned the first time, try them fresh. If you've cooked them, try them raw. The flavors, textures, and colors of produce change. You might also try low-sodium vegetable soups, juices, or pickled vegetables. Chow-chow, pickled green beans, or pickled carrot sticks are great examples. 

Try Different Types of Foods

Sometimes a different flavor profile can excite your taste buds. Try shopping in ethnic markets to see some extra fruits and vegetables. Even if you don't like Southern-style collard greens, you may find Brazilian-style greens to taste fantastic.

Incorporate Some Heirloom Favorites 

They often have different flavors from the products you find in the grocery store. For example, white eggplant is less bitter than dark eggplant. And even if you're not a fan of navel oranges, you may love blood oranges—they're more tart.

Ask the Chef

Ever been to a restaurant and savored a food you don't usually like? Go back to that restaurant when it's quiet and ask how the chef prepared it. Learn the technique yourself—you may even be able to apply it to other foods.

Add Some Toppings

Some research suggests that people who eat moderate-fat diets lose more weight than those on a low-fat diet. Some experts believe that when you cut out fat, you cut out many flavorings that make vegetables more fun. 

That research doesn't give you free rein to eat broccoli bobbing in Velveeta sauce, but adding a bit of flavor is okay. 

If you like breadcrumbs, make your own and sprinkle them on just about anything. Also, try chopped nuts as a topping. Hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, and peanuts are excellent choices. Or add a little bit of grated crumbled feta or goat cheese. 

Toss vegetables in a bit of pesto, or make a gremolata: You can toss it with cauliflower, carrots, green beans, broccoli, peas, asparagus, and many other delicious veggies.

A Quick Review

Healthy eating can be difficult if you're a picky eater who is not a fan of fruits and vegetables

However, you can still attain a healthy diet by embracing the foods you like. Try experimenting to find foods and diet plans that satisfy your preferences while providing the nutrition you need.

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