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Lisa Guy: nutritionist

Lisa is an experienced Sydney based naturopath and nutritionist who runs a naturopathic practice called Art of Healing. Lisa specialises in children's health and is the author of the children's nutrition book My Goodness.ASK ME A QUESTION

Three–year-old won't eat any vegetables or fruit

Monday, November 1, 2010
"I recommend you continue giving your son a multivitamin for kids, until you feel he is eating a nice balance of different foods — including fruit, vegies, wholegrains and legumes."

Question:

My three- year old son won't eat vegetables or fruit. He also won't try anything new, not even lollies or chocolate that other children are eating (even if that's actually a good thing). He lives on homemade chicken nuggets cooked in cold-pressed olive oil, fish fingers, wholemeal peanut butter sandwiches, yoghurt, canned spaghetti, sultanas, steamed potatoes (sometimes chips) and milk shakes where I add a raw egg and half a banana, malt and honey.

I give him pineapple and apple juice diluted with water with breakfast and dinner and he drinks water during the day. I use to add carrot, celery and freshly squeezed fruit juice to his drinks but he now detects the taste and loathes it. I do give him 2.5ml of Penta-vite vitamins in his juice every morning.

On occasions he is allowed Arrowroot or Nice biscuits and the rice chips in the supermarket health aisles as treats. His eating habits make meal times difficult. Do you think he is getting enough in his diet? How long should you give young children vitamins? Do you have any hints?

Response:

It is difficult when children go through fussy stages. You do have to just keep persevering and offering them new things with each meal. You also need to get a bit sneaky and try different ways of getting some extra nutrients into their diet, which I'm sure you have been doing.

Here are some suggestions:

If your son likes spaghetti you can puree up some different vegies and mix it through the sauce.

You can add mashed cauliflower or broad beans through mashed potato. Add some grated cheese too.

Flaxseed oil is a great source of omega-3s fats needed for children's brain function and development. Add one or two teaspoons to meals or smoothies. Add some to mashed potato instead of butter.

Smoothies are a great way of adding extra goodness into kids' diets. I wouldn't recommend adding a raw egg; instead, buy a good children's protein powder. Make a smoothie with milk, frozen banana or berries, flaxseed oil or ground almonds and yoghurt. You can even add in rolled oats for extra complex carbs for energy. Leftovers can be frozen as ice blocks.

Try blending up some fruit with yoghurt and freezing them into ice blocks.

Buy a good peanut butter or almond butter from a health food store. Commercial brands contain sugars and saturated fats. Almond butter is a great

source of calcium and healthy fats.

Frittatas are a great protein-rich food. Protein is really important for kids' growth and development. You can add some finely chopped or grated vegies and some cheese for extra calcium.

Try using freshly squeezed diluted juice, instead of bottled, when you can. It is also important to get children used to plain water too.

I recommend you continue giving your son a multivitamin for kids, until you feel he is eating a nice balance of different foods — including fruit, vegies, wholegrains and legumes.

My book My Goodness also has lots more really helpful, practical tips for adding extra goodness into kids' diets that are great for fussy eaters.

For more information visit Lisa's website, Art of healing.


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