Why Do Kids Eat a Beige Diet? And How to Help Them Eat More Colorful Food
Children, particularly picky eaters, tend to rely on a beige diet of fries, chicken nuggets, ice cream, and white bread as staples. Here’s why they choose these foods and ways you can encourage them to choose more vibrant cuisine.
Feeding therapists often see children who only eat beige-colored foods. They tend to become bored of these dishes and want more variety.
1. They’re Boring
Eating beige foods can leave kids bored and even irritable. Their tastebuds may tire of their favorite treats such as cookies, cakes, crackers, and sandwiches; their bodies won’t receive the essential nutrients necessary for growth and well-being.
Beige food is deliciously simple to eat, satisfying both the sensory system and consuming skill alike – this makes it popular among kids, particularly picky eaters.
Beige food from restaurants such as Carl’s Jr., Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and KFC has become extremely popular with customers, yet if you wish to eat healthily, you must steer clear of it.
UK vitamin company recently asked three bland food enthusiasts to continue eating an unbalanced diet for one month while taking a multivitamin with 18 vitamins and minerals daily, all while receiving payment of approximately $6,227. Due to these risks associated with their eating patterns — blood clots or other health concerns could occur —
2. They’re Highly Processed
Feeding therapists often refer to the “beige diet” when talking about children who only consume foods that are white, yellow, or golden in hue. This includes comfort foods like mac & cheese, bread, cookies, chicken nuggets, chips, and goldfish crackers, which all fall within this category of highly processed comfort and snack foods with highly predictable tastes and textures – great for children with sensory processing challenges who find new food daunting such as green vegetables or fruits.
Beige diets often consist of “white carbs,” foods high in starch and sugar that break down to glucose for energy but may also contribute to body weight gain and chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
Beige diets lack essential nutrients that children require for proper development. To promote good nutrition in kids, they must consume a wide range of food options, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats from fruits to proteins to healthy fats – the next time your picky eater asks for something “beige,” try serving healthier versions like brown rice pasta or spelled bread instead of white flour pasta or kraft cereal!
3. They’re Reliable
Picky eaters typically prefer beige-colored foods such as bread, toast, cakes, pizza, chicken nuggets, and crackers because these familiar options do not cause sensory reactions or require much skill when consumed.
Beige food can also be less overwhelming from a sensory point of view due to being non-aggressively colored; therefore, autistic individuals often prefer these beige-toned items more regularly due to difficulty processing visual aspects of food and preferential eating patterns.
Beige diets may not necessarily be unhealthy, but they lack many of the vitamins and minerals found in different food colors. Therefore, it can be hard to break free of this long-term cycle and make the switch towards healthier and more vibrant eating patterns – adding more veggies, fruits, and whole grains can be as simple as choosing salad instead of chips at lunchtime or including more fruits with your breakfast cereal every morning.
4. They Have Similar Textures
Many beige foods are prepared by frying or baking, which means their crunchy and crisp textures provide comforting sensory feedback for children compared to fresh produce that might be soft or firm.
Children may find handling foods with varied textures challenging – possibly one reason extreme picky eaters often favor beige food. Squishy fruit could be too difficult to process, while firm vegetables might present too great of a chewing challenge.
Not all beige foods are unhealthy – although relying too heavily on them could be dangerous. A nutritious, well-rounded diet should include foods from various categories besides crackers, crustless bread, cheese, and chicken nuggets! While those may seem healthy, try including more non-beige options in your child’s diet if possible.
5. They’re Easy to Make
As part of feeding therapy, I observe many children gravitate toward white and beige foods because they are easy for their sensory system to process, taste consistent every time, and don’t challenge their palate. Therefore, these foods are popular with picky eaters in particular.
Unfortunately, beige food often lacks the essential vitamins and nutrients we require. Furthermore, processed carbohydrates raise blood sugar and insulin, the hormone responsible for fat storage – thus leading many of us to consume an overfeeding yet undernourishing diet.
Your child may have an overwhelming preference for beige food. One way to help break their monotony is to gradually introduce non-beige options in small doses over time – for instance, if they enjoy crackers, try slowly adding in multigrain or spelled crackers as an addition. This will introduce them to new textures, flavors, and shapes without overwhelming their system. Also, try getting your child involved with the cooking process – cooking together can be a fun way of exploring food, especially with tools such as cookie cutters.