Foods on the supermarket shelves that promote healthy eating are overshadowed by the intrusive predominance of multi-level shelves and advertising and media promotion of unhealthy and non-nutritious foods for kids – making it hard for kids to want to eat healthy. Parents have a hard time convincing kids that the healthier choice is the better choice when bombarded with steady streams of enticing, but unhealthy advertising and food promotion. The challenge of raising a healthy eater can mutate itself into daily food fights with your children. But all picky eaters aren’t a product of invasive unhealthy food advertising, nor are they a product of a spoiled child. A picky eater may just be a product of genetically influenced taste buds.
Taste buds are not all created equal. It’s often overlooked that children eating healthy foods can have a lot to do with taste buds as well as their environment. Taste buds differ genetically, and they change over time. Parents can look back on their own eating experiences and possibly remember a food that they once detested as a child, and see that it is now a part of their normal diet, or at least, more tolerable.
One gene that affects taste and healthy food choices is the TAS2R38 gene. The gene comes in three different types. The first “genotype” (classification) of the TAS2R38 gene has two sections (“alleles”) that are insensitive to bitter foods. Opposite of that is the second genotype of the TAS2R38 gene, which has two bitter sensitive sections. The third genotype of this gene has one section that is insensitive to bitter tastes, and another section that is sensitive to bitter tastes. One gene – three different taste experiences.
The study also found that the more bitter receptive the taste bud genes are, the more likely that children are to prefer high-sugar level foods, and the less likely they are to prefer milk or water as a beverage. However, this same correlation did not exist with adults.
Children, despite being picky eaters, can be approached on a new intellectual level based on the discovery of the variations of the TAS2R38 gene. Mums can concentrate on approaching children with naturally sweeter fruits and vegetables or sweeter gravies and sauces to get their kids eating healthy. Review self-held food ideologies, and determine whether “chocolate milk is better than no milk at all” for the child that shirks at a glass of white milk. Plan to increase the child’s dental care if bitter foods are shunned and sweeter foods are welcomed. Understanding that taste buds do affect childrens healthy food choices and that genes can contribute to a child’s picky eating habits, can guide parents in picking out the most enticing healthy foods for their children. When you shop for healthy food choices, concentrate on identifying foods that are naturally sweet and naturally bitter. By choosing the most enticing healthy foods for your children, they will be eating well – and meal time will be sweeter for you all.
Katherine is a mother of two beautiful girls, a devoted student of personal development and a successful businesswoman in the direct sales industry. To find out more about how you can earn a great income, make friends for life, spend more time with your family, help people everyday and do this all while working from home, visit my website at Change Your Future Now