You know the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Well, when it comes to kids and food, it’s more like, “Give a kid some bread and they’ll be happy…for about five minutes.
Then they’ll want more bread.” It’s not that children are picky eaters, per se. They just have very specific tastes.
In this article, we’ll look at why this happens and how to correct it.
My Child Only Eats Bread, Why Is This Happening?
The reason children only want to eat bread is that bread acts as a fast producing source of energy for them…
Bread is a simple carbohydrate. It raises insulin levels, which provides a temporary boost in energy.
It is also sweet and shares similar characteristics with breast milk.
It can happen with any food, and it can be a real problem when our children refuse to only eat certain foods, like bread.
Are you stressed and frustrated that your child won’t try new foods and just wants to eat the same foods every day?
In this guide, you will discover the light at the end of the tunnel and the best way to get rid of this issue once and for all.
In short, what can you do if your child only eats bread (or only eats their favorite foods)?
The first step is to switch them from white bread to wholegrain bread.
Before we dive deeper into this topic, I want to give a general piece of advice.
The earlier we start applying the suggestions you’ll learn today, the better.
An older child will already have ingrained habits. He/she might have a harder time changing those habits.
This is why it’s much easier if you can teach them to appreciate a wider variety of foods from a young age.
Habits take some time to build (around 21 days), so they take patience and some dedication to change.
The good news is that once you help your child rewrite his/her taste bud habits, you’ll set them up for a lifetime.
It may take some work to change your child’s habits. In these moments, think of their long-term health.
Eating only high-carb, low-nutrition foods, like bread, will affect their health.
This should be one of the main priorities for your child, so it will be worth the potential pain at the beginning!
The Reason Prefer Carbohydrates Like Bread
It can be quite common for young children to lean towards foods heavy in carbohydrates.
Some studies have suggested that children may enjoy bread in particular.
Often, this could be a phase, though, and a child should grow out of this love of bread with time.
Bread is simple and somewhat bland food. This can turn into comfort food for children.
They might not enjoy the taste of many flavors they don’t know!
Bread and carbohydrates in general are common favorites for young children.
Go talk to any of your other parent friends, and you will find many other children who enjoy eating bread.
The problem is, you have ended up with a child that only eats bread.
What is the possible impact of only eating bread?
I will start by saying I am not a dietitian and this is in no way professional dietary advice.
My comments come from years of research of working with kids, as well as my personal experience as a parent.
If this becomes an issue with your child’s health, seek a qualified natural dietitian.
Eating carbohydrates is not actually as bad as you might think for children. It offers a lot of fuel for your growing high-energy child.
If their main source of nutrition is bread, your child will be missing out on other key nutrients.
This is because bread is taking up valuable real estate in your child’s stomach.
Once they get filled, they will have less desire to consume higher-quality foods.
It gets even worse if your child is only eating white bread. White bread is higher in calories and a less nutritious form of bread.
It will go through your child’s digestive system with little nutrient value given.
For a growing child, you need to get a wider variety of nutrients in them.
The first step is to start with more healthy types of bread and move on from there.
This government site has some excellent advice for healthy eating and children.
The secret to encouraging your child to eat different foods…
Step 1: Ditch white bread!
The first step should be to drop plain white bread. Switch them to a high-quality, more wholesome brown and wholegrain bread.
These types of bread contain higher amounts of nutrients and are higher in fiber.
Whole grain bread is also a less processed type of bread, and thus a healthier form of bread for starters.
It also starts introducing such things as fiber to your child’s diet. As well as other helpful things such as B vitamins and iron.
If you have a bread-addicted child, getting them onto brown bread will be a good first step.
Try to buy fresh bread from a local bakery when possible.
Most factory-made bread can come with unwanted preservatives to increase its shelf life.
Step 2: Don’t give your child a choice.
In our modern world, you can buy all types of exotic and pre-made foods in the supermarket.
We have access to the widest variety of food the common man has ever had!
The problem with this is it has led to many parents giving their children far too many choices at mealtimes.
You are teaching your child that they are the “kings and queens” of mealtime.
That they can demand whatever food they want, and it will be served.
In the short term, it seems like the easy option to give in to what your child wants to eat. It’s faster and you will get them eating.
But, it will only bring pain in the longer term. You need to start taking back control of what your child is eating at mealtimes.
You can still offer them choices when it is convenient for you, but only give them two clear options.
And don’t change these options at your child’s request.
Is there a particular food that your child likes? You can agree to prepare this for a future mealtime.
But don’t chop and change your meal plans at the whim of your child.
Stay strong and stay firm. If you give in, you are showing your child that with some nagging, they can get what they want.
Explain to your child why they cannot eat only bread, and give them a healthier alternative.
This will be hard for a child who is already used to getting what they want. But stick with the course, and you will see improvements.
Yes, sometimes they may refuse to eat, but they will thank you for it. I would start this slowly.
Don’t try to go from white bread straight to plates of broccoli, for example!
Start with brown bread. Try sandwiches with healthy fillings.
You can even try healthy pizza with healthy toppings or cauliflower crust.
The trick is to build them on to healthier foods…
You can also use bread as a reward at the end of the meal after your child has eaten the other healthier options.
In more extreme cases, your child might refuse to eat some of their food during this period.
Try to offset this by giving them nutritious drinks such as milk or natural juices.
Step 3: Make cooking fun!
I find that involving my kids in the cooking process makes them want to eat the foods they have helped prepare.
You can start by making bread-based dishes, and slowly introduce other food types into the mix.
You’ll be surprised what a picky child might start eating if they get involved in the cooking process.
It might not happen straight away, but stick with it, and you’ll see results.
Step 4: Role model being a healthy eater!
As the parent, you are the child’s number one role model!
They will look up to you and want to copy what they see you doing. Because of this, you should show your child that you eat a variety of foods.
Talk to them about the benefits of healthy food and why you eat it!
You can tell your child the typical line of “eating healthier food will help you grow up big like me”.
This will further motivate them to at least try the food.
Say Goodbye To Bread!
Thank you for reading this article here at Best Case Parenting.
I hope you find the information here is valuable and helps you with the “my child only eats bread” problem.
It may be hard for you to see your child upset or not eating but stick with it.
The health benefits for your child will be worth their weight in gold!
If you are a parent who has experienced a picky child or a child that will only eat bread, let us know.
We would love to hear all about it in the comment section below.
Please don’t hesitate to add your ideas and experiences for others to use. As well as strategies that have worked for you.