How do you handle a picky eater who is also a perfectionist picky eater? That’s right–there are four types of picky eaters and you can find out which type your little one is by taking this quiz. And if your little one is a perfectionist picky eater (also known as general perfectionists)1, it means that they have a few unique traits when it comes to eating. These include having very specific needs, like foods not touching each other and little variety in their diet. Given this, it’s normal for parents to worry that their child is not getting adequate nutrition and missing out on crucial vitamins like A, B, C, D, and E, as well as important minerals such as zinc, calcium, iodine, potassium and iron.
However, knowing the type of picky eater that your child is means that you can actually create a balanced meal plan for them that still caters to their food preferences, while delivering adequate nutrition. The following meal plan is for a perfectionist picky eater.
Recipes for your perfectionist picky eater
Breakfast: White Beehoon Soup
With its uniform mostly pale colours, yet varied nourishing ingredients, white beehoon soup is a clever addition to your perfectionist picky eater’s diet. The prawns in this soup contain nutrients including B vitamins, calcium and iron,2 ideal to boost a growing child’s health and development. And we all know that eggs, besides being a breakfast staple, are packed with a range of nutrients including protein, fat, vitamin D, choline and folate.3 This recipe is adapted from The Asian Food Network.4
- 250 g bee hoon (rice vermicelli) soaked for 10 minutes then drained
- 8 prawns (cut into small pieces if needed)
- 2 squids (cut into circles or small pieces, if needed)
- 20g chye sim (cut into 5cm lengths)
- ½ yellow onion (sliced)
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 15g bean sprouts
- 2 stalks spring onion (cut in 10 cm lengths)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoons sesame oil
- 400ml fish broth
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Heat up vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. Add sliced onions and garlic, and sauté
- Add prawns and cook until slightly pink.
- Add the chye sim stalks and spring onion sections and sauté.
- Add the soaked bee hoon and squid and toss together
- Pour in the fish sauce and half the fish stock and stir. Allow the noodles to simmer and absorb the liquid. Add more fish stock if needed.
- Push the noodles aside, and pour in the beaten eggs. Scramble and stir to combine. Serve warm.
Lunch: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
Simple, delicious, and healthy, spaghetti aglio e olio could turn into a staple lunch item for your perfectionist picky eater. The chopped parsley gives this a tiny splash of colour whilst the parmesan cheese provides texture. This meal would be best consumed when paired with a meat or vegetable of choice.
- A handful of thin spaghetti (as much as your child will eat)
- 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- Parmesan cheese
- Finely chopped parsley
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente (still slightly firm yet cooked)
- In a saucepan, heat the oil. Sauté the garlic until golden brown.
- Put a tablespoon or two of the starchy pasta water into the saucepan. Drain the spaghetti, then add to the saucepan.
- Mix in a generous amount of grated parmesan so that it coats the spaghetti with a cheesy sauce.
- Add a pinch of salt. Serve into a bowl and sprinkle the chopped parsley and more cheese on top.
Snack: Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Enfagrow PRO A+
A smoothie is an ideal way to introduce a bit of colour (and nourishment) to a perfectionist picky eater. This strawberry banana smoothie contains a rich mix of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and potassium from the strawberries and banana, and calcium from the milk. By making the smoothie with Enfagrow PRO A+, you’re including iron and zinc that help support your child’s natural defences^ and overall development. Enfagrow PRO A+ also contains Prebiotic FOS which promotes growth of good Bifidus bacteria to help maintain a healthy digestive system, MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane) and 2’-FL. Also with 360° DHA Plus that help meet your little perfectionist picky eater’s recommended daily DHA intake*. DHA, which is an omega 3 fatty acid, is an important building block for brain and eye development for children up to 3 years of age. You’ll also be glad to know that there is no added sucrose in Enfagrow PRO A+.
- 1 banana
- 4-5 strawberries
- 1 cup of Enfagrow PRO A+ formula milk
- Put everything in a blender and mix until smooth. Give it to your little one in a tall cup with a paper straw popped in.
Dinner: Teriyaki Salmon
Salmon is a powerhouse of nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, protein, iron, iodine and more.6 Teriyaki salmon is an easy-to-make and healthy option to handle picky eater needs. Pair this delectable dish with some rice or noodles, plus some vegetables to make it a properly balanced meal.
- 1 salmon steak
- 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- White sesame seeds
- Marinate the salmon in the teriyaki sauce and minced garlic for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan. When it’s hot, place the salmon in it skin-side down.
- Sear the skin until brown and crispy, then flip the fish over and cook for a few more minutes until done.
- Sprinkle it with sesame seeds and serve with some warm white rice.
Dealing with a picky eater and not quite sure what to do? In addition to tailoring healthy menu plans based on the type of picky eater that your little one is, you could complement the nutrition they get from these meals with Enfagrow PRO A+ milk formula. Enfagrow PRO A+ could also help make up for nutrients your picky eater might be missing out on.
Every tin of Enfagrow PRO A+ contains a unique blend of nutrients to support your child’s overall mental and physical development. These include MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane) and 2’-FL. Also with 360° DHA Plus that help meet your child’s recommended daily DHA intake*. Complemented with Iron and Zinc that help support your child’s natural defences^; and Prebiotic FOS which promotes growth of good Bifidus bacteria to help maintain a healthy digestive system. There is no added sucrose in Enfagrow PRO A+.
Support your picky eater’s nutritional needs with Enfagrow PRO A+. Here is a $10 Enfashop voucher specially for you▴!
Other meal plans
For a meal plan tailored to the needs of a sensory dependent picky eater, click here
For a meal plan tailored to the needs of a preferential picky eater, click here
For a meal plan tailored to the needs of a behavioural picky eater, click here
The contents of this article has been reviewed by Ruben Dela Peña Macapinlac, M.D. who is a graduate of De La Salle Medical & Health Sciences Institute, Doctor of Medicine. He had his Pediatric residency training at De La Salle University Medical Center. During his residency training, he wrote an award-winning case report and research. He also became the department’s Chief Resident. Dr. Macapinlac is now a General Pediatrician and the doctor behind “Pedia On-The-Go” Facebook page.