My Kid Is a Beige Eater. Should I Be Concerned?
  /   Dahlia Rimmon MS, RDN

My Kid Is a Beige Eater. Should I Be Concerned?

If you’ve got a kiddo who turns up their nose at broccoli, blueberries, or anything orange, there’s no need to worry–they can still get loads of nutrition from their trusted beige foods. Kid-approved stables like crackers, pasta, rice, and bread can still provide essential nutrients for growth and development. So if you’re dealing with a beige-only eater, take a deep breath, go to your happy place, and just know that you’re not alone. It’s perfectly normal, and kids can still get plenty of good stuff from their beloved beige bites.

What’s the deal with the beige food obsession? 

It's no surprise that kids love beige foods. Here are a few reasons why they can't get enough of them:

They’re predictable 

Beige foods are consistent. Think about it: every time you munch on a cracker, it tastes the same. Same taste, same texture, same crunch, every single time. On the other hand, every time you pop a blueberry into your mouth, it’s a gamble. Sweet or tart? Firm or mushy? There’s always uncertainty. The predictability of beige foods makes kids feel safe, and provides a sense of comfort. That's why kids are more likely to choose a frozen waffle over your homemade raspberry bars – they know exactly what to expect from a waffle, and it's the consistency they can count on.

They’re easy fuel

Kids are incredibly busy, always on the move and exploring the world around them. Especially when they go through growth spurts or puberty, you can bet that they’ll ask for a second (or third!) round of pancakes for breakfast. Beige foods, typically carbohydrates, digest quickly and give kids bursts of energy they need to fuel their endless adventures. So don't be surprised if your kiddo asks for their umpteenth bowl of O's – they're probably gearing up for round five of hide and seek!

They’re bland 

Beige foods are mild-tasting and don’t challenge the senses as much as kale, kiwi, or salmon en papillote. Toddlers and young kids often experience neophobia, where they feel anxious or overwhelmed by new flavors and textures. It's a normal part of growing up, but it can be frustrating for parents when their child suddenly rejects spinach casserole in favor of a simple bagel with cream cheese. Their preference for beige foods are just easier for their taste buds to handle.

Why you shouldn’t stress about it

Now that you know that beige eating is a normal phase of childhood, here’s why you shouldn’t stress over it:

Beige foods are packed with protein

In a world where everyone’s gaga over protein, it's easy to forget that kids don't need as much as we think. Toddlers need 13 grams per day, while kids 4 to 8 years, only need 19 grams. Surprisingly, kids can fulfill their protein needs from beige foods alone. Take pasta, for example—it packs about 6 grams of protein per cup, and two slices of bread give you around 5 grams. So when you’re feeling guilty about serving PB&J for dinner, just know that you've probably covered more than half of their protein needs for the day!

Fruits and veggies are beige

Parents often worry that their beige-eating kids are missing out on essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber typically found in fruits and veggies. Luckily, tons of fruits and veggies fall under the beige umbrella. Here are a few of them: 

  • Banana
  • Asian pear
  • White carrots
  • Peeled apple or pear
  • White peaches
  • White strawberries
  • Jicama
  • Peeled zucchini
  • Peeled cucumber 
  • White corn
  • Japanese sweet potato 

Strategies to expand the palate (while avoiding a meltdown)

Now that we know that eating beige foods isn't the end of the world, there’s no need to stress over them. But it doesn’t mean we should only stick to beige foods. We want children to enjoy all the tastes and colors on their plates, and the best way to do that is by giving them many opportunities to practice. Here are some tactics to help broaden their taste buds:

Serve beige foods alongside new foods

Use beige foods to your advantage. Since new foods (and colors, textures, and flavors) can overwhelm kids, don't serve them alone and hope for the best. Instead, pair them with their favorite beige foods to give them a sense of comfort at mealtime. Kids are more likely to try something new if they feel safe. 

Have fun with food art

Encourage your kids to get creative with their food. Playing with food can gradually help them become more open to new flavors. After all, engaging the senses of touch, smell, and sight is less intimidating than taking a bite. So if they're hesitant about taking a bite of salad, they may have a better time building a cucumber slice tower.

Role model the heck out of it

One of the simplest ways to get your kids interested in food is to eat with them. Kids naturally look up to us, and enjoy imitating our actions. By regularly sharing meals together, we're role modeling the behaviors we want them to pick up on.

Bridge the gap

While your kiddo is enjoying their beige diet, they’re likely still missing some important nutrients. Beige eating is usually a phase, but you never know how long it will last, so it’s important to bridge that nutritional gap. While whole foods are the ideal source of nutrients, it's not always realistic. 

A multivitamin can help fill in those gaps, and Hiya’s Kids Daily Multivitamin is the perfect solution. It’s packed with 15 essential vitamins and minerals, ensuring your child gets the nutrients they need to support their growth and development. Plus, it tastes great, making it an easy addition to their daily routine. So, while you're implementing these strategies to expand their palate, offer your kiddo a multivitamin to give them an extra nutritional boost.