While on vacation over the Memorial Day holiday, I had the pleasure of meeting a lady named Marcie from Pennsylvania. Marcie and I really hit it off as she totally gets the Real Food way of life.
One of Marcie’s pre-teen children, Selima, has been a picky eater and struggling with poor appetite over the past couple of years due to some problems with her stomach’s signaling of hunger to the brain. In other words, she really has to be hungry before her brain will tell her it’s time to eat.
What’s more, once Selima does start to eat, she gets full really fast as the signal of satiation is very strong.
For most people, this would be a great problem to have. But, a picky eater in the form of a growing child can be a serious issue as this can hamper proper development and health.
Marcie tried a number of remedies to assist Selima with her poor appetite but none worked very well. Even using cinnamon didn’t work as Selima developed an allergy to it after about one week.
Marcie finally hit on something that worked so well for her picky eater and was so simple, I thought I should write a blog about it. I know that a lot of readers probably have at least one child that is a picky eater and could use a safe, at home remedy to boost appetite for Real Food!
Spearmint Extract for the Picky Eater
Marcie uses spearmint extract (quality source) as an herbal supplement and it is really helping Selima with her appetite and also with gaining weight. Prior to using spearmint extract, Selima’s weight wasn’t even listed on the weight charts for her age and height. She is now near the 10th percentile!
Only 1/4 tsp in the morning 30 minutes or so before breakfast is all that is required. She initially tried 1/2 tsp in the morning, but found that Selima would get so hungry from that size dosage that her stomach would literally hurt.
Spearmint extract initially suppresses the appetite and then the appetite comes back very strong a few minutes later, so be sure to use it in first thing in the morning so that it works all day, including for breakfast.
Spearmint Extract Won’t Be Much Help for a High Sugar Eating Child
Also note that too much sugar and grains in a child’s diet will also suppress appetite quite effectively, so reducing these types of foods can go a long way toward remedying the situation.
In addition, low thiamine (Vitamin B1) will result in poor appetite as well, so adding some nutritional yeast to popcorn or smoothies may do the trick. Pineapple is also high in thiamine.
If these dietary approaches just don’t seem to work, however, spearmint extract may turn out to be just the ticket for turning your picky or reluctant eater into a Real Food hound!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. Her work is dedicated to helping families effectively incorporate the principles of ancestral diets within the modern household. She is a sought after lecturer around the world for conferences, summits, and podcasts.
Her work has been covered by major media including USA Today, ABC, NBC, and many others.