Picky eaters will never grow out of their fussy habits if they don’t have a varied diet at the age of four, a study has suggested.
The researchers found that fussy eating was cemented at a young age and the more parents tried to control their children’s diets, they would be choosy.
The best time to try to broaden a child’s food preferences is when they are toddlers, but any subsequent efforts tend to fail, the study said.
The findings, published in the Pediatrics Journal, come from a four-year US study of 317 mothers and their children.
Families report their children’s eating habits and how mothers feel about feeding when children are four, five, six, eight and nine.
The researchers found that picky foods were stable from infancy to school age, suggesting that every effort to make children eat a wider variety of foods needed to occur when their toddlers were the most effective.
Picky eaters tend to be under the most pressure to eat more food, often causing them to further limit their diets.
Senior author Dr. Megan Pesch, from Michigan Medicine MS Children’s Hospital, said: “If you are [four year old] often pushing their dinner plates away or fighting against taking bites of other vegetables they don’t like, they might not grow out of it anytime soon.
“Picky eating is common during childhood and parents often hear that their children will eventually” grow from it. ” But that is not always the case.
“Mothers who are picky about food may try to shape their children’s preferences for a more delicious and selective diet to be healthier. But that may not always have the desired effect.”
The study also found that children who were reluctant to eat certain foods tended to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and were also less likely to be overweight or obese.
Dr Pesch added: “We still want parents to encourage a variety of diets at a young age, but our research shows that they can take a less controlling approach.
“Therefore, we need further research to better understand how children’s limited food choices impact on healthy weight gain and long-term growth.”
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]