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Would you classify your child as a fussy eater? Most kids have food likes and dislikes and usually broaden their diet when the start to develop more mature taste buds and grow out of fussy eating. However, some kids continue having limited food choices in later childhood; and new research has found that this continued fussy eating may boil down to a child’s way of taking “control” and kicking back on “helicopter” parenting.

New research from Dr Megan Pesch, a paediatrician at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in the US has just been published, and she has found some very interesting findings about food choices in children. It was a four-year study of 317 mums and their young children, and where she analysed their eating habits and she found that only about 29% of children ate everything their parents offered them. 14% of the kids on the other hand were classified as picky eaters, and only ate simple beige foods like cereal and mac n’ cheese and shunned all veggies. These kids were still picky at age 9, and Dr Pesch was trying to establish why these habits were so hard-wired and they were not growing out of this fixed eating pattern.

Does fussy eating Affect Their Health?

Health-wise in this study, the fussy eaters tended to be slightly more on the skinny side than the good eaters, but none were extremely underweight. However, there were more concerns about the nutritional value of what they eat and if their diet had potential for creating nutrient deficiencies. They also tended to be quite constipated, and this can also affect a child’s appetite. Additionally, they tended to be more sensitive children with a higher degree of anxiety.

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