There’s more to ‘Picky Eating’ than what meets the eye

Mothers often complain that though they prepare all kinds of sensible meals composed of healthy, appealing foods, most of these offerings end up splattering the high-chair or carpeting the floor. Getting a child to tolerate and eat “normal” foods and a greater variety can be absolutely overwhelming for both the parents and child, often turning mealtimes into battles. But more important to know is that this symptom is part of a larger behavior called picky eating, which can result in unwanted consequences later on if not addressed at the right time.

A growing problem

Research shows that over 40 Percent of the children in the Middle East are at risk to be picky eaters, that constitutes to around 3 million children. It is estimated that 25% to 35% of all children have a problems associated with eating. Infographics picky eaters

Types of picky eating

Researchers found that picky eaters may display behaviors such as:
  • Eating small meals [2] [1]
  • Eating slowly [2]
  • Lack of interest in food [2] [1]
  • Acceptance of a limited variety of foods [2] [1]
  • Unwillingness to try new foods [2] [1]
  • Limited intake of fruits and vegetables [3] [1]
  • Strong food preferences [2]

When does picky eating start and why?

Picky eating often surfaces around one year—a time when many children can now choose what and how much to eat, giving them some degree of control over their lives. In addition, children are also learning lots of new skills, like talking, walking, running, climbing, and more. During a time of great change, children often seek “sameness” as much as possible, including sticking to the same small group of foods, making them feel safe and secure during a period of rapid change. [1] [2] [3]

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