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.
Types of picky eating
Researchers found that picky eaters may display behaviors such as:
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. 
Black MM, Hurley KM. Helping children develop healthy eating habits. Rev. ed. In: Tremblay RE, Peters RDeV, Biovin M, Barr RG, eds. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. Montreal, Quebec: Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development; 2007.