Here’s Why You Should Take Your Child’s Picky Eating Seriously

Fascinating study

TIME

Rare is the child who will eat pretty much anything. Most toddlers develop specific favorite foods and, of more concern, absolute no-go foods.

To a certain extent, that’s normal. But when eating preferences make it difficult for the child to eat with others, that could be a sign of more serious sensitivities, say scientists in a report appearing in Pediatrics.

Nancy Zucker, director of the Duke University Center for Eating Disorders, and her colleagues looked into the implications of picky eating when she made a connection between more and more adults with eating-related issues who reported having been picky eaters as children. No studies had looked in depth at the longer term effects of selective eating during childhood, so Zucker studied 917 children two to nearly six years old who were enrolled in an anxiety study. The children’s parents recorded their eating habits, and the researchers conducted tests to…

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