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What is Picky Eating?

Children who can be described as “picky eaters” demonstrate food avoidance and usually eat only a limited number of foods. Picky eating behavior is a common childhood disorder and can lead to a breakdown in parent-child interaction. Reasons for picky eating behaviors in children can include:1,2 Poor food quality, Inappropriate eating behaviors of parents / caregivers and a Lack of food variety.

As one can deduce, there may be significant negative consequences for the child who is a picky eater:1,2 such as Growth-faltering / stunting, Failure to gain weight, Impaired mental development, Loss of weight, Nutritional deficiencies, Diminished immunity and lastly, Increased risk of illness / infection.

Identifying a picky eater

A child who is a picky eater will show the following behaviours:2 Negative reactions to specific foods due to taste, texture, smell and appearance, Grimacing, gagging and vomiting, Greater interest in playing and talking than eating, Easily distracted from eating, Crying at the sight of food or even the high chair and Resisting food by crying or refusing to open mouth.

Picky eating can be helped. A fussy eating phase can cause a lot of stress, particularly at mealtimes and if you’re a parent of a fussy eater, it’s natural to be concerned that your child might be missing out on important nutrients.

The good news is that this is usually a phase that most children grow out of and they will eventually start to accept a wider range of foods.

PediaSure is here to provide peace of mind that your picky eater is getting the essential nutrients they need to grow and thrive, while you work towards happy mealtimes.



1. Alarcon PA, et al. Clin Pediatr 2003;42:209-217. 2. Kumar KP, et al. Int J Contemp Pediatr 2018;5(3):714-719.

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