Advertisement

solid food and picky eaters

Picky Eaters are Made, Not Born

Study: Children given foods that require chewing before 9 months less likely to be picky eaters at age 7.

By Megan Othersen Gorman

tags: CHILD NUTRITION, CHILDREN'S HEALTH, PARENTING



Picky Eaters are Made, Not Born

If you'd given her solid food sooner, you wouldn't be in this mess.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Brussel sprouts. Broccoli. And Beets. Those three B’s are the bane of every child’s dinnertime existence—but perhaps they needn’t be. A new study shows that vegetable lovers may be made in their first nine months of life.

THE DETAILS: Researchers from the University of Birmingham in England followed up on the children involved in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (a large study on the introduction of solid foods after 9 months), checking to see how those children were faring, eating-wise, at age 7. All told, the researchers received reports from 7,821 parents: 12.1 percent of their children were given solid, textured foods before the age of 6 months; 69.8 percent, between 6 and 9 months; and 18 percent (a group the researchers refer to as “delayed”), not until 9 months or later. At the age of 7, the delayed group ate fewer foods overall than the kids who'd been introduced to lumpy foods early. Also, they ate fewer fruits and vegetables, and were described by their parents as just pickier overall.

WHAT IT MEANS: Early introduction of solid food lines up with what many experts are saying. The World Health Organization recommends introducing solid foods that require chewing between 6 and 9 months of age. That’s because, according to the lead study author Helen Coulthard, children can rapidly develop preferences for different tastes and textures between 4 and 7 months, whereas in later childhood, 10 or more exposures to a certain food might be necessary before the child accepts it. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends first introducing solid foods (not lumpy foods requiring chewing, but solids nonetheless) at 4 to 6 months—and they’re currently rethinking the best strategy for doing that. The new, recommended approach would be to introduce nutrient-rich foods (meat, fruits, and vegetables, pureed at first) rather than the traditional approach of starting with cereals.

Published on: March 4, 2009
Updated on: May 12, 2010



More from our Authors

Do you have a need for speed? Grow the 5 fastest vegetables and go from garden to table in no time flat!

Agrees with previous studies

I read something similar in 2005: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/620152466/Forget-rice-cereal--give-Ju...

At around 6 months, we started giving our daughter a little of whatever we ate, plus some baby cereal and a little baby food. We did the same with our son 2 years later, and now they're both great eaters.

VIDEOS

FREE DOWNLOAD!
Download a FREE chapter from The Exercise Cure and learn how to get your daily dose of the world's most effective preventive medicine. Click here for your FREE copy!





Advertisement
Free Newsletter
Sign up for the FREE daily newsletter and get useful tips to keep yourself, your family, and the planet healthy and thriving.

  The Daily Fix
Authoritative reporting on the latest developments in health, food, and the environment

  Maria's Farm Country Kitchen Newsletter
Get cooking tips, learn about healthy living and even raising chickens—Maria does it all!



Your Privacy Policy

BE SOCIAL WITH US!