My kid is a picky eater! - ONIE Project

My kid is a picky eater!

Posted by ONIE Project on 10/26/2016

Healthy eating tips for picky eaters from ONIE

Eating may be necessary to satisfy hunger and maintain our body, but it is also a social experience. New research shows that children as young as a one year-old are influenced by the food preferences of others.(1) Children are looking to cues of what is safe and tasty to eat. Your facial expressions and words provide those cues. Even more interesting, these very young children pay the closest attention to what you DO NOT like, including disagreement between family members.

Healthy eating tips for picky eaters from ONIEThis means everyone’s habits matter. If mom eats salads but dad says no thank you, a child is less likely to eat salads because the dislikes have the most influence. Older brothers and sisters are role models too. If an older sister does not like fish, the younger child may not like it either.

Healthy eating tips for picky eaters from ONIEChildhood dietary habits become adult  habits.(2-3) In addition, childhood nutrition impacts adult health even if kids seem okay now.(4) In fact, many kids consume too much fat, cholesterol, added sugar, and salt. (5-7) We need to eat better, for our kid’s sake.

Healthy eating tips for picky eaters from ONIEWhat food preferences are your family members modeling? Let’s all (yes-moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles...) add a few more veggies to our diet, choose 1% milk, and cut back on sugary beverages.  For the health of our children, a united and healthy front is best.  

See these blogs for more healthy living tips:

Identify added sugar 
Kick added sugar
The "Salty Truth
No Myth, 1% Milk 

ONIE Project

  1. Liberman, Z., Woodward, A. L., Sullivan, K. R., and Kinzler, K. D. (2016).  Early emerging system for reasoning about the social nature of food. PNAS, 113(34), 9480-9485.
  2. Klesges, R.C., Stein, R.J., Eck, L.H., Isbell, T.R. and Klesges, L.M. (1991) Parental influences on food selection in young children and its relationships to childhood obesity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 53, 859–864.
  3. Steiger, H., Stotland, S., Ghadirian, A.M. and Whitehead, V. (1994) Controlled study of eating concerns and psychopathological traits in relative of eating disorders probands: do familial traits exist? International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18, 107–118.
  4. Berenson, G.S., Srinivasan, S.R., Bao, W., Newman, W.P., III, Tracy, R.E. and Wattigney, W.A. (1998) Association between multiple cardiovascular risk factors and atherosclerosis in children and young adults. New England Journal of Medicine3381650–1656.
  5. Nicklas, T.A. (1995) Dietary studies of children and young adults (1973–1988): the Bogalusa heart study. American Journal of Medical Science, 310(Suppl. 1), S101–S108.
  6. Lava, S. A. G., Bianchetti, M. G., & Simonetti, G. D. (2015). Salt intake in children and its consequences on blood pressure. Pediatric Nephrology, 30(9), 1389-1396.  
  7. Cogswell, M.E.,  Gunn, J. P., Yuan, K., Park, S., and Merritt, R. (2015). 

    Sodium and sugar in complementary infant and toddler foods sold in the United States. Pediatrics, 135(3), 416-423. 

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