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Are you a fussy eater?

Or is your child inclined to be picky? There are different reasons for this…

by Ali Roff

Picky eaters, although picky, are not actually all the same.

Fussy eating falls under many different behavioural categories according to a new University of Illinois study, which looked at this behaviour in children. In fact, there are four types of picky eaters:

Sensory-dependent – refuse certain foods because of the dislike of the smell or texture.

Preferential – struggle when introduced to new, complex or mixed foods.

General perfectionists – will be picky when it comes to food because they have very specific needs, for example, foods not touching each another and tend to go for a diet without much variety

Behavioural responders - will cringe or gag when food isn’t prepared or presented correctly with the 'right' foods.

Sharon Donovan, professor of nutrition at the university, added that food preferences are established early in life, and children who were exposed to different textures, flavours and food groups tended to have a greater acceptance of those foods.

Photograph: Corbis