Genetic Link for Picky Eating

By: Stacia Naquin Email
By: Stacia Naquin Email

The battle at the dinner table may be a battle with genetics. There is a growing body of research that shows picky eating is inherited… and can be passed down from generation to generation. That’s according to the Behavior Genetics Association.

The belief is that picky eating is a food phobia. Professor Fred Coolidge with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs says, “It’s a fear of unknowns, but for food.”

That phobia is then passed on to your child.

So, how do you fight millions of years of evolution? You really can’t.

Professor Coolidge says, “That isn’t going to happen. But you can change the environment such that the environment becomes more friendly.”

Here are the four tips he recommends:
1. Don’t force them to eat (because that doesn’t make anyone happy)
2. Keep exposing them to new foods (and be aware that it may take 9 or 10 times before they finally try it)
3. Be a good role model (remember, you’re kids are watching you)
4. And most importantly, have a sense of humor about it (after all, it’s just)

You only need to worry about picky eating if it causes problems with your child’s growth. But those cases are extremely rare. It’s also very likely your child will grow out of their pickiness eventually anyway.

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