Why parents aren’t to blame for fussy eaters

New research suggests genetics are a large factor in what makes a child a picky eater…


Some children will eat anything and everything, and are always keen to experiment with new foods.


Whereas some of us know all to well, that other children are exactly the opposite – they’re cautious eaters, perhaps even afraid to try new things.

But why is that the case?

New research published by the Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry says that whether or not your child’s a fussy eater is in large part related to their ‘genetic make-up’.

So, if your child is the ultimate picky eater, it’s not necessarily to do with their environment or how they’re being brought up. It’s just the way they are.

The research was carried out by University College London, surveying over 1,900 families with16-month-old twins. Parents were asked to fill out a questionnaire, which delved deep into their toddlers’ eating habits and patterns.

They then compared the results of identical twins and fraternal twins to determine how much genetics plays a part in the way (and the things) children eat. 

This works because identical twins share the same genes, while fraternal twins only share, on average, 50% of genes, according to The Guardian.

Lead researcher Andrea Smith said of the findings:

“At 16 months we found that overall 46% of the variation in food fussiness was explained by genes, and we found that 58% of food neophobia (rejection of new foods) was explained by genes.”

She also said it’s unknown which gene is responsible – but that it’s likely many different genes would play a part.

And, of course, environmental factors do still play a role, so how you deal with your child’s fussy eating will make a difference.

Check out our top 10 tips to help combat fussy eating if it’s something you struggle with.

What do you think?

Is your child a fussy eater? If they are – does this research make you feel slightly better about it?

Do you notice a difference in eating styles between your kids?

Let us know on Facebook and Twitter

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