The biological necessity of picky eater syndrome

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The biological necessity of picky eater syndrome

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Most parents think that their child has become a picky eater when they're a toddler and wonder why. There's a couple of pieces of this. One is just that toddlers need fewer calories relatively to what they needed before. But the big thing is, there's something most folks haven't heard about called food neophobia. It's a physical fear of new foods, of new food sources that starts when kids start to walk and gets stronger over the next couple of years. And it makes sense. You wouldn't want a child to walk away from parents and pick a berry and eat it. This could really be bad for them. Or pick a leaf, it might be poisonous. So they're actually designed not to trust new fruits, new vegetables, to be really suspicious of them at that time. The sad thing is, in the US before that window, most kids, for the last few decades, have just gotten very processed baby foods, jarred foods that don't taste like the real thing. So they got baby food peaches like that, but when you hand them a real peach, as a toddler, they spit it out and opt for fruit cocktail instead.

View Alan Greene, MD's video on The biological necessity of picky eater syndrome...

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Alan Greene, MD

Founder, DrGreene.com

Dr. Alan Greene founded his website, DrGreene.com, in 1995, cited by the AMA as "the pioneer physician web site." In 2010 he founded the WhiteOut Now movement to change how babies are fed from their very first bite of solid food, and in 2012 he founded TICC TOCC – Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping. He is an author of several books including Feeding Baby Green and appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the Dr. Oz Show, and is a regular columnist for Parenting magazine. He is a practicing pediatrician and the father of four.

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