Children with picky eating habits.

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I was recently asked a question about children with picky eating habits.

Heather Picton in her book, Hyperactivity & ADD Caring and Coping offered the following:

“It has been suggested that if junk foods are banned or kept out of reach, and good wholesome foods are available at all times, then the child will eventually eat them because he is just so hungry. A child should never be forced to eat particular ‘allowed’ foods; he should be allowed to choose from the suitable foods available in the house. If junk foods are kept out of reach then his normal appetite (whatever that may be) will eventually return, and he would be more likely to eat the healthier foods his body needs. On the other hand, if the child has rejected a particular food since he was a tiny baby then perhaps you need to pay attention to what his body is telling you. It is possible that there is an intolerance or food reaction to that food.

Sometimes a child's difficult eating habits can be linked to sensory defensiveness. Children with difficult eating habits can be very 'picky' and refuse to eat most things. It could be that they dislike: the flavour; the texture - they may refuse to eat soups or gravies. Rice, meat or vegetables (if eaten) have to be served without gravy, in separate little piles on their plate - or else there is a major drama. Even the texture of an avocado could cause a problem for them. The smell is also important.

To avoid turning meal times into a major confrontation, make as little fuss as possible about the weird eating habits. Be aware of what the child does eat and, to a certain extent, try to accommodate him but be sure that you are using only recommended foods.

The child is usually so ‘stuck’ in his established narrow eating pattern that he feels it a tremendous challenge to make improvements in his diet.”

I would suggest that the parents should join ADHASA, both subscription options include an information pack which includes a very helpful food list. One of the subscription options, which costs R250.00 includes the above book.


You can email Heather Picton on If you would like to book an appointment with her, please phone 011 886 7668.


Adapted and Submitted by Stuart Wilson


Mobile: 074 748 8196




Author - Stuart Wilson

Published - 2013-01-18