At least one of my sons was (and still can be) a picky eater. I suppose it's payback coming my way (from my mom) because I was a picky eater as a child. Having a child or sometimes children that are picky eaters can be a challenge for parents.

Now be honest, Moms and Dads! How many times have you thought the problem could be solved by saying, "Eat or go hungry!" Okay, I'm guilty of that, and really should have known that by saying that phrase, it's not going to work! Because, it never worked when MY mom said it to me - so why did I really believe it would work with my own children!

Parents are always trying to figure out different ways to deal with their picky eaters, but now thanks to new research encouraging parents to categorize what type of picky eater their children are, a fix to finicky eating could be coming to every dinner table.

Researchers recently watched 170 picky two to four-year olds eating (or in this case, not eating) and were able to distinguish between four different types of picky eaters. It was discovered that the taste of some foods might actually taste better to certain children compared to others - because of their DNA. And other picky eaters may be associated with having different behavioral traits.

Although the researchers haven't come up with any SURE ways to deal with finicky eaters at the dinner table, they do have some suggestions that parents can try. For example, if you have a child that doesn't like their food mixed together or touching other food on their plates, parents can try showing their child the foods BEFORE they are placed on the dinner plate.

According to some child nutritionists, parents should encourage their child to at least TASTE the new (or different) food. Remind them that they don't have to finish it, but they should at least give it a try.

Researchers also say that children may need up to ten exposures to a new food before accepting it, and often times, parents give up before then.

The best advice that researchers can give to parents of children with picky eaters? Simply put,

Stick with it!

Is your child a picky eater? Here are the four types of picky eaters according to researchers.



  • 1

    Sensory-Dependent Eaters

    These are the kids that won't even touch food because it may look or smell funny. Sometimes even the texture of the food can stop these type of picky eaters from trying something new.

  • 2

    Preferential Eaters

    A preferential eater is a child that will not try a new food that is mixed together with something else.

  • 3

    General Perfectionist

    A general perfectionist expects their to be all by itself. It can not touch any other food.

  • 4

    Behavioral Responders

    The kids who don’t like when their food isn’t prepared in an exact way (the crust always needs to be off, or white not yellow cheese, etc.) make up the Behavioral Responders group.