063 Can Food Refusal In Toddlers Continue Into Adulthood?


Persisting food refusal in toddlers CAN continue into adulthood and there’s even scientific evidence to prove it.

But what are you supposed to do with this information if you’ve been struggling with a picky eating child for years and you really feel stuck?

Now I know that you are a fan of following science-based strategies so if you haven’t got a copy then I want you to go and grab my free guide 5 Ways To Help Your Child Try New Foods’.

But if you’ve been struggling with finding ways to help your child try new foods, then I suspect that more free information is not what you are looking for.

So if you are:

  • done with making multiple meals and desperately want to see your child join in on the family meals
  • Worrying endlessly about your child’s nutrition such as vitamins and minerals and just want peace of mind and a good night’s rest knowing you are on the right path
  • Done wasting time on strategies that just don’t work and want a robust framework that will consistently help your child learn to try new foods

Then you need my small group coaching programme called End Mealtime Battles.

Show notes:

What you need is a results-based coaching programme that helps parents like you manage and solve picky eating.  You’ll no longer need to cook separate meals, worry about your child’s nutritional intake or growth. 


You’ll get a clear plan on how to support your child learn to try new foods in a positive and fun way.  In fact, you’ll hear Aimee, one of my students inside the programme say exactly that.

In the video you’ll hear her say that she no longer stays awake at night, worrying about her whether her child has eaten enough.  And that she now has a plan that involves her son and mealtimes are much more relaxed and they are actually having fun with the process.

Go to https://ukkidsnutrition.com/fussy-eater/ and you’ll be able to watch a short 3-minute video where Aimee talks about her experience of group coaching and how her life has changed since joining.

A brand new study published in October 2021, in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour studied a group of 500 university students (of which 175 were picky eaters) and they found that the students who identified themselves as picky eaters worried about eating out with their friends.

Out of 190 participants, 38% identified themselves as picky eaters.

Participants with eating disorders or ARFID were excluded from the study.

  • Worried about eating around others (element of social phobia)
  • Social anxiety about being judged for their food choices

When you look more closely at what the university students described as the difficulties with picky eating:


(1) trouble finding acceptable foods 

Half of the students described challenges in finding acceptable foods to eat when eating out with others or going to a friend’s house and not having many choices.  This also affected them when travelling on holiday.

(2) avoiding foods or not eating 

Might avoid specific foods or characteristics of food as such as the texture of foods (slimy such as seafood).  ​​Many indicated that they would either eat less or not eat at all when eating out of the home. For example, “I used to go out to eat with friends and half of the time would just drink the water due to my picky eating” 

(3) difficulties with feeders or other eaters

This resulted in conflict or disagreement with family members and friends e.g. my parents would get frustrated with me because I wouldn’t try their meals OR there were awkward comments when I couldn’t eat the same as my girlfriend and their family OR going out to a restaurant with a boyfriend or girlfriend is challenging as the person worries if they pick a fancy place there won’t be anything they can eat

(4) and excessive meal planning

Several noted behaviours such as eating in advance of events or bringing acceptable foods: “When I eat at a family or friend’s place, I have to bring snacks because I never know if they will have something I will want to eat” some participants discussed asking for separate meals to be prepared for them, trouble choosing restaurants, or spending excessive time ordering fully acceptable meals: “When going out to eat it sometimes takes me a while to decide what I want or what to tell the waitress to leave off the dish”

Useful links

  • If you are ready to dive deeper and you are ready to take action, then join End Mealtime Battles, which is a result-based small group coaching programme.  You’ll get a robust step by step framework to solve picky eating so that you’ll no longer have to worry about your child’s nutritional intake or keep wasting time on strategies that just don’t work.  Click here to join.  
  • I also have opened up slots for my 6-week course ‘Fussy Eating Solutions’ video course.  You can purchase the course here.
  • If you enjoyed today’s show, come on over to the Facebook group ‘Kids Nutrition Podcast’ and tell me what your struggles are when it comes to feeding your child.
  • All you need to do is to open your Facebook app or browser on a desktop computer, and type in ‘Kids Nutrition Podcast Community and it will come up.
  • And could you do me a favour please? – write me a quick review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify (it helps to push this podcast higher in the charts so that other parents can find the show) and I can keep creating free content for you.


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No matter what you are worried about, I’ll help you manage these with confidence.

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