"But my little one used to be such an adventurous eater! It's as if they hit toddlerhood and preschool and turned into a picky little monster who only wants unhealthy foods!" We often hear this as kids start to develop their own likes and dislikes when it comes to their "preschool palate."
So, what makes toddlers and preschoolers picky eaters?
- Toddlers' growth rates slows down from when they were infants, and often so does their appetite.
- Becoming weary of new foods is believed to be an evolutionary benefit for young children in protecting them from eating potentially poisonous plants. In modern days, this can be a barrier to trying new and safe foods.
- Young children need and love snacks and drinks. However, too much of these can crowd out meals, especially if poorly timed.
- Kids and people all interpret sensory stimuli differently. Kids with strong sensory responses may experience taste and smell more strongly, making them more sensitive to foods and thus “picky eaters.”