Diet at age 10 and 13 years in children identified as picky eaters at age 3 years and in children who are persistent picky eaters in a longitudinal birth cohort study

Caroline M. Taylor*, Nicholas P. Hays, Pauline M. Emmett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

2 Citations (Scopus)
156 Downloads (Pure)


Picky eating has been associated with lower intakes of some nutrients and foods during preschool ages, but there is little known about the longer-term diet.

The aim of this study was to characterise the diets of children aged 10 and 13 years who had been identified as: (1) picky eaters at age 3 years (cross-sectional); and (2) picky eaters at 2–5.5 years old (longitudinal).

Picky eating behaviour (PE) was identified in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) from parental/caregiver questionnaires. Dietary intake was assessed at age 3.5 years, and repeated at 10 and 13 years.

For cross-sectional PE compared with non-PE there were differences at age 10 years that were similar to those at 3.5 years: lower intakes of protein (–5%) and fibre (–7%), and of meat (–15%), fruit (–10%) and vegetables (–33%). At 13 years differences in vegetable (–23%), fruit (–14%) and meat (–8%) intakes were evident. For longitudinal (persistent) PE, differences were more pronounced at each age.

More effective strategies to help parents to widen the food choices of their children at early ages need to be developed, focusing particularly on vegetable and fruit intakes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number807
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2019


Structured keywords



  • Child
  • Food avoidance
  • Food neophobia
  • Fussy eater
  • Nutrition
  • Picky eater

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