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Difficult eating behaviour in the young child 

Difficult eating behaviour in the young child
Chapter:
Difficult eating behaviour in the young child
Author(s):

John Puntis

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198759928.003.0018
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date: 25 May 2020

Food refusal is common in early life for a variety of reasons that include parental anxiety and forced feeding. From about 6 weeks of age, infants regulate their energy intake according to energy needs. Newborns prefer sweet-tasting feed and at 3–5 months readily accept new tastes. At 12–18 months fear of new foods (neophobia) develops. Self-feeding by the end of the first year should be encouraged and the child allowed to be messy and enjoy meal times. Repeated exposure to a food is the best way of it becoming accepted. Faddy/picky eating is most likely to occur around 18 months of age. There are some simple rules for modifying eating behaviour, as well as increasing energy intake when appropriate.

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