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 13yearswho had been identified as: (1) picky eaters at age 3 years (cross-sectional); and (2) pickyeaters at 2-5.5 years old (longitudinal). Picky eating behaviour (PE) was identified in the Avon LongitudinalStudy of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) from parental/caregiver questionnaires.
Dietary intake was assessed at age3.5 years and repeated at 10 and 13years. For cross-sectional PE compared with non-PE there were differences at age10years 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 13years, 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.
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