#9: What Age Does Picky Eating Get Better?

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If you’re in the thick of picky eating, you’re probably wondering when you can expect it to get better.

You might even be dreaming of the day where you can make whatever you want for dinner, or you could take your little one to any restaurant, or even to a friend’s house for a meal when you don’t know what they’ll be serving. 

If this feels far off, listen to this episode to hear what age picky eating tends to improve, and take a simple quiz to determine whether your little one is likely to just grow out of it, or if they will need some extra help.

Call in to the podcast voicemail line to ask me a question for a future episode: 469-552-5527.

QUESTION:

“Hi Kacie, this is Kathleen calling from the Midwest and I have an almost four-year-old who is a picky eater. We’re working on picky eating and trying to turn the corner, and I’m wondering when is there going to be light at the end of the tunnel? In a lot of ways I see it getting better, but not sure if there is an age where things tend to be better or would this always be a lifelong struggle?”

What age does picky eating get better?

The pickiest years tend to be ages 2 to 5, and some kids will grow out of picky eating without much work on your end. But, many kids will need extra help to grow out of it.

Picky eater quiz

A good way to know whether your kid will probably just grow out of it around 5  or 6 years old, or whether they need more help to move beyond it, is to take my “How Picky Are They?” quiz — click here  to take it online. I also talk through the quiz in the podcast.

Regardless of the quiz results, please know that you are not doomed to have your child turning into a high schooler who only eats pizza rolls and frosted mini wheats every day. 

This just may be an area they need more guidance in. We all have areas that are more of a challenge, and this is one that can be improved. 

Underlying causes of picky eating

There are often co-occurring matters with picky eaters, such as:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Anxiety 
  • Rigidity around routine
  • Sensory sensitivities

If you think any of these things could be possible contributing factors for your little one, and they have not yet been addressed by professionals, talk to the pediatrician about it.

What if the pediatrician dismisses your concerns?

Maybe your pediatrician or your family has dismissed your concerns about picky eating or your child’s behavior. Or they have told you that your child will just grow out of it, and you shouldn’t worry. 

I think it’s OK to worry. When you’re a parent you want the best for your little one. And it makes sense that if meal times are hard, you don’t want them to struggle with that forever. 

I know you want to see the light at the end of the tunnel with picky eating, and my one piece of advice on that today is to re-define your expectations of success. Look for the small wins and celebrate those! 

Maybe they allowed a food near them that they usually get upset about. Maybe they touched something new. Maybe they stuck their head into a bowl to smell the food up close. These ARE all wins and can help you see that you’re moving in the right direction. 

You will get helpful tips, techniques, and tools in Kickstart Picky Wins so go right now to get signed up! The link is right below in the resources section.

 In Kickstart Picky Wins I ask you what would be a big win for you with your picky eater, I always love hearing your responses!

Resources

Does your little one need some support to get rid of picky eating? 

Get my Picky Eater Starter Guide here, or hop right into the Kickstart Picky Wins Email Series here.

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Where you share your real life struggles with your toddler, and I help with real life solutions.

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