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The More You Know: Kid Won’t Eat His Veggies? Blame Genetics!

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7

It could be your great x5 grandad’s fault they won’t eat spinach!

I was a crazy picky eater. My diet today consists of a few veggies, a few fruit, like 2 types of cheese, and bread only as complicated as whole wheat. I’ve been like that since the day I was born and no amount of “you’ll sit there until you finish your dinner” could fix it. If your kid is like that it may not be their fault!

I would eat like ...2 of these things

I would eat like …2 of these things.

Andrea Smith from the University College London explained this after her research that I’ll explain in a moment. “Establishing a substantial genetic influence on these traits might be quite a relief to parents as they often feel judged or feel guilty for their children’s fussy eating, understanding that these traits are largely innate might help to deflect this blame.” Basically since the earliest human Australopithecus our genes have been slowly mutating and combining generation to generation to create who we are today and after  researchers studied close to 2,000 sets of 16-month-old twins, and looked into the factors that influenced whether or not they were fussy eaters. These children were separated into two groups, identical and fraternal twins, and the parents were given questionnaires probing their children’s eating habits. They found that the home environment and the parent’s behaviors did have a role to play, but that in some instances they appear to be less important that the child’s own genetic influences.

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“I slaved over a hot stove ALL DAY and you pesky little genes won’t eat brussel sprouts!”

Now kids reading this you aren’t completely off the hook. The Co-author of the paper Dr. Clare Llewellyn said “Genes are not our destiny, we know of many traits with a strong genetic basis that can nevertheless be changed, such as weight. It would be useful for future research to identify the important environmental shapers of food fussiness and neophobia [the fear of trying new things] in young children so that they might be targeted to reduce these behaviours” that said some genes are in fact forever and unchangeable.

But Mom! If it wasn't for King Louis XIV I would eat peas!"

But Mom! If it wasn’t for King Louis XIV I would eat peas!”

In conclusion, if junior won’t eat his carrots you can keep trying and maybe one day he will; but it could be that genetics is standing in the way. Just remember their picky eating isn’t your fault.

If there is anything you would like to learn about feel free to comment below!

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