Most toddlers go through bouts of picky eating, but infants with more inhibited personalities are more likely to turn up their noses at new foods, according to Pennsylvania State University (PSU) researchers. With funding from NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the PSU team observed how infants responded to new foods and new toys throughout their first 18 months. The study found that infants who were wary of new toys also tended to be less accepting of new foods, suggesting early food attitudes stem from personality.
According to Kameron Moding, the study’s author, “It was striking how consistently the responses to new foods related to the responses to new toys. Not only were they associated at 12 months, but those responses also predicted reactions to new objects six months later. They also followed the same developmental pattern across the first year of life.”