Why are children such fussy eaters?

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Question from Joel Francis

Fussiness in childhood probably helped to keep our ancestors safe. You only have to look at the huge variety of foods consumed across the world to see how varied our diets can be. But this adaptability can be dangerous. If we were born willing to eat anything, we might accidentally eat something poisonous.

Children tend to be particularly sensitive to bitter-tasting foods like sprouts and broccoli. This is because plant poisons often taste bitter. The way to overcome this aversion is to keep trying – over time, our bodies learn that bitter foods are safe, and they start to taste a bit better.


Answered by Laura Mears for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 126.

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