Junk Food Lover | pickyeater.com.sg

The Many Faces Of Picky-Eaters

Brought to you by Abbott Nutrition

Nearly 1 in 2 Singaporean parents say that their child is a picky-eater*, but what makes a child one? Pediasure presents a 4-part series of tutorials that looks at the different types of picky-eaters to help you identify which one your child may be, because knowing, is half the battle won.


















It is no secret that most children love 'junk' food. Sweets, chocolates, fried food, and burgers are but a few of their favourites on the menu. While it is fine to indulge their sweet and savory cravings once in a while, it could be a problem if that is all they eat, refusing healthier food choices, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

'Junk' food tend to be high in calories and low on vital nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibre when compared with healthier choices, This type of picky eating may lead to an overload of energy that may cause obesity, And, they may be missing out on nutrients important to their growth and development.

Fortunately, with patience and simple feeding strategies, you can help your child adopt a healthy and balanced diet over time - and, you could be watching him chomp down on broccoli and carrots soon enough.

Let us look at some telltale signs that your child may be a 'junk' food lover:

  • Strong preference for 'junk' food
  • Refusal to try new types of food
  • Avoids fruits and vegetables
  • Has a habit of snaking
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Compromised growth
  • Susceptibility to illness
  • Lower cognitive development
  • Strained parent-child relationship

The Many Faces Of Picky Eaters Series:
Part 1 : The Slow Eater
Part 3 : The Choosy Eater
Part 4 : The Small Eater

*Daniel YT Goh and Anna Jacob. Perception of picky eating among children in Singapore and its impact on caregivers: a questionnaire survey. Asia Pacific Family Medicine 2012; 11:5.




My son is 5 years old and is extremely picky when it comes to his food. He loves macaroni and cheese, burgers and pizzas. He will fuss over a healthy home-cooked meal which will hardly be touched.

I have tried to compromise by combining his favourites with healthy ingredients - e.g. cheesy broccoli rice, but he will end up meticulously picking out the broccoli pieces!

My husband and I have even tried bribing him with dessert if he eats his greens, to no avail. He complains that fruits are sour, and that vegetables are bitter.

I feel helpless because on one hand I do not want him to go hungry, but I also do not want to indulge his picky-eating any longer. Please help.

- Mother: Shashi Rai
- Son: Rudran Vickram, 5 years old

It is not uncommon for a 5-year-old to develop preferences for food, especially junk food.

However it is important to acknowledge that Rudran has a problem with his dietary habits. He seems to have an aversion to greens, sour and bitter tastes. This is typical of a child who has a highly selective intake or sensory food aversion.

In order to identify the extent of his problem, we need to first assess his weight and nutritional status to see if his eating habits have caused any excessive weight gain or nutritional deficiencies.

Here are some tips for you:

  • Change his food choices gradually
  • Tempt with small amounts of less sour/bitter fruits or vegetables
  • Prepare healthier food at home e.g. use cooking techniques such as baking instead of deep frying.
  • Have meals together and act as role models.
  • A complete and balanced nutritional supplement may be neccessary in the meantime.
    - Dr Chan Poh Chong,
    National University Hospital.
    The comments given by the doctor are for educational purposes and not a product recommendation. Readers should consult their own doctors if they have further enquiries.
    PED 180413