Fussy/picky eating – i.e. consistently avoiding certain foods – is common in childhood and can be worrisome for parents. Repeated exposure to various flavors as occurs in breastmilk and early exposure to complementary feeding may increase food acceptance and thereby decrease fussy eating. This study examines the associations between infant feeding and child fussy eating in 4779 participants of Generation R, a Dutch population-based cohort. Breastfeeding initiation and continuation, and timing of complementary feeding were assessed by questionnaires at 2, 6, and 12 months. The food fussiness scale of the Children's Eating Behaviour Questionnaire was administered at 4 years. Linear regression analyses were performed, adjusted for confounders. Children who were never breastfed did not differ in fussy eating frequency from children breastfed for 6 months or longer. However, children who were breastfed for less than 2 months had a 0.70 points higher food fussiness sum-score (95%CI:0.27; 1.12) than children breastfed for 6 months or longer. An earlier introduction of vegetables was associated with less fussy eating behavior (p-for-trend:0.005). Particularly children who were introduced to vegetables between 4 and 5 months had a 0.60 point lower food fussiness score (95%CI: 1.06;-0.15) than children introduced to vegetables after 6 months. An early introduction to fruits or any solids was not significantly related to fussy eating, although the effect estimates were in the same direction as for introducing vegetables early. Results suggest that breastfeeding does not predict fussy eating. However, introducing vegetables into a child's diet before 5 months might be protective against fussy eating, although future research should account for parents' own fussy eating.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Breastfeeding, Children, Cohort study, Complementary feeding, Eating behavior, Fussy/picky eating
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2017.04.006, hdl.handle.net/1765/99408
Journal Appetite
de Barse, L.M, Jansen, P.W, Edelson-Fries, L.R, Jaddoe, V.W.V, Franco, O.H, Tiemeier, H.W, & Steenweg-de Graaff, J.C.J. (2017). Infant feeding and child fussy eating. Appetite, 114, 374–381. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2017.04.006