If you’re the parent of a picky eater, it’s time to cut yourself some slack.

New research suggests that a child’s finicky eating habits are likely no fault of your own. Rather, picky eating could indicate a mental health issue, such as anxiety, depression or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

According to the researchers, picky eaters are generally more sensitive to the outside world, causing them to have ‘more intense food experiences and more intense emotional experiences.’ (Note: Picky eating is defined as only eating the same handful of foods and being unable to eat out at restaurants. Children who turn their noses up at broccoli but are still eating a range of foods are considered ‘normal.’)

As told to HealthDay.com, "About three percent of kids suffer from severe selective eating, to the extent that they can't eat out at a restaurant," according to Nancy Zucker, an eating disorders specialist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. The study also found that 20 percent of children have some type of "selective eating."

If you’re concerned about your child’s eating habits, seek out professional help to determine whether this is just a phase or a sign of something more. How do you cope with a picky eater? 

Source: HealthDay.com