Changes in Food Selectivity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics; Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Disability Studies | Health Services Administration | Mental and Social Health | Pediatrics | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology


Food selectivity is a common problem in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and has an adverse impact on nutrient adequacy and family mealtimes. Despite recent research in this area, few studies have addressed whether food selectivity present in children with ASD persists into adolescence. In this study, we assessed food selectivity in 18 children with ASD at two time points (mean age = 6.8 and 13.2 years), and examined changes in food selectivity. While food refusal improved overall, we did not observe an increase in food repertoire (number of unique foods eaten). These findings support the need for interventions early in childhood to increase variety and promote healthy eating among children with ASD.


Autism spectrum disorder, Childhood, Food refusal, Food selectivity, Nutrition

DOI of Published Version



Bandini LG, Curtin C, Phillips S, Anderson SE, Maslin M, Must A. Changes in Food Selectivity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Feb;47(2):439-446. doi: 10.1007/s10803-016-2963-6. PMID: 27866350; PMCID: PMC5310968. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of autism and developmental disorders

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID