Food preferences and factors influencing food selectivity for children with autism spectrum disorders

Res Dev Disabil. Jul-Aug 2006;27(4):353-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2005.03.005. Epub 2005 Jul 25.


Although clinicians and parents widely accept that children with autism spectrum disorder exhibit more feeding problems than their typically developing peers, little information is available concerning the characteristic food items accepted by these children or the possible factors contributing to these feeding problems. This article used an informant-based questionnaire to survey parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (N=138) to determine: (a) the types of feeding problems their children typically exhibit, (b) the food items their children prefer, (c) the relationship of feeding problems to family eating preferences, and (d) the relationship of the diagnostic characteristics of autism to feeding behavior. Results indicated that the children preferred fewer types of food items within groups than their families; however, family food preferences appeared to influence food selection more than the diagnostic characteristics of autism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food Preferences*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Surveys and Questionnaires