Anxious Parents, Fussy Eaters

I have to say, just reading the findings of this study published in the Archives of Disease makes me anxious.

The gist is that anxious parents - moms and dads, alike - make for fussy eaters.  The study was done in the Netherlands and looked at nearly 5,000 4-year olds and their parents, and found strong associations between both anxiety, depression and picky kids.  

In particular, researchers found that for moms, both anxiety and depression was correlated with fussy eating during and after pregnancy.  This, then, means that a mother's mental state during pregnancy could affect a child's eating habits even if she is "not depressed or anxious" post-pregnancy.  The correlation even held true for mild anxiety, not just clinically diagnosed levels.

For dads, depression during pregnancy was tied to fussy eating but with anxiety only post pregnancy.  This could meant that the dad's genes - rather than parenting styles in this case - are associated with eating habits.

Nonetheless, I'm taking this study with a grain of salt.  What pregnant mom is not even the least bit anxious?  What parent doesn't know a million picky toddlers that turn out to be just fine.  But of course there's likely a lesson for us in here, and that's that our mood and mental state affects our kids - be it eating or whatever else.