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Introducing Mealtime Hostage – PSG!

We’re really excited to introduce our new Parenting Science Gang in collaboration with the Mealtime Hostage Facebook group.

Mealtime Hostage provides support for parents of children who struggle with eating, defined as limited food acceptance. For these children, the statement “they won’t starve” does not apply – the majority will avoid food even when hungry for reasons that are both complex and powerful.

Children who display this level of picky eating have previously been diagnosed as having “Selective Eating Disorder”, but in 2014 a new term was brought in – Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). However, so far ARFID is poorly defined and even more poorly understood.

The group follows a responsive approach to parenting around food, where the parent is responsible for the activities related to feeding, and the child is responsible for the activities related to eating. The key aim is to support parents in establishing mealtime environments that reduce anxiety and tension between parent and child.

Parenting Science Gang is the ground-breaking, user-led citizen science project that brings parents to together to design and run their own scientific research to find answers to the questions that matter most to them.

Mealtime Hostage members are invited to join this new Parenting Science Gang to explore what questions they have that research hasn’t yet answered. We’ll speak to experts in this emerging field, and find out where there are gaps in the research. Then, with expert support, we will plan and carry out our own research project to add to the body of knowledge about ARFID.

Want to get involved?

This Parenting Science Gang is for Mealtime Hostage members and will focus on the group’s interests. If you have a child with selective eating issues and would like to take part, your first step is to join the Mealtime Hostage community:

If you are already a Mealtime Hostages member, look out for announcements in the group.

Want to know more?

Find out about Parenting Science Gang here:

What is Citizen Science? Find out here:


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