The parents of fussy eaters often fear their child will grow up malnourished and undersized.
But research suggests they can relax, for most not only turn out healthy but often fare better than their peers.
Researchers at Bristol University tracked thousands of children considered fussy eaters by the age of three whose eating habits, weight and height were regularly monitored until their late teens.
Although some experienced periods of below-average size, by the time they reached 17, nearly all were above average for height, weight and body mass index.
In a report published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers reported: "The growth trajectories of children who were picky eaters were reassuring."
One child in five is classed as a fussy eater, refusing to try unfamiliar often healthy foods such as green vegetables and demanding that parents feed them only favourite treats.
Most grow out of it but in around 40 per cent of cases it goes on for two years or more, causing parents anxiety over their child's wellbeing.