Kids are finicky eaters. Most prefer a few favored items, making it a challenge for parents to provide their kids with the varied, nutritious meals that are critical for a growing body. And now, because of dietary guidelines soon to be released by the Obama administration, getting kids the food they need — particularly at school — is going to become even more difficult.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which is made up of representatives from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, has been working all year to update the federal dietary guidelines. These guidelines are supposed to provide Americans with information based on the latest nutrition research and determine the allocation of certain federal food programs — including the federal school lunch program.

During a year of hearings, the committee heard from a variety of witnesses, including nutritionists, environmentalists, food activists and other “experts,” many of whom told the committee that Americans should switch to a plant-based diet, not for nutrition reasons, but for the environmental benefit of the planet. The committee failed to hear from one critical demographic: parents, who actually know quite a lot about the reality of getting kids to eat their peas and carrots.

It isn’t hard to find people willing to talk about this topic. The committee could have asked one of the thousands of mommy bloggers who write about struggling to get kids to eat healthy. They might have reached out to Jessica Seinfeld (wife of Jerry Seinfeld) who wrote a charming bestselling cookbook about hiding vegetables in kid-friendly foods.

My own three children are exposed to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, seafood, and dairy products, yet only my middle child is willing to try new things. I often ask myself: Where did I go wrong?

Instead of laying blame, parents should know that their child’s limited palate isn’t their fault. According to Dr. Leann Birch, Penn State University’s head of the human development and family studies department, kids are naturally neophobic — a big word for a phenomenon very familiar to parents: Kids just don’t want to try anything new. Studies on children’s eating habits also show them to be quite sensitive to bitter tastes — such as those in some green vegetables. Not surprisingly, children tend to prefer sweeter food and most focus on one or two items at dinner, instead of eating a plate filled with different foods.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics warns that iron deficiency is the most common nutritional problem and the leading cause of anemia among American children. Kids absorb 2 to 3 times more iron from animal sources than from plants, so the Academy recommends kids eat lean beef, turkey, chicken, lean pork and fish.

Yet, the dietary guidelines committee wants all Americans — including children — to reduce meat consumption. And because the committee’s recommendations dictate how the 32 million students who participate in the federal school lunch and breakfast programs eat at school, kids will simply be getting less meat on their lunch trays. The first lady’s school lunch reforms have already proven enormously unpopular, resulting in massive food waste in the school cafeterias. Perhaps the committee should take note of this trend before making recommendations that will make these meals even less popular.

Julie Gunlock, mother of three picky eaters, writes for the Independent Women’s Forum and is the author of “From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.”