Does my picky eater need feeding therapy?

At some point in their lives, all children go through a picky eating phase. The hard part can be figuring out whether it’s just a phase that they’ll grow out of or whether they need professional help such as feeding therapy.

Sometimes it can be a skill deficit that is keeping them from progressing to the next level of age appropriate foods (ie - purees to soft chewables) and sometimes it can be sensory related issues that keep them from eating certain foods (ie - texture, temperature or certain flavors or even colors).

Here are a few red flags that tend to indicate it’s more than just a phase and that feeding therapy might be a good option for your child:

  • Poor weight gain, on a consistent basis.

  • Frequent gagging or choking during meals.

  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing foods.

  • Eats less than 20 foods.

  • A decline in the number of foods they’ll accept.

  • Won’t even tolerate new foods on their plate, let alone even trying them.

  • Avoid all foods of a certain category (crunchy, hot, cold, etc) or a whole nutritional group (fruit, vegetables, meats, etc)

  • Meal times are a constant battle.

If this sounds like your child then scheduling an evaluation with a speech language pathologist/feeding therapist is a good idea. The sooner you’re able to tackle this problem, the better for your whole family.

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