Picky eaters or Food Aversions

I have been coming across many difficulties with food and children for over 20 years, however most recently I have found food difficulties with young children on the rise. How can you figure out if your child has a food aversion, physical difficulty, or they are just picky. Here are some quick tips to help you distinguish between a true feeding problem and just a picky eater.

  1. Does your child gag or throw up upon seeing certain foods?
  2. Do they cry when seeing a bottle and/or certain food?
  3. After eating do they seem uncomfortable, get sick, or cry?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, your child may have a physical problem that is causing there food difficulty, seeing a gastroenterologist, ENT, and/or Allergest may help aide in a possible diagnosis of the causes of the feeding difficulty.

If your child has already been seen by a specialist and they have determined that no physical difficulty is causing the feeding difficulty.
and your child seems to have a problem with:

  1. Various textures of foods.
  2. Will only eat food at a certain temperature. (hot or cold)
  3. Cannot mix foods of various textures, (crunchy and soft together)

This is called a food aversion, and may be sensory or tactile in nature. Which is a problem with various textures of foods.

A picky eater on the other hand eats limited foods but does eat 4-5 different types of foods and different textures and just refuses other foods, no gagging or vomiting is noted. In that case, introducing new foods periodically should help.

However, if the feeding difficulty is interfering with every day life, the child is not getting enough nutrition and they are vomiting and/or gagging when eating, A Feeding Specialist ( Speech-Languge Pathologist) who specializes in programs to desensitize the oral cavity and can work on feeding should be contacted.