Feeding Disorders, Food Chaining, Picky Eater

Picky Eaters 101

Have you known children who love fruits and vegetables and eat a balanced meal three times a day?  Yeah, me neither! Heck, adults don’t always eat balanced meals.  Picky eating is a term used often with children.  Physicians will tell you there is a stage in normal development where children are exerting their independence and begin to limit what will go on their plate or in their mouth.  This is true.  However, other factors can impact this developmental milestone making it more drastic and more noticeable for some children.  Two of the most common examples are sensory issues and oral-motor delays:

  1. sensory integration challenges – if the child does not like certain textures, they will limit their food options even more that the “typical” picky eater.  For example, a child who cannot tolerate mixed textures with struggle with applesauce, cereal, pizza, etc.
  2. oral-motor challenges – if the tongue or the jaw is weak and the child does not have the stability necessary for chewing, you may find meats and chewy foods are removed from the child’s diet completely.

Did you know that between 25-35 percent of typically developing children in the U.S. have feeding disorders?  And 70% of those affected will have persistent feeding difficulties 4 to 6 years later.  Up to 40 to 70 percent with chronic medical problems are struggling with issues related to feeding and nutrition.  Sometimes what we think is just picky eating, can be more than just picky eating.

Because of the prevalence of picky eating, I have created a free, parent training to look at tips and tricks for working with the picky eater.  These tips and tricks are standard tips that can be used with the “typical” picky eater and with a child who has true feeding difficulties or a feeding disorder.  These tips are the foundation for healthy eating that encourages new foods but respects a child’s boundaries for what they will and will not tolerate.

In this training we will discuss common terms used to talk about picky eating and other feeding disorders.  We will review the prevalence as well as decipher between “typical” picky eating and “problem” picky eating.  Most importantly, we will dive into some interventions that are at the heart of healthy eating habits with children.  For example, how to incorporate a meal/snack schedule, how to appropriately encourage new foods and new textures, and how to chain from one food to another adding new foods to your child’s diet.

If you know of someone who would like to host this free course and invite friends, colleagues, or groups to this training, please contact me at jessica@friscospeechandfeeding.com.  If you have concerns about your child’s speech, language or feeding skills contact me today for a free consultation.

I can be reached via phone at 214-232-1426 or email at jessica@friscospeechandfeeding.com.


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