Is mealtime a food battle?
Do you find yourself bribing your child to eat?
Can you count the foods your child eats on two hands?
Are you becoming a short order cook at meals?
Do you worry about your child’s overall nutrition and growth?
Is your toddler not advancing in food textures and variety?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are likely living with a picky eater or problem feeder.
At some point, most parents will experience some type of picky eating behavior with their children. If your child is a toddler, expect to hit a stage where something will be accepted one day and rejected the next. It’s common for toddlers to start expressing control at this stage. Older kids can go through a food jag where they overindulge in a food and later don’t want anything to do with it.
Picky eating can often be shown to be more complex than just a food jag and toddler stage. Children with picky eating can have sensory or oral motor challenges that need to be addressed if they have strong reactions to tastes, smells, and textures of food.
When dealing with all children who are picky eaters, how we respond to this behavior will certainly impact the feeding relationship and can either exasperate their picky behavior, making it worse or remedy it by allowing the child to feel safe exploring foods.
At Portland Pediatric Nutrition we evaluate the potential cause of the picky behavior and assess if additional evaluations would be beneficial if oral motor challenges or delays are a possibility. Most of the time with children 7 and younger we work with parents on their feeding relationship, especially when their toddler has not grown out of their control stage of picky behavior. Older children can benefit from feeding therapy where assignments and daily food challenges are involved, especially if ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) is suspected. Treatment will be dependent on the situation and the child. Schedule your free 20 minute phone consult to ask your questions or book your Initial Nutrition Consult now to get started.
Now Introducing joint feeding evaluations with feeding specialist and Occupational Therapist, Julia Shannon OTR/L
In this joint session, Katharine and Julia will observe your child eating and rule out if picky eating is related to an oral motor or developmental delays. Parent-child interaction will also be observed along with history collected in order to provide a more comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan.
This appointment is ideal for children 3 years and younger, especially ones not advancing on textures.
These joint sessions are available on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Please call to schedule.
Learn more about Juia Shannon OTR/L at an Integrative Life.