Every child (and adult!) has food preferences. This is a normal part of development across the life span. However, sometimes pediatric food preferences fall outside of this typical feeding development. Current research indicates that 1 out of every 4 children will not outgrow picky eating. Here are some red flags that indicate food preference has become something more serious:
– Your child has favorite foods, and refuses to eat foods outside of this list.
Your child may limit their food intake to specific brands of foods (ex will eat one brand of chicken nuggets but not another), presentation of foods, temperature, and textures (ex will only eat pureed fruits but not sliced fruits).
– Your child becomes upset at mealtimes.
This is beyond “typical toddler” outbursts. If your child is consistently distressed and upset at mealtimes, they may be experiencing anxiety or discomfort around eating.
– Your child frequently gags or vomits.
Your child may be experiencing difficulty with the sensory aspects of new foods, or there may be an undiagnosed physiological reason. In either case, speak to your child’s pediatrician to be referred to a specialist.
– Your child is not growing
If your child’s growth has stopped or slowed beyond what is expected for their growth chart, this may indicate that feeding may be an issue.
Inspired Speech Therapy specializes in pediatric feeding therapy that can help your child with eating. We believe mealtimes can become a positive experience for the entire family. If you are concerned about your child’s eating, we can help!
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