Is Your Child a Picky Eater or Problem Feeder?

pickyIt is sometimes difficult and anxiety provoking to determine why our kids are pushing away certain foods or even resisting coming to the table. Our internal dialogue tells us, "Maybe he's eating too much sugar", "Maybe he is teething", "Maybe he's tired", "Maybe this is typical for his age". There is clear information regarding this specific topic in current research so I will share this infomation along with my clinical experiece over the years working with this population.


1. Have a decreased range or variety of foods- 30 foods or more

2. Lose food due to "burn out" but usually regain those foods after 2 weeks.

3. Are able to tolerate new foods on their plate and usually can touch or taste a new food.

4. Eat at least one food from all food texture groups.

5. Although these kids may eat different foods than the family, they participate and consume foods at the table with family.

6. Parents descirbe their children as "picky.


1. Have a restricted range or varitey of foods, usually less than 20.

2. Foods that are lost are not generally re-acquired.

3. Cries and falls apart when new foods are introduced or changed in some aspect.

4. Refuses entire categories of foods/may not tolerate touching or tasting a new food.

5. Almost always eats different foods than the family.

6. Can see the most minute modification in a food (e.g. color, temperature, texture, shape).

7. Gagging or other sensory response may be observed (e.g. head turn, grimace, finger splaying)

8. Have a rigidity and need for routine/sameness during meals

* Problem feeders will often need feeding therapy along with family member involvement to overcome their feeding issues. Studies have shown that treatment success is largely due to parental compliance in following through with clinician's suggestions and protocols for treatment (Kennedy Krieger Institiute).

KIDS can make tremendous progress with feeding therapy and mealtimes with the family do not have to be a struggle ANY LONGER!

Copyright 1997/2019 Kay A. Toomey


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