Written by Sara Ridener MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist
July 03, 2013
One of our biggest responsibilities as parents is to make sure our children have adequate nutrition. That responsibility can be very difficult - not to mention stressful and frustrating, if your child has:
• Texture issues
• Fear of new foods
• Difficulty chewing
• Frequent gagging
• Limited food preferences
Do you find yourself being a short order cook and making one healthy, appealing meal for most of the
family and making one simple, bland meal for the child who won’t eat what everybody else is eating?
Do you find yourself feeding your child the same food over and over just to get something in her? Are
mealtimes a constant fight?
Feeding problems in children develop from any number of reasons. For some children, it is a battle
of wills and their feeding problem is behavioral. Family lives are busy, often hectic - leaving children
often feeling out of control. Yet, they can control eating – what and when something goes into their
Some children may have a sensory processing problem – meaning that they have difficulty processing touch. These kids struggle with texture issues with foods, frequent gagging, and limited food preferences. Yet for other children, they may have an underlying medical condition causing difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, such as oral motor weakness, enlarged tonsils, acid reflux, issues of the GI tract, or respiratory problems – which can cause the child to simply not want to eat.
• Poor food intake
• Frequent coughing or choking
• Poor weight gain
Picky Eater Mealtime Hints:
Aim for a nutritionally balanced week, instead of a nutritionally balanced day.
Allow young children to play with food: touch it and get dirty!
Go grocery shopping together – allowing your child to help pick out meal items.
Cook together – children are more likely to eat the food that they help to prepare.
Have small but firm expectations: New foods – must try one bite or have a 5-bite rule for non-preferred food items.
If you have concerns about your child’s feeding and or swallowing, schedule an evaluation! At Genoa
PT Services, we have Speech-Language Pathologists who evaluate and treat feeding and swallowing disorders.
Please contact our office to schedule at 419-855-8301.