How to Identify Problem Feeders over Picky Eaters
Excerpt from Helping Kids Be Kids, Episode 2 “Helping Your Child Navigate Feeding Problems”
“The first thing is that kids will have a food aversion. There are those that will show refusal, or they’re going to not want to try certain kinds of foods, they’re going to have preferred foods that they want. Picky eaters are going to be those kids who have those aversions, but it’s more developmental, a lot of kids will do that.
When you have a problem feeder, then the problems are more severe. They’re going to maybe lead to health problems, maybe lead to poor nutrition. They’re going to be the kids that may or may not have a medical problem or maybe a sensory based issue, but they’re going to have some sort of a food aversion that’s more severe than a picky eater.
Problem Feeders are going to be the kids that you’re going to see vomiting and they’re going to frequently vomit. They’re going to maybe even have failure to thrive. They might be the kids that gag when you present new foods. I know that we were at food school last spring, and we just had a food out on the table and you could visibly see one of the children start gagging, and it wasn’t even near him. So, it can be even just a presentation of the food being in the room, that that can cause them to gag, there are going to be people who might insist on a specific brand.
So, they go to McDonald’s and they see a chicken nugget, the only chicken nugget that they’ll eat is the McDonald’s chicken nugget. They won’t eat one from Wendy’s or chick fil a, they only eat that one. These are going to be kids that really have poor identification of hunger and thirst, they really can’t identify for themselves. They’re going to take a really long time to eat like 45 minutes to try to eat something, they may gag, it smells, they may gag at presentations, they may gag because of the textures. So these are a few signs that a child may be a problem feeder.”