Is your child a picky eater? ‘Fussy’ eating can be a normal phase in a 2-5 year old’s development and may begin at a younger age. Other parents may tell you that “he’ll grow out of it”, and this is true for many children. However, it’s important to be aware of why a child has become selective about what they eat because there may be underlying medical issues or physiological reasons (ie. certain body systems aren’t functioning properly).
Possible reasons for picky eating include:
- Pain or increased sensitivity in the mouth or throat due to:
- Dental problems, eg. untreated cavities
- Swollen tonsils or adenoids
- Structural abnormalities in the mouth, eg. tongue tie, crowded/missing/blocked teeth, misaligned jaw
- Poor oral motor skills, ie. awareness, strength, coordination, movement and endurance of the lips, cheeks, tongue and jaw
- Poor muscle tone and/or control
- Sensory processing problems
- Learned behaviours
- Autism and anxiety disorder
If you have any concerns about your infant or child’s feeding or eating, seek advice from a speech pathologist who specialises in paediatric feeding difficulties. Tiahn Holloway at Box Hill Speech Pathology Clinic is an expert in assessing and managing these children.
These articles contain excellent tips from a speech pathologist, nutritionist and others on helping kids with feeding difficulties:
How to Avoid Power Struggles With Kids Who Are Picky Eaters
How To Deal With Picky Eaters
5 Expert tips for feeding your picky eaters
Ways To Help Picky Eaters
How to Help Kids Develop a Healthy Attitude Toward Food
Does Your Baby or Young Child Gag While Eating Solid Foods?
How to Help Children with Texture Aversions to Food: Learn When to Talk to Your Pediatrician About ‘Picky Eating’
If your son or daughter avoids certain flavours, smells or textures, appears to have trouble chewing or swallowing, or gags on certain foods, call 9899 5494 today to book an appointment with Tiahn.
By Nicola Anglin (Speech Pathologist)
Three Structures in a Child’s Mouth That Can Cause Picky Eating