Take a look at these questions and see how many apply to your child:
- Are family mealtimes stressful?
- Does your child eat less than 20 different foods?
- Will your child only eat brand-specific foods?
- Does your child gag at the sight, smell, or taste of new or non-preferred foods?
- Does your child only eat carbohydrates, like bread or crackers?
- Is your child not gaining any weight and there’s no other medical explanation?
- Has your child been diagnosed with Failure to Thrive (FTT)?
- Does your child require supplemental feedings such as Pediasure (orally or through an NG-tube or g-tube)?
The stress and strain feeding disorders can cause for your whole family is immeasurable. Instead of greeting mealtimes with fear, feeding therapy helps your child find joy in eating. This makes it possible for all of you to finally enjoy pleasures in life like family vacations and celebratory family meals.
Eating is a learned skill that’s shaped by a child’s sensory-motor skills and experiences. Although only 3% of children have a strictly behavioral-only feeding issue, every child with a feeding issue develops behaviors around food. Feeding therapy is often necessary to diagnose the underlying issues and provide a therapeutic plan to improve your child’s skills to not only help with the feeding disorder but also help correct the feeding behaviors that have become associated with it.
A feeding disorder goes well beyond being a picky eater and includes:
- Food refusals: refusing all food or most foods.
- Texture transitions: difficulty accepting foods with a certain texture.
- Limited food repertoire: having a very limited list of ‘acceptable’ foods they will eat.
- Gagging: when the gag reflex prevents enjoying food or trying new foods.
- Food stuffing: putting an inappropriate amount of food in their mouth.
- Behavioral feeders: behaviors around eating that limit the way they eat.
- Failure to Thrive: a diagnosis where your child isn’t gaining enough weight and falling off the growth charts.
- Tube feeders: supporting the transition from feeding from a tube to eating orally.