Trying to feed a child who is a very picky eater can be difficult. You want them to get the nutrition they need but trying to do so results in a very negative response. Sometimes, a child may just be picky as to his or her food tastes but eventually grow out of it to eat a broader range of foods. In other cases, however, the issues may be more severe and significantly restrict the necessary nutrition the child is willing to receive. At TEAM 4 Kids, our pediatric specialists are able to implement feeding therapy to help kids who have particular feeding and eating issues that prevent them from getting the foods they need to stay healthy.
Feeding and Eating Problems
A child may not simply be stubborn when it comes to eating certain foods. There may be a more in-depth problem at hand. The types of issues that can exacerbate feeding problems with children include swallowing, reflux, oral issues, self-feeding, and behavioral issues. These issues can result in problems with the child’s development and everyday life.
Eating by chewing is actually an intricate process that most kids eventually master, but that some don’t. The process involves getting food into the mouth, moving it with the tongue, and pushing it with the tongue to the back of the throat, followed by the closing of the airway and the action of the esophagus. If a child does not fully develop these skills, he or she may need help. This is where feeding therapy is applied to help children learn these skills.
Children with feeding issues may repeatedly refuse to try new foods or stop eating foods they have already been eating for some time. They may shun certain types of foods with the reasons involving the texture of the food they feel or other physical or sensory issues. Cognitive difficulties may also cause feeding and eating issues.
Pediatric feeding therapy is employed for children who have feeding disorders. The therapy is designed to identify struggles they have with food resulting from physical or sensory issues, such as chewing and swallowing or consistency and texture. A number of issues may combine at the same time to affect the child’s negative perception of the food. Feeding therapy is designed to enlarge the number of foods the child eats, adding new textures and tastes. The goal is to gradually increase the number of new foods and reduce disruptive behavior during meals.
Mealtime can be much more pleasant for children and parents when children are more open to eating different foods and are able to sit at a meal for longer periods of time. Parents will also know their child is receiving more of the nutrition they need during meals.
For information about the pediatric occupational and food therapy services we offer, give us a call today at 623.322.8250 in Surprise or 623.248.3324 in Peoria. You may also reach us by text at 602.919.1060 or through email at [email protected].