Feeding

How do you know if your child needs feeding support or is a picky eater?

Here are some ‘red flags’:

    • Ongoing poor weight gain (rate re: percentiles falling) or weight loss
    • Ongoing choking, gagging or coughing during meals
    • Ongoing problems with vomiting
    • More than once incident of nasal reflux
    • History of a traumatic choking incident
    • History of eating and breathing coordination problems, with ongoing respiratory issues
    • Parents reporting child as being “picky” at 2 or more well child checks
    • Inability to transition to baby food purees by 10 months of age
    • Inability to accept any table food solids by 12 months of age
    • Inability to transition from breast/bottle to a cup by 16 months of age
    • Has not weaned off baby foods by 16 months of age
    • Aversion or avoidance of all foods in specific texture or nutrition group
    • Food range of less than 20 foods, especially if foods are being dropped over time with no new foods replacing those lost
    • An infant who cries and/or arches at most meals
    • Family is fighting about food and feeding (ie. Meals are battles)
    • Parent repeatedly reports that the child is difficult for everyone to feed
    • Parental history of an eating disorder, with a child not meeting weight goals (parents not causing the problem, but may be more stressed and in need of extra supports)

There are 17 Red Flags for feeding problems on this Handout. Please place a checkmark by the Red Flags that describe your child. If your child has 4 or more Red Flags checked, your child should be assessed by a Feeding Specialist. If your child has 6 or more Red Flags checked, Feeding Therapy is likely needed. Ongoing poor weight gain or weight loss (not due an acute illness), problems with coordinating breathing + eating with ongoing respiratory issues, and/or ongoing coughing, gagging and/or choking during mealtimes EACH require immediate attention and evaluation by a Feeding Therapist.

 

Copyright 1998/2020 Dr. Kay A. Toomey

 

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