Meal Time Matters

Is your child controlling and/or rigid about food choices? Do you make more than one dinner each night because your child refuses to eat what your family eats?


Many two-year-olds are picky eaters. But how do you know when this problem has gone too far? Children who are picky eaters often go through a phase. But some children do not grow out of this phase and become resistant eaters even past the preschool years.


Extreme picky eating may manifest itself in a number of different ways. A child may eliminate an entire food group, only eat certain brands of familiar foods, only accept foods with a certain texture (like pureed foods), or gag and/or vomit when offered new foods.


Contributing Factors


Children who are extreme picky eaters may look the same, but the reasons for their behavior can differ.


Children with oral motor disorders may have trouble moving food around in their mouth and chewing and swallowing safely. Children with sensory processing disorders may not be able to handle different textures of food and resist foods that are not pureed.  Children with Autism might have controlling and rigid behaviors that stop them from trying new foods.  Some children might have a combination of these factors affecting their ability to eat.


The important thing to know is that with the right intervention, these children’s eating habits can be changed.


Solutions


The Center for LifeSkills therapists are experts in sensory issues and behavior, and have had a great deal of success in working with children to widen their food repertoire. We are one of the only private clinics in the area focused on these issues.


Brenda and Stefanie are passionate about helping families with their children who are extreme picky eaters.  Life can be isolating and frustrating for families whose children do not eat like their siblings or peers.  With the proper therapy we can make a difference quickly and help reduce the frustration.


We use a combination of methods and philosophies to meet our clients' goals. Sessions are held in our office on a weekly basis. Often, the feeding therapy is part of a speech or occupational therapy session.


Autism


Approximately two-thirds of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders have food aversions and are extremely picky eaters. Early intervention is crucial.


For kids with Autism, healthy eating habits are especially important. Their diets have a direct impact on their behavior.  Many children with Autism tend to crave sweets and carbohydrates and refuse proteins and fruits and vegetables.  We can help integrate these foods into their diets and teach them to eat a variety of foods when they are young so they can become healthy eaters in their adulthood.