Pediatric Feeding Disorders
by Jacque Kujath, M.S. CCC-SLP
Kids Place Central Speech Language Pathologist
Our amazing team of speech-language pathologists are qualified to treat a variety of speech and language deficits including expressive and receptive language delays, articulation skills, and phonological skills. Did you know they are also qualified to evaluate and treat pediatric feeding disorders?
A pediatric feeding disorder is defined as impaired oral intake that is not age-appropriate and is associated with medical, nutritional, feeding skills, and/or psychosocial dysfunction. Studies indicate that 1 in 37 children are affected by a pediatric feeding disorder. If you have concerns that your child might be affected, first answer these questions:
- Does your child have less than 20 foods that they are able to consistently eat?
- Is your child experiencing difficulty with weight gain or weight loss?
- Does your child present with choking, gagging, or coughing during meals?
- Does your child avoid entire nutritional groups (proteins, fruits, vegetables, etc.)?
- Does your child avoid specific textures (puree, crunchy, chewy, etc.)?
- Do you feel as though mealtimes are a constant stress?
- Has your child experienced a traumatic event during meal times such as choking?
- Does your child have a history of respiratory issues?
- Did your child have difficulty with breast/bottle feeding? Transitioning to purees? Transitioning to solids?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, call Kids Place or complete the form below to schedule an evaluation. In the meantime, here are few strategies to trial in your home:
- Eat together as a family! Not only is eating a social activity in our society, but this also allows your child an opportunity to see your plate and you eating a variety of foods.
- Try to eliminate screen time during meals.
- Have FUN with food! Allow your child to explore their foods prior to expecting them to consume the food. This means allowing your child to touch, smell, and yes, even PLAY with their food.
- Eliminate the pressure! Present foods without the pressure of consuming the foods. Allow your child the opportunity to just watch YOU eat without them needing to do the same.
- Keep a journal of meals they’ve trialed and any changes in behavior noted after trialing the food.