The question whether it is picky eating or a feeding problem is an all important question since it can help us decide on the best way to deal with meal time difficulties.
While picky eating can be considered a normal growth phase many toddlers go through and usually does not cause serious danger to the growing child , feeding problems on the other hand should be a cause for concern , and in most cases call for a specialist consultation. The overlap between picky eating and feeding problems could make it a little difficult to differentiate , but careful investigation and observation will clarify the issue in most of the cases.
1-Picky eating usually results from the way most parents introduce new foods to the developing child, forcing her to eat a certain food , or not exposing her to enough variety of foods are usually the culprits.
2-Picky eaters can get back to a food they refused to eat before, resulting in a slowly expanding food list ,while problem feeders go the other direction. Children with feeding problems will cut back on the foods they used to eat until they end up with no more than 10-20 foods which could impair their nutrition because of the limited food variety they get.
3- Children with a picky eating problem do not mind being there while people eat foods they don’t like themselves , but problem feeders are so averse to the foods that they often gag or vomit if they are forced to witness others eat foods that cause them problems.
4- After the meal picky eaters are usually fine , while problem feeders would suffer from vomiting or diarrhea making it hard for them to keep enough foods in their system to keep them adequately nourished.
These are some points to check for when you try to decide whether your fussy eater has a picky eating issue or a feeding problem.
If you think it is a feeding problem it is better to seek professional advice.
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