Pediatric Oral Motor Feeding Screening

Lost time is never found again. Benjamin Franklin

Picky Eater or a Problem Eater

Speech and Language Pathologist, Laura Houston, recalls frequently receiving phone calls from parents wondering if it is normal for their child to eat only a few items or take 2 hours to eat dinner. Although some children are simply picky eaters, many may be experiencing difficulty with feeding skills that need help from a therapist to make some positive changes. So how can you tell the difference?
Knowing that children develop at different rates, it can be hard for parents to determine whether their child is a picky eater or a problem eater on their own.
Children who are picky eaters typically eat something from each variety of textures (like smooth, crunchy, chewy, liquid) and at least 30 different kinds of foods. They often are somewhat slow to actually eat new foods, but usually can handle seeing the new food on the plate and with persistence will usually eat a new food after trying it 15-25 times. Sometimes they want to eat favorite foods all the time and occasionally then stop eating that food. When this happens, they usually will start eating that favorite food again within a week or two. Even picky eaters usually like eating, sitting with the family, and finish meals in about 30-40 minutes.

Infants

Signs of Possible Problem Eating

  • Pulls away when drinking from bottle or breast-feeding
  • Coughs, gags, or sneezes when drinking from bottle or breast-feeding
  • Loses milk from the mouth when drinking from bottle or breast-feeding
  • Gags or vomits when tastes, sees, or sometimes even smells new foods
  • Slow to gain weight or in low percentile on the growth chart of age

If you or your infant’s pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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Toddlers and Up

Signs of Possible Problem Eating

  • Eats same foods over and over, sometimes has to be in exactly the same container or same brand
  • Very slow to try or refuses to try any new foods or even have them on the plate or table
  • Cries or screams or won’t sit at meal times and takes more than 30-40 minutes to eat
  • Gags or vomits when tastes, sees, or sometimes even smells new foods
  • Eats limited kinds of textures, such as only crunchy or only smooth
  • Eats less than 20 different foods
  • Slow to gain weight or falling off growth charts

If you or your child’s pediatrician feel that a screening would be of benefit, please feel free to contact us to schedule a screening, view our free developmental screening page to learn more about our screenings, or call our office at (847) 265-7300.
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We have also created a Wellness Center that focuses on total mind and body wellness. Various classes and services for adults and children alike, such as Yoga, Energy Healing, Martial Arts, Massage Therapy, and Skin Care Services to name a few. For more information, visit our Wellness Center page.
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