Lots of kids are picky eaters. They may not eat their vegetables, or they may prefer only a few of the same kinds of foods. Children may even turn this into an uncomfortable power struggle at mealtime. Some kids, however, can have a more difficult time with more extensive symptoms. They may have difficulty with various textures, tastes, or presentations of food. These difficulties can arise from difficulties with sensory processing and can have behavioral components, as well. If you are concerned that your child may be experiencing a food aversion, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer “yes” to more than 2 or 3 of these, then you may consider talking to your pediatrician about whether or not an occupational therapy evaluation is indicated.
- Does your child have trouble touching various non-preferred food items?
- Does your child seem to become anxious around mealtime or when new foods are presented?
- Is your child limited to less than 1 or 2 foods in each food group?
- Is it difficult to achieve a balanced diet due to your child’s lack of choices?
- Do you find yourself having to prepare the same foods or visit the same restaurants based solely on your what your child will eat?
- Has feeding and mealtime become a source of tension in your family?
- Does your child gag or wretch when presented with a new or non-preferred food?
- Is your child limited to certain brands or packaging in the foods that he eats?