Does Your Picky Eater Have a 'Feeding
THURSDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Picky eating is normal in
children, but a pediatric feeding disorder is a much more serious
problem that can affect a child's physical and mental development,
an expert says.
It's important to differentiate between the two, advises Peter
Girolami, clinical director of the Pediatric Feeding Disorders
Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.
A picky eater may reject certain foods but still has a
nourishing diet. Children with a pediatric feeding disorder may
consume only three to four types of foods and reject entire food
groups, which means they don't get enough calories and nutrients
for healthy growth and development.
Some children with pediatric feeding disorders have aversions to
certain textures and colors, while other children have difficulty
self-feeding because of a medical, psychological or developmental
Research suggests that up to 10 percent of infants and children
have a pediatric feeding disorder.
Girolami, writing in an institute news release, said common
symptoms of a pediatric feeding disorder include:
- A sudden change in eating habits that lasts longer than 30
- Choking/coughing during meals.
- Unexplained fatigue and loss of energy.
- Disruptive behavior during meals.
- Delayed development of skills needed to self-feed or consume
Early diagnosis and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders is
crucial because the longer the disorder goes untreated, the more
complex it can become. In extreme cases, some children require
The Los Altos Feeding Clinic has more about
pediatric feeding disorders.
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