Food selectivity and refusal are common among children with developmental disabilities. For some, their diets are so restrictive that they do not consume adequate nutrients. A child may even seek out foods that exacerbate allergies or contribute to conditions such as gastrointestinal problems, but often families feel compelled to offer these foods because the child may not eat otherwise.
Eating difficulties can also be a great inconvenience for families, requiring extra planning around meal times. Dinners at home or trips to restaurants or friends’ houses can be frustrating as the child may refuse foods offered.
Selective eating is sometimes referred to as a phase of child development that they will outgrow. However, to outgrow selective eating a child must be willing to try new foods. So what if your child refuses to try new and different foods?
We can help your child if they:
- Refuse to try new foods
- Will only eat certain foods
- Eat very little
- Eat too quickly
How does it work?
An effective plan must start with an understanding of factors related to the food selectivity and refusal. For example, it is important to consider whether the child prefer certain textures based on sensory sensitivities. For some, feeding may be complicated by oral motor difficulties? Sometimes it may be related to an intense behavioural rigidity or insistence on same.
At Reach Children Services, we begin with thorough assessment and work with families to answer these questions. The result is an individualised plan based on the child’s preferences and needs.
Prior to scheduling any consult, it is important to have a brief phone conversation to discuss whether this service could be appropriate. A GP visit may be necessary before beginning any programme to rule out any medical issues. This service may not be suitable for children with intense medical needs or other co-morbid medical conditions.
For more information or to discuss how we can help, please get in touch.