This program is designed for children 18 months to 18 years old who exhibit atypical picky eating patterns.

What is Atypical Picky Eating?

Picky eating has often been considered a typical developmental phase that children experience when learning to eat. However, current research has moved towards classifying children with atypical picky eating patterns into a category of Pediatric Feeding Disorders (PFDs). When your child’s picky eating behavior is associated with medical, nutritional, oral skills, and/or psychosocial implications, it is considered an atypical feeding behavior that requires intervention.

Common Concerns Expressed by Parents

  • Avoiding entire groups of food textures (example: purees, crunchy solids, meats or chewy solids)
  • Food jagging, or eating only one food item or a small group of food items every day or for every meal
  • Difficulty reading hunger cues, leading to long periods of time during the day without eating
  • Having extremely limited food repertoire, resulting in nutritional and/or growth concerns
  • Ritualistic mealtime behaviors
  • Stressful mealtimes that last for long periods of time  
  • Inability to participate in family meals in varied environments (restaurants, school, community outings)

Feeding Approaches Used by Our Therapists

  • Beckman Oral Motor Approach
  • Sensory Oral Sequential (SOS) Approach
  • Food Chaining
  • Teach Oral Skills

How we Help

Atypical picky eating interrupts your child’s ability to engage in mealtimes and accept foods their body needs to support overall development. During your initial feeding evaluation, your feeding specialist will take a thorough history of your child’s transition to varied food textures and past feeding challenges. They will observe your child eating preferred and non-preferred foods to determine picky eating patterns. Your child’s oral skills will be assessed to determine if they have the necessary skills to consume a variety of food textures. Using these observations, your feeding specialist will provide recommendations for treatment and work with your family to develop goals to support your child’s feeding skills. General feeding therapy goals for atypical picky eaters may address:
  • Reducing your child’s anxiety when trying novel foods
  • Implementing food exploration protocols to teach your child how to interact with novel foods
  • Collaborating with a medical team to determine underlying causes of picky eating
  • Expanding food repertoire
  • Addressing oral skills development
  • Building family mealtime routines to reduce stressful mealtimes