Fort Myers feeding therapy

Fort Myers Feeding Therapy Tips for Picky Eaters

Our Fort Myers feeding therapy pros at FOCUS Therapy recognize that it's totally normal for lots of kids to shy away from new, unfamiliar foods. It's not just the difference of taste, but the way it looks, smells, and feels.

For kids with sensory processing disorders and/or conditions like autism who are notoriously risk-averse when it comes to new foods, it can be especially tough to incorporate a healthy variety into their diet. But our Fort Myers feeding therapy experts have many techniques that can help them slowly overcome these obstacles - and have fun while they're doing it!

One tip for parents:

🍏With picky eaters, 🍗 serving new foods 🥦next to their favs 🍌means the new food 🥝won't stand a chance. 🍠Instead, offer them a small sample of the new food 🌽with something that's only semi-preferred. 🥖 

Let's say you're trying to incorporate a single new vegetable in their diet. Their absolute favorite food is pizza. If you serve them a small side of carrots next to their pizza, those carrots are likely going to go untouched. A better alternative would be to serve those carrots next to another main dish that they like/tolerate just fine, but isn't their favorite food.

If your child is extremely averse to any new foods, you may need some additional help from a feeding therapist. As we mentioned in a recent blog post, pediatric feeding disorder is a new diagnosis that was only formally recognized last October by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

If you're struggling to get your children to incorporate a healthy variety of foods into their diet and it's impeding their growth and well-being, it's time to talk to your pediatrician about getting some help with feeding therapy intervention.

FOCUS offers pediatric speech therapy in Fort Myers and throughout Southwest Florida. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.

Additional Resources:

PFD-ICD-10 Toolkit, Feeding Matters

More Blog Entries:

A New Diagnosis: Pediatric Feeding Disorder & How Fort Myers Feeding Therapy Can Help, June 27, 2022, Fort Myers Kids Feeding Therapy Blog for Southwest Florida

Fort Myers feeding therapy

A New Diagnosis: Pediatric Feeding Disorder & How Fort Myers Feeding Therapy Can Help

Virtually all children go through some stage of “picky eating,” and it may be both temporary and harmless. However, when it persists and a child fails to grow and thrive alongside their peers, they may be diagnosed with pediatric feeding disorder – a new diagnosis that Fort Myers feeding therapy can help to treat.

The condition was formally recognized last October, as explained by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) is understood to involve impaired oral intake that is not age-appropriate, and is associated with medical, nutritional, feeding skill, or psychosocial dysfunction. It lasts more than two weeks, and is associated with 1 or more of the following:

  • Medical dysfunction (cardiorespiratory compromise during oral feeding or aspiration/recurrent aspiration pneumonitis).
  • Nutritional dysfunction (as evidenced by malnutrition, specific nutrient deficiency/significantly restricted intake of one or more nutrients resulting from restricted dietary diversity, or reliance on enteral feeds/oral supplements for hydration and/or nutrition).
  • Feeding skill dysfunction (need for texture modification of liquid or food, use of modified feeding position/equipment, or modified feeding strategies).
  • Psychosocial dysfunction (active/passive avoidance of child when being fed, inappropriate caregiver management of child’s feeding needs, disruption of social functioning in a feeding context, or disruption of caregiver-child relationship associated with feeding).

The full diagnostic criteria is spelled out by the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.