Most children outgrow picky eating between ages 5 and 7. Yet for
a large percentage of developmentally delayed children, picky
eating is a serious health problem.
While a picky eater rejects certain foods, children with a
pediatric feeding disorder may consume only three to four types of
foods and reject entire food groups, resulting in too few calories
and nutrients for healthy growth and development.
"Typically, I see kids who avoid certain textures," says early
intervention nutrition specialist Jennine Sidler, RD, of Primary
Nutrition Specialists in Frankfort. "Generally it's the wet plant
foods such as the fruit and vegetable group that the sensory kids
The mother of three is sympathetic to parents' frustration.
"Children who have sensory issues can have no other health
issues and can present with sensory food behaviors. These children
need to learn about food in the same way a typical child learns
Sidler's tips for parents
Christine M. Palumbo, RD, is a nutritionist from Naperville. Her
column, Good Sense Eating, appears in Chicago Parent every
Christine M. Palumbo, RD, is a nutritionist living in Naperville.
See more of Christine's stories here.
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