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 avoid."
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 their ABC's."
Christine M. Palumbo, RD, is a nutritionist living in Naperville.
See more of Christine's stories here.