Your son will only eat crunchy foods. Your daughter loves vegetables but refuses to eat fruit. Your toddler gags on anything that is not pureed. Your tween will only eat pizza and chicken nuggets.
Grandma says he’s spoiled and you just need to be firm with him. Grandpa suggests paying her a dollar if she cleans her plate. Friends tell you the secret to getting kids to eat anything –- anything! -– is ketchup. Or ranch dressing. Or maybe honey mustard?
You’ve tried everything, but nothing seems to work. Is your child a picky eater? Or could he have a hidden medical problem?
Not all picky eaters are the same, and the medical issues that can underlie picky eating may show themselves in different ways. Ask yourself these questions about your child's eating, and then read more about possible medical causes and solutions:
- Children with Texture Aversions: Does your child refuse foods with a certian texture (wet, crunchy, gelatinous?
- Children who Only Eat One or Two Foods: Does your child rigidly limit her diet to just a handful of foods?
- Children Who Gag on Solid Foods: Does your child gag or choke on food that is not pureed or liquid?
- Children Who Don’t Want to Eat Anything: Does your child refuse all food, or only manage to choke down food when begged or coerced?
- Children Who Won’t Eat [Insert Food]: Does your child refuse to eat a particular food?
Ernsperger, Lori, Ph.D. and Tania Stegen-Hanson, OTR/L. Just Take a Bite: Easy, Effective Answers to Food Aversions and Eating Challenges. Future Horizons, Arlington, TX.
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Hepatitis B Vaccine. Accessed online 1/14/2011. http://www.naspghan.org/user-assets/Documents/pdf/diseaseInfo/2008%20Revisions/Hepatitis%20B%20-%20Reviewed%20August%202008.pdf