Getting Started with Picky Eaters Therapy
Picky eaters refer to anyone who eats only eat certain foods or will refuse to try any new ones. This is very commonly be seen in children, who will only eat basic foods rather than trying various foods. There are many causes for this and in many situations, your child will grow out of it. In some children, their sensors are extremely sensitive, making them hypersensitive to sights, textures or smells of foods, which can impact their decisions to try new ones.
Picky eating grows into a problem when kids become undernourished and eat so minimal, that it affects their daily life functioning.
At SpeechAim, our specialist staff can work with your child in order to introduce a range of more food choices in their diet in order to improve overall health and growth. Our treatment can be particularly designed for children, in order to keep it engaging and fun.
Strategies for the Home
Before considering therapy, we advise a range of strategies to try and apply within your home. An essential part of helping children who are picky eaters is to break down barriers slowly. Exposure of particular foods is important which can include touching the food, smelling the food etc. Most of these are simply strategies that have proven to be highly effective at the dinner table:
- Eating dinner as a family around the table,
- Do not allow your child to snack throughout day,
- Remove distractions from dinnertime - take away any phones and turn off TV/radios,
- Only introduce a single new food at a time in small portions,
- Introduce the new food at the beginning of the meal when the child is hungry- this works especially well if they have not snacked all day,
- Give choices - do you want 3 or 5 green beans? This will give them a thought of control,
- Do not require a clean plate at all of your meals.
Red Flags and Bad Signs
Try to introduce a few of these throughout the weeks to see if your child will begin to try new foods. While they do not need to try all new foods, a sign of 2 to 5 attempts is good. However, during this time period it is also a good idea to look for any bad signs. For example:
- Inappropriate weight gain (under/overweight),
- Difficulty with accepting different textures of foods,
- Not accepting an entire food groups (e.g. fruits, vegetables, meats...),
- Your child has a food range less than 20 foods,
- Child fighting over foods or mealtime.
While all of these on an odd occasion are normal, it is important to look out for them occurring multiple times within a short period.
How can we help?
At SpeechAim, our highly skilled and knowledgeable specialists can help your child to try a range of new foods.
Using specially tailored programs designed for your child, we can help your child to understand new foods as well as the benefits that come with them. With only a few therapy sessions, we aim to have your child trying various new foods both at home and during our sessions. Whether your child is more open to discovering new foods or your child is incredibly resistant, we aim to offer the proper support in order to break down those avoidant food habits. We want to work to a point in which trying new foods is no longer an issue for your child, but something they actually enjoy!
We also offer Speech Therapy Sessions for:
Late Talkers Therapy
Feeding Swallowing Therapy
Learning Disability Therapy
Social Communication Therapy
Preschool Language Therapy
Auditory Processing Disorder Therapy
Down Syndrome Therapy
Child or Teen Speech Therapy
Autism Speech Therapy
Picky Eaters Therapy