Saturday, January 17, 2009

Practical Help for Your Picky Eater: Part IIIa

Some picky eaters are just that: picky eaters. Nothing more, nothing less. Often when I think of children in this category, I am thinking of a toddler who is going through an independence stage and wanting to voice his/her opinion. I think of a child with strong-will, determination to eat on his/her own terms, and an inflexibility to try new foods. Other children, however, may have a larger medically based issue going on that is actually causing them to be picky about foods.

As a professional, I would like to believe that parents can go to their child's pediatrician, state concerns that their child's picky eating seems extreme, and be directed in the right direction. I thought that was how it worked, or at least that is what I was taught in graduate school.

As a parent, I know that this is not often the case. Pediatricians are focused on larger, life-threatening medical problems and often view eating disorders and picky eaters as an environmental issue, not a medical issue. There are lots of children, I believe, who fall between the cracks because of this. I know this because my son was one of them. These are the children who look and behave as normal as can be with the one exception of eating. Their weight isn't suffering. Their health isn't suffering. The end result is that the parents are left to struggle on their own with their child's feeding difficulties.

If your child does not have red flags waving, besides your description of 'he is a poor eater', you may have difficulty getting the help that your child needs. It is a sad reality and you need to be prepared to be your child's biggest advocate. To do so, let me help you decipher if there may be a potentially larger medically-based issue going on so you can be armed with some information to present to your here to continue reading the entire article.

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