Just a fussy eater or something else?
As simple as it seems – eating is a complicated process. There are 32 steps in the process of eating that most of us take for granted. For example, the process includes tolerating, interacting with, smelling, touching and tasting and finally eating the food. If there is a problem along the way, behavioural problems related to eating begin to emerge.
Even just the physical aspect of swallowing and eating requires the interaction of more than 30 different nerves and muscles. If there is a lack of coordination at any stage, eating habits and intake can suffer.
When it goes beyond fussy: The RED FLAGS
- Growth (weight and height) is not increasing as expected for their age
- Ongoing choking, gagging or coughing during meals
- Recurrent episodes of heartburn
- History of breathing coordination/breathing issues
- Inability to move to lumpy foods by 10 months of age
- Inability to move from breast/bottle to a cup by 16 months of age
- Refusal of foods of a certain texture
- An infant who cries and arches at most meals (heartburn/ allergy)
- Meal times are a constant battle