Feeding Therapy

Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and preparing to suck, chew, or swallow it. Swallowing disorders, also called dysphagia, can occur at different stages (oral prep, oral, pharyngeal, esophageal stages) in the swallowing process. Children with feeding and swallowing disorders are more commonly known as "picky eaters."

What are some signs or symptoms of feeding and swallowing disorders in children?

Children with feeding and swallowing problems have a wide variety of symptoms. Not all signs and symptoms are present in every child, and symptoms vary according to age. 


Signs of a Feeding Disorder or Feeding Difficulties
Infants and toddlers (0-3 years)

  • arching or stiffening of the body during feeding
  • irritability or lack of alertness during feeding
  • refusing food or liquid
  • long feeding times (longer more than 30 minutes)
  • difficulty breast feeding
  • coughing or gagging during meals
  • excessive drooling or food/liquid coming out of the mouth or nose
  • difficulty coordinating breathing with eating and drinking
  • increased stuffiness during meals
  • gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice quality
  • frequent spitting up or vomiting
  • recurring pneumonia or respiratory infections
  • less than normal weight gain or growth

Toddlers and Older Children

  • failure to accept different textures of food
  • resists most fruits
  • resists most vegetables 
  • mood swings
  • trouble sleeping
  • social challenges
  • trouble concentrating
  • impulsivity
  • tires easily
  • stomach aches
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • bad breath
  • headaches
  • tantrums
  • stunted growth
  • under weight/over weight

Picky eating IS a problem, and most parents know it, though may have been told "don't worry, s/he'll grow out of it", "it's a stage", "all kids go through this"...If you feel there is an issue with your child's eating, seek professional help. If you know a picky eater, we are happy to talk with you to offer support in finding solutions that work for your child and family.