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  • Casadie Morris

Picky Eaters vs Problem Feeders

You have probably heard someone say their child is a "picky eater" but you may not have heard the term problem feeder.


What is the difference? Read along to find out!



Picky Eaters (info from sosapproach.com)

  • Decreased range or variety of food; typically has 30 or more foods in their food range

  • Foods lost due to "burnout" from food jagging are usually eaten again after a 2-week-break

  • Eats at least one food from most all nutrition or texture groups (e.g. purees, meltable foods, proteins, fruits)

  • Can tolerate new foods on their plate, usually able to touch or taste food (even if reluctantly)

  • Frequently eats a different set of foods at a meal than other family member. Typically, eats at the same time + table as other family members.

  • Sometimes reported by parent as a "picky eater" at well-child checkups, picky eating has been less than 2 years

  • Learns to eat new foods in 20-25 steps on a steps to eating hierarchy


Problem Feeders (info from sosapproach.com)

  • Restricted range or variety of foods, usually eats less than 20 foods

  • Foods lost due to "burn out" from food jagging are not eaten again after a break, resulting in further decrease in the number of foods eaten

  • Refuses entire categories of food textures or nutrition groups (e.g. soft cubes, meats, veggies,)

  • Cries, screams, tantrums, "falls apart" when new foods are presented, complete refusal

  • Almost always eats a different set of foods than their family; often eats at different time or place than other family members

  • Persistently reported by parents to be a "picky eater" at multiple well-child checkups, picky eating has been more than 2 years

  • Requires more than 25 steps to learn to eat new foods


If you are concerned about your child's eating habits reach out to us at 253.237.3405 or infor@circlecreektherapy.com



We would love to help!


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