Questioners Eating Disorders in Infants/Toddlers/Pre-School Children

For most infants feeding is a natural process, however 25% of otherwise normally developing infants and upto 80% of those with developmental handicaps have been reported to have feeding/eating problems. This can lead not only to disrupt ealy development but also is linked to later deficits of cognitive development, behavioral problems as well as anxiety disorders. Consequently it is very important to identify, understand and treat early feeding/eating problems.


Take a few minutes to go thropugh the questionniare:


  • Was the child preterm/low birth weight baby?
  • Was the child in the NICU?
  • When did you start weaning and with what food?
  • When was solid food introduced?
  • Did the child have difficulty progressing to solid foods?
  • Is the child independent for feeding (self-feeding) or dependent on others to a greater extent than would be expected for age and overall developmental status?
  • Now how long does it take to feed the child?
  • Are mealtimes stressful/unpleasant?
  • Has the child not gained weight in the past 2 to 3 months or has lost weight?
  • Does the child maintain a midline neutral position of the trunk, neck and head without requiring added support or does the child demonstrate extensor arching of the trunk and extremities while feeding or has a “floppy" neck?
  • Does the infant has difficulty reaching and maintaining a calm state of alertness for feeding; he or she is too sleepy or too agitated and/or distressed to feed?
  • Does the infant show lack of developmentally appropriate signs of social reciprocity (e.g., visual engagement, smiling, or babbling) with the primary caregiver during feeding?
  • How do the child and caregiver interact during mealtime?
  • Does the infant or toddler communicates hunger, shows interest in food and eating, or would rather play, walk around, or talk than eat?
  • Is it difficult to make her sit down to eat?
  • Does she get easily distracted at mealtimes (e.g., other children, television, pets)?
  • Did the problem of food refusal start with the introduction of a new or different type of food that is aversive to the child (e.g., the child may drink one type of milk but refuse another milk with a different taste, he may eat pureed food but refuse lumpy baby food or solid food that needs to be chewed; he may eat crunchy types of food but refuse purees)?
  • Does the child display oral motor and expressive speech delay?
  • Does the child chew food or refuses to do so?
  • Does the child demonstrates anxiety during mealtime and avoids social situations that involve eating?
  • Does the child have any other symptoms of sensory integration dysfunction (Food sensitivities may extend to aversion in other sensory areas (e.g., touching certain foods. walking on sand or grass, the feeling of clothing labels, loud noises and bright lights)?
  • Did the food refusal follow a traumatic event or repeated traumatic insults to the oro-pharynx or gastrointestinal tract that trigger intense distress in the child.?
  • Does the infant show anticipatory distress when positioned for feeding?
  • Does the infant show resistance to swallow food placed in mouth?
  • Does he/she readily initiate feeding, but over the course of feeding, shows distress, arches back and refuse to continue feeding?
  • Does the child "spits up" or vomits regularly during feeding?
  • Are there signs of breathing difficulties during feeding (rapid respiratory rate, panting (especially in infants while sucking and swallowing via nipple), increased nasal congestion and gurgly voice quality)?
  • Does the infant or toddler have a concurrent medical condition that is believed to cause the distress (e.g., gastro-esophageal reflux, or cardiac or respiratory disease)?


If you think your child has an eating problem kindly enroll in our EATING DISORDER PROGRAM.



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