10 Warning Signs Of Childhood Feeding Disorders

Here is a list of the 10 most important warning signs of a feeding disorder in your child. This list is not exhaustive and there are other signs. You should seek professional guidance from a Qualified Feeding Specialist if your child exhibits any of the following symptoms:

  • Vomits frequently and the vomiting is associated with pain and discomfort. Many infants “spit up” with no pain or nausea, this is not a concern. They may start “spitting up” as early as newborn and will subside between 6-18 months.
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea.
  • Choking, gagging or retching that interferes with eating and/or nutrition.
  • Difficulty advancing to textured foods.
  • Difficulty chewing leading to reliance on pureed foods. Both child and parent may develop anxiety around eating when child is having difficulty chewing.
  • Excessive mouth stuffing and/or pocketing (storing) of food in the mouth for long periods of time.
  • Stressful mealtimes filled with power struggles (while this is most often behavioral it can and should be addressed to make mealtimes better for everyone)
  • Excessive congestion, irritability, skin conditions. All these symptoms may be due to food allergies and should be explored.
  • Consistent and excessive drooling in the absence of nasal congestion or teething.
  • Does not mouth toys or explore with his mouth. All babies should go through a stage of mouthing.

If you have not already done so you should read Feeding Milestones for Children for information about your child’s feeding/eating development.

Isa Marrs

Isa Marrs is a board-certified speech-language pathologist who specializes in articulation, pragmatic language and feeding disorders in children. Read More