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. She is an expert in the field who is frequently sought after by institutions and therapists to provide training for working with these and other disorders. Isa also served as a guest expert on Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect.com, and has been quoted by numerous top media such as Disney’s BabyZone.com, LoveToKnow.com, and Univision. She can be reached at 914.488.5282