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Feeding Difficulties in Older Infants and Toddlers (6 mos - 2 yrs)


There are several feeding transitions in the first year of life and beyond.  Many children struggle with these transitions and the impact on family mealtimes is significant.  Examples of these difficulties include: 


  • Gagging/vomiting with spoon feedings

  • Difficulty tolerating textured foods (Stage 3 baby foods or mashed table foods)

  • Failure to transition to table foods

  • Difficulty chewing soft and/or hard textures

  • Excessive mouth stuffing or holding food for long periods of time

  • Difficulty eliminating bottle use/transitioning to a cup

  • Delayed self-feeding skills (utensil use, use of an open cup)

  • Negative mealtime behaviors (crying, tantrumming, throwing food, food refusals)

  • Stressful mealtimes for parents and child


Common underlying causes of feeding difficulties in infants/toddlers include:

  • oral hypersensitivity (grimacing, gagging, or expelling due to texture sensitivity)

  • tactile defensiveness (does not like to touch food or have messy hands and/or face during feeding)

  • gastrointestinal difficulties (reflux, constipation, slow stomach emptying, food allergies/sensitivities)

  • parent/child interaction challenges; mismatch of child's need to be independent and parent's need to feed their child (may be impacted by concerns with weight gain, parent expectations, or child's temperament)


Early referrals can prevent years of mealtime battles - please call us today if your child is struggling with feeding!




What does feeding therapy look like?
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