Guest post by Melanie Potock, co-author of Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater.
When Do You Worry about a Picky Eater? I’ll answer that excellent question, posed by Dr. Klass in the October 10th issue of the New York Times. As a speech language pathologist and feeding specialist, my daily work is helping kids of all ages become more adventurous eaters. Children on the spectrum of “picky eating” include the example of the 9-year-old boy who lives on French fries, chicken fingers, white rice and white bread, as noted in the first paragraph of the article. Other examples on my caseload are the babies who have trouble transitioning to solids, and even kids who only eat vegetables – no meat, not carbohydrates, just “healthy” veggies. As noted in Dr. Klass’ article, they may have autism or a syndrome that leads to failure to thrive, but in my professional experience that’s often not the case. In fact, 1 out of 4 typically developing children will develop a feeding disorder (Eicher, 1997). A feeding disorder is defined as the inability to eat to eat a sufficient variety of foods in order to maintain a healthy nutritional status. (Arvedson, 1993). So, when do you worry about a picky eater?