These picky eaters typically consume mostly junk food and only a small number of healthy foods. The number of healthy foods that are consumed prior to treatment vary from child to child, but these foods are mostly starches.
Non-Intensive vs. Intensive Treatment
Picky eaters who are not at risk for a feeding tube are treated non-intensively. These cases are typically four to six weeks in length, and occur three times per week.
If a family lives out of town, we would recommend treatment on an intensive basis so that treatment could occur without interruption. In such cases, the treatment typically lasts from two to three weeks, five days per week.
Customized Feeding Therapy
Each child exhibits different behaviors during mealtimes. We customize each treatment plan to suit your child’s specific mealtime behaviors. There is no a magic formula for this; if there were, no child would have a feeding disorder!
We have also developed many of our own protocols in house, which gives us more treatment options when dealing with your child’s picky eating.
What We Work On
With picky eating, our focus is on variety—irrespective of caloric value. However, decisions about treatment are made on a case-by-case basis in order to closely match the needs of each child. There are times, for example, when picky eating and a body weight that is under the 50th percentile exist at the same time.
But, if your child is at the 50th percentile or higher, we will focus solely on variety. In such cases, we would never present the same foods twice, nor would we present ones that are preferred. This leads to: (1) a faster acquisition of the acceptance of non-preferred foods, and (2) an increase in the number of non-preferred foods that later become preferred as a result of the treatment.
During treatment, most of our patients are presented with 40–50 different foods from all food groups. The foods are only limited by food allergies, religious beliefs, or a customary diet held by each family.