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The development of feeding skills is essential to a child's physical, cognitive, and emotional growth. Children begin acquiring feeding skills as infants and gradually progress to have adult-like skills by the age of three. In these critical first three years of life, children learn to manage a variety of textures, starting with liquids and then advancing to purees and solids. They become increasingly skilled at using utensils and eventually become independent self-feeders.

Many children can be described as "picky eaters" in these early years, but when is it more than just being picky? A feeding disorder can manifest in a variety of ways. Some children have an extremely restricted repertoire of ingested foods. Others do not consume enough volume to maintain a healthy weight. Still others may not be able to progress to age-appropriate textures. Whatever the feeding-related problem, the situation can be extremely stressful for both children and their families.

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                                                         Common Referral Criteria for a Feeding Evaluation or Therapy:

                                                                         Delay in feeding milestones

                                                                         Weight loss or lack of weight gain for 2-3 months

                                                                         Persistent gagging or coughing while eating

                                                                         Irritability surrounding meals

                                                                         Severe behavior problems related to feeding 

                                                                         Food refusal


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