Picky Eaters

ChatBox provide Brisbane’s only home visiting feeding clinic. We combine Speech Pathologist, Nutritionist, Occupational Therapy and Medical services to provide a services based on the SOS Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders approach by Dr Kay Toomey and Dr Erin Ross.

A Team Approach to Picky Eaters

A team approach is vital for the successful management of picky/problem eaters. There are many reasons why your child might be avoiding food and it’s our job to make sure the problem is correctly identified and addressed by the appropriate professionals. It also means we have good links with other specialists and we frequently  consult with each other (at no further cost to you) to ensure the best management possible.

Online Support

Our online support program makes ChatBox the most budget-friendly option for helping parents of picky eaters and problem feeders.

Picky Eaters Usually:

  • Eat fewer than 20 different foods
  • Eat fewer and fewer foods over time until they are limited to about 5-10 foods they will eat
  • Refuse foods of certain textures altogether
  • Will eat one food over and over till one day they abandon it and don’t go back to it
  • Will not accept new foods on their plate and will not tolerate even touching or tasting a new food
  • Cry, scream, tantrum and even vomit when new foods are placed on their plate
  • Are unwilling to try a new food even after 10 exposures
  • Have a rigidity and need for routine/sameness during meals
  • Are inflexible about certain foods

Tips for Picky Eaters

Children are all different, and the picky eaters amongst them are no exception. There are a few golden rules to keep in mind always, however:

  1. If you are genuinely concerned that your child’s diet is inadequate and they may have a nutritional deficiency, see a registered dietitian.
  2. Don’t resort to the bottle- the milk bottle, that is! Allowing your picky eater to consume a large part of their daily nutrient intake as bland, easy-to-drink formula or milk will only reinforce their refusal of food. They learn to wait for the bottle. If your child has a nutritional deficiency and takes a supplement or formula on dietitian’s advice, make sure to ask how they will work with us and your child to gradually replace the formula with a balanced diet.
  3. Exposure is the key to solving most picky eating problems. Eating meals with your child, where they see YOU eating those foods is also very important. Exposure is one of the key areas covered in our online therapy support. Learn what to do and ditch the guesswork.
  4. Could there be an underlying cause for your child’s picky eating? Some children have issues with oral-motor skills that might make it hard to chew, manipulate and swallow certain foods. Others have oral sensitivity issues where they are over or under-sensitive to certain food textures. Dental pain can result in avoidance of some foods- teething, tooth alignment or even decay are all potential causes. That’s why we often include speech pathologists, occupational therapists and the family dentist.