oral sensitivity, not eating

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
oral sensitivity, not eating
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 12:33pm
My dd (5yrs) lately has been circling the wagons on the foods she'll eat. She will not eat veggies or fruit. She doesn't like beef or fish. Now, the foods she does like, she seems to be not eating anymore. She used to love chicken nuggets (I make them homemade). She is having a gag reflex with those now. I noticed she prefers food in ant-sized portions. Every morning she has waffles. I have to tear them into bits by hand and put them in a bowl and then she'll eat them. If I simply cut them up relatively small with a fork and knife and put them in a bowl, she won't eat it.

I've tried that with chicken, but she's still rejecting it. I stopped giving her favorite drinks so she isn't filling up on those. I give them to her after she has eaten food. It's getting to where she is taking one or two pea-sized bites of meals. Sometimes, not even that.

I understand these kids have oral sensivity, but any ideas why she would be further limiting her food choices? I kind of thought she'd expand as she got older? What does anyone do or know about oral sensitivity and how I can help her? How can I get her to try fruits, veggies and meat? She simply gags on it at this point. Right now, she is living on waffles, potato chips, popcorn, dinner rolls. She recently has stopped eating chicken noodle soup and spaghetti as well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 4:29pm

I know exactly what you are going through. I have a son who is an extremely picky eater (similar foods too). He has not gone through the gagging thing for real though.

One thing which wasn't quite clear from your post: is the gagging new, or just new for her to gag on chicken nuggets? If the *gagging* is new, you may want to have her checked by a doctor to make sure there is no inflammation causing a constriction.

If she is just recently gagging on the nuggets, double check how you are making them. Have you changed anything? (a different brand of breadcrumbs for example). Or you may end up breaking down and trying the dinosaur ones.

Also if she is recieving Speech therapy, talk to her speech therapist. They very often have some training in this area.

I often notice that my son gains a new food when he choose to 'drop' ne. it is just a question of finding out which food he accepts now. I have to circle through the rejects every now and again to see if they have suddenly become 'accepts' again.

Peanut or almond butter is a good source of protein for kids who won't eat meat, chicken or fish,. Also if she drinks milk, offer it before you offer her juice. Do you give her vitamin or calcuim supplements?

DOes she recieve lunch at school? When my son did, his range opf accepted foods went way up (but only at school) Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing. If she gets food at school, check with them to see if her range is broader there, then if you do find a food she eats there and refuses at home, find out what brand it is and how it is cooked, and do your best to replicate that at home.

As to why she could be doing this? I am no psychologist, but it could be a reaction to change? (new school perhaps?). She could be attemnpting to exert some kind of extra control in her life throught her diet. Try and make her feel extra safe, and she may become more open to change again.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 8:01pm

Ut oh! I hate to say it but that sounds like Acid Reflux Desiese. My dgm has it and before she went on her meds and started therapy she was down to just absorbant foods in very small bites. Everythign else was making her gag and throw up.