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Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

North Wales Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service




Feeding and eating difficulties in children

When children display ‘faddy / picky’ eating habits, we can easily become very concerned for their welfare.  We know that eating problems in pre-school children can be extremely common.  We also know that a vast majority of children are thriving and will outgrow their feeding problem with no long-term ill-effects.

Even though we know that most children will outgrow their ‘faddy / picky’ eating habits, it is still very worrying at the time for a parent or carer.

We would recommend that you contact your local Health Visitor (pre-school age), School Nurse (school age) and / or your GP to discuss your worries.

These health professionals are likely to give consideration to your child’s age, height and weight and general health.  They may also ask questions so that they can get a full history of your worries, including:

This information will help to identify whether they can offer advice and support to your family.  This would include using behavioural techniques to help promote positive eating habits.  They may feel after making an assessment that they need to get in contact with the Community Paediatrician or possibly ask for a consultation from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service’s Early Intervention and Prevention Team.

If, following the assessment, the GP, School Nurse or Health Visitor feels that the child’s eating difficulties appear to be behavioural, they may give specific tasks for parents to try in order to encourage eating, these may include: