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Managing feeding difficulties and behaviours in food allergic children

Lisa Waddell provides practical advice for nurses dealing with children who suffer from food allergies

A feeding difficulty is a broad term to describe a variety of feeding or mealtime behaviours perceived as problematic for a child or family. This includes: picky/ fussy eating (limited variety of food), food refusal and inability to eat (as is seen with oral motor and swallowing difficulties); food fads/ pica (focus on specific foods/ non-foods); food neophobia (fear of new food which starts around two years of age); food or taste aversion (repulsed by taste, often associated with a past illness involving vomiting); limited, variable or excessive appetites; slow eating and prolonged mealtimes; no interest in food; delay in self-feeding and disruptive mealtime behaviours.

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