School Aged Developmental Milestones
Eating & Drinking
Once your child is in school, she should be eating and drinking all of the same foods that the rest of the family is eating. A lot of children can be described as “picky eaters,” and will sometimes refuse to eat some of the foods offered to them, and will be resistant to trying new foods. This is usually quite a normal stage of development.
Red Flags for Eating and Drinking Problems
If your child is showing some of the following signs, it may be helpful to talk to your doctor or another health professional, such as a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, dietician, or public health nurse.
- Regular coughing or choking during eating
- Taking a really long time to eat a meal (more than 30-45 minutes)
- Getting sick often with pneumonia or chest infections
- Gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice after eating
- Less than normal weight gain or growth
- Lots of leakage of food or liquid from the mouth
- Coughing, gagging, or throwing up during or after meals
- Stuffing mouth with food
- Holding food inside pockets in mouth for long periods
- Difficulty accepting new textures of food
- Avoidance behaviours to specific foods and textures (gagging, vomiting, blocking the spoon with hands or closed lips, crying, pushing food away, etc)
- Refusing to eat more than a few foods, or refusing to eat anything from one of the food groups
- Being extremely rigid about how food is prepared, or how it is served
- Abnormal bowel movements that last longer than a few days (diarrhea, constipation, loose stool)
- Skin reactions to foods (dry patches, hives, rashes) Note: If your child seems to be having a severe allergic reaction to a food (difficulty breathing, turning red, developing hives or rash on the face/chest), you should seek medical help immediately.