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Feeding Challenges in Young Children: Toward a Best Practices Model

Bruns, Deborah A. PhD; Thompson, Stacy D. PhD

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0b013e3181d5c379

Young children often encounter feeding challenges, such as food refusal, an inability to meet nutritional needs, and limited skills to self-feed. Further, overall development can be adversely affected when an infant or a toddler has difficulties with intake of fluid and solid foods. A variety of strategies are available to address these challenges and, collectively, inform a best practices model. Importantly, all require a team approach as well as use of individually and developmentally appropriate techniques. There is a concomitant need to provide strategies that match child and family preferences. Finally, all feeding experiences and interactions should be pleasurable and should promote relationships between children and their parent(s) and caregiver(s). Implications for clinicians are also presented.

Departments of Educational Psychology and Special Education (Dr Bruns) and Curriculum and Instruction (Dr Thompson), Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale.

Corresponding Author: Deborah A. Bruns, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Mailcode 4618, Carbondale, IL 62901 (

©2010Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.