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Psychological Disorders 2023

Distúselective food rbium: what é, symptoms and treatment

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Distúselective food rbium: what é, symptoms and treatment
Distúselective food rbium: what é, symptoms and treatment

Selective eating disorder is a relatively common childhood eating disorder, which happens when the child always eats the same foods, rejecting all other options outside their acceptance pattern. Thus, it is common for children to always like to eat the same meals, rejecting new foods, and having difficulty eating in restaurants and at other people's homes.

Often this disorder is seen by parents as a child's tantrum and, therefore, ends up being undervalued. However, if it happens very often, it should be evaluated by a pediatrician or a psychologist, who can confirm or rule out the possibility of some kind of disorder.

Refusal to eat is common in children between 2 and 6 years of age, so it should not be a cause for excessive concern. It is normal for parents to need to "negotiate" the introduction of a new food, however, when this behavior seems exaggerated and the child only eats the same foods, a more detailed evaluation is indicated. Here's how to make a gradual introduction to food.

Main symptoms

Some signs and symptoms that can help identify this type of disorder are:

  • Always eat the same foods, eating a maximum of 15 different foods;
  • Avoid entire food groups, such as the dairy group or all fruits;
  • Close your mouth tightly to avoid ingesting a different food anyway;
  • Throwing tantrums at me altimes, making it stressful for the whole family;
  • Having nausea and vomiting when faced with the need to eat new foods;
  • Prefer only cold or warm foods;
  • Prefer foods with a mild flavor such as light-colored foods such as milk, bread, pasta;
  • Not tolerating the smell of a certain food, having to leave the kitchen or living room, and feeling like vomiting.

These signs and symptoms can persist into adulthood when the disorder is not properly diagnosed and treated, causing constant tension and fighting over meals.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of this type of eating disorder is based on the clinical history of the signs and symptoms presented, which should be taken to the pediatrician and/or child psychologist to assess the severity of food rejection. Keeping a food diary for 1 week, in addition to the feelings shown when eating food, is a good way to start understanding the problem.

In addition, the doctor will also check for the presence of other problems that can lead to rejection of food, such as chewing and swallowing difficulties, food allergies and gastrointestinal problems. The child is not always underweight or has developmental problems, but may have difficulty in school with poor academic performance, in addition to dry skin and weak hair and nails, due to lack of nutrients due to a poor diet.

Main causes

Exaggerated and persistent food refusal can be caused by psychological problems, social phobias, and taste disorders such as 'super taste'. Difficulty chewing, swallowing or feeling sick to the stomach or belly pain can also influence this disorder.

How the treatment is done

Treatment so that the child can eat everything is usually done with medical monitoring and psychological treatment, where strategies are made to improve the meal environment and encourage the child to try new foods, through cognitive behavioral therapy.Some strategies that can help vary infant feeding are:

  • Reduce stress and fights during meals, promoting a calm and peaceful environment and not leaving the child grounded if he does not want to eat;
  • Do not give up on serving new foods to the child, but always put on the plate at least 1 food that he likes and eats naturally, which may have been chosen by him;
  • Offer the same food, varying the way of preparation, presentation and texture. For example: offering baked potatoes, boiled potatoes in slices or pieces drizzled with olive oil, not exactly the same as mashed potatoes;
  • Offering new foods and eating these foods in front of the child showing how tasty they are, because this habit favors the child's acceptance;
  • Trust the child's choices and leave them free to eat as much as they want during meals;
  • Show similar characteristics between some foods that the child accepts and others that are new, to encourage them to try them, for example: pumpkin is the same color as carrots, cabbage tastes like spinach…

Watch the following video and check out these and other tips that can help your child eat better:

In addition, if the child has problems in the development of chewing, speech, swallowing or gastrointestinal problems, follow-up with professionals such as speech therapists and occupational therapists will also be necessary because specific techniques will be implemented that can be used to improve the child's experience with food.

Warning signs to go to the doctor

Selective eating disorder can cause serious problems for the child, especially delay in growth and development due to lack of adequate nutrients and calories.Thus, the child may be a little smaller and lighter than it should be, although this is not always a characteristic that attracts a lot of attention from parents. A lack of vitamins and minerals can also lead to bleeding gums, bone weakness, dry eyes and skin problems.

In addition, excess of the same nutrient, obtained by excessive consumption of the same food, can also cause he alth problems such as itching, tiredness, weakness and joint pain. Therefore, if these symptoms are present, it may be necessary to do a blood test to identify the deficiency or excess of some nutrient, which may require medication.

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