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Food aversions

Food aversion is when a baby or child will repeatedly refuse or ‘avert’ food which is given to them, despite the baby or child being physically capable and safely adequate to feed. Food aversion can develop at any age or stage of development, but it is more commonly seen at the weaning stage or around 2-3 years of age. Aversions to breast milk and formula milk can also occur, so please do not think you are over reacting if your baby or child is refusing any type of milk or food.

If your baby or child has food aversion our specialist dietitians can help. To book an assessment please contact us.

What are the symptoms of food aversion?

Symptoms of food aversion in babies and children are:

If your baby or child has one or more of these symptoms described, they could have food aversions. We understand you may have been to multiple healthcare appointments and you have had no treatment or help for your baby or child’s symptoms of food aversion. Sometimes dietary conditions and problems are not treated unless the severity starts to severely affect their growth or development.

What are the causes of food aversion?

The cause of food aversion can not usually be determined, but it is usually caused by a painful, uncomfortable or unenjoyable experience to a food or feeding situation. A common example of a child who develops food aversion will be if they have had frequent illness, hospital visits and tube feeds where they have associated their negative experience with feeding, even if it was not the direct cause or reason for their pain.

If a food aversion is allowed to worsen or develop and is repeated, it can lead to a child refusing many foods and food groups which can result in a very restrictive diet.

A food aversion can also be due to an undiagnosed food allergy or intolerance which has caused the child to associate food with pain, bloating and an uncomfortable feeling causing them to reject it. Our dietitians can assess, diagnose and treat your baby or child for intolerances and food allergies so they can get the treatment they need.

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What do you assess for with food aversion?

At the kids Feeding Team will will assess your baby or child for any food intolerances, food allergies and nutritional deficiencies they may have which could be causing their aversion to food. Our assessment will involve the discussion of your baby or child’s nutritional intake and base our treatment on individualised goals for your baby or child with food aversion. We will assess your baby or child’s nutritional intake to ensure they are receiving the energy and nutrients they need to grow and develop.

What is the treatment of food aversion?

Our treatment for each individual baby or child will depend solely on their assessment. We will assess their nutritional intake and develop a treatment plan to ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition to promote healthy growth and development.

If you think your baby or child is showing signs of food aversion, or you and your family and have been experiencing food aversion for a while, our expert feeding team can help. To book an assessment please contact us.

Make a referral

To refer a child to our services this can be done online, or by calling 0161 820 8262 or emailing office@kids

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