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Feeding is an interactive process involving both the child and the adult caregivers who feed that child. The caregivers’ responsibility is to offer developmentally appropriate and nutritious foods to the child. The child’s responsibility is to accept enough of these foods to support appropriate nourishment and healthy growth. When the feeding relationship is effective, children and caregivers tend to have positive attributions about feeding, which in turn foster healthy attachments. However, when feeding problems arise, there may be significant disruptions to social interactions that negatively affect the functioning of the affected child and that child’s family.

The Caregiver-Child Feeding Relationship

In typically developing children, feeding success depends on the caregivers’ ability to accurately match a child’s feeding skills to appropriate food offerings while creating an environment ...

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