Feeding Disorders of Infancy or Early Childhood

A feeding disorder refers to an infant’s or child’s inability or refusal to eat or drink sufficient quantities of food or liquid to obtain adequate nutrition and grow. Feeding disorders are typically thought to have medical, physical, or behavioral causes, with most feeding disorders resulting from a combination of these factors. Children with feeding disorders often display a variety of feeding problems ranging from total food refusal, such as failing to consume any calories or nutrition, to overselectivity of food, such as eating a narrow range of food, and dependence on developmentally inappropriate sources of nutrition, such as only drinking from a bottle at 4 years of age. This entry describes the prevalence, symptoms, and etiology of feeding disorders, with an emphasis on individuals ...

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