One of my goals as a holistic nutritionist is to give parents the information and the tools they need to do their own research and make informed choices for their child’s health.

My goal is not to diagnose your child with sensory processing disorder (SPD). I simply want to make you aware of this disorder and give you a starting point for your own research. If you suspect your child has SPD, please bring it up with your doctor.

In my work with parents who have picky eaters I always include a questionnaire that screens for SPD. I don’t use it as a diagnostic tool, but as a “let’s talk about SPD” tool.

Why do I do that? In some cases, a picky eater has also sensory processing disorder which prevents them from being open to trying new foods.

So what is sensory processing disorder?

The brain of a child with SPD processes input from the outside world (through sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) differently than a child without SPD. The child might have mild sensory intolerances or they might find it extremely difficult to handle sensory stimulation (such as when they are at a busy grocery store or a loud school playground).

I gathered a few questions about SPD. There are many questions that you and your child will be asked by your doctor before a diagnosis is made. These are just a few of them to give you an idea of what SPD means.

  1. Is your child a picky eater?
  2. Are there certain food textures that your child avoids eating (crunchy, mushy, etc.)?
  3. Does your child enjoy either very bland foods or very spicy foods?
  4. Is your child overly sensitive to smells?
  5. Does your child react to loud noises?
  6. Does your child react to bright lights?
  7. Is your child overly sensitive to touch or to clothes, bed sheets, grass, sand, etc.?

If you answered “yes” to a few of these questions, then it’s time to talk to your doctor. If your picky eater is diagnosed by their doctor with sensory processing disorder, regular sessions with an occupational therapist will not only help your child open up to new foods and flavours, but it will also help them balance all their senses.

Did you find this article useful? Is your child or someone you know reflected in these questions?

P.S. Do you have a picky eater? Stay tuned! The “Picky eater? No more!” program is coming up this month. If you would like to know more about it, get in touch with me here.


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