Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Jessica McHugh, PHD, OTR/L, BCP, Pn1


picky, toddler, eating, diet, picky eating, pediatric feeding disorder, SOS Approach to Feeding

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


To address the contested definition of picky eating, a study was conducted to determine the typical toddler diet, therefore identifying when intervention may be warranted, and further defining picky eating. Out of the 252 responses to a cross-sectional survey, 34.9% of caregivers reported their child was a picky eater, whereas 65.1% were identified as non-picky eaters. The diets and quantity of foods consumed by these groups varied significantly. Picky eaters were less likely to eat foods of potentially polarizing sensory properties or textures that required advanced oral motor skills to consume. Children who were picky eaters consumed only 32 different foods on average, compared to 50 in the non-picky population. Additionally, clinical experience was utilized in conducting a case study on the use of the SOS Approach to Feeding with one client to address the multifaceted nature of feeding difficulties. This project provides clinicians with a gauge to identify a feeding difficulty, as well as studies the application of a popular approach to picky eating.



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