How to approach feeding difficulties in young children

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Feeding is an interaction between a child and caregiver, and feeding difficulty is an umbrella term encompassing all feeding problems, regardless of etiology, severity, or consequences, while feeding disorder refers to an inability or refusal to eat sufficient quantities or variety of food to maintain adequate nutritional status, leading to substantial consequences, including malnutrition, impaired growth, and possible neurocognitive dysfunction. There are 6 representative feeding disorder subtypes in young children: infantile anorexia, sensory food aversion, reciprocity, posttraumatic type, state regulation, and feeding disorders associated with concurrent medical conditions. Most feeding difficulties are nonorganic and without any underlying medical condition, but organic causes should also be excluded from the beginning, through thorough history taking and physical examination, based on red-flag symptoms and signs. Age-appropriate feeding principles may support effective treatment of feeding difficulties in practice, and systematic approaches for feeding difficulties in young children, based on each subtype, may be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-384
Number of pages6
JournalKorean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Child
  • Diagnosis
  • Feeding difficulty
  • Feeding disorder
  • Management

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