You have a picky eater, who also has a toddler speech delay. As parents we want the best for our children and that means we want them to eat well too! I know for me, I am always looking for correlation between things that my daughter does. First we must understand the difference between a picky eater and a problem feeder. But is there a correlation between having a picky eater (or problem feeder) and toddler speech delay?
Toddler Speech Delay and Picky Eater: Is There A Link?
Picky Eater: A picky eater is one who only eats foods from one category (dairy, meats, that sort of thing) or has a limited number of foods he will eat. He will try new foods (bonus!) but it takes a bunch of times (anywhere from 10-25 times) to get him to add it to the foods he will eat.
Problem Feeder: This is a different boat. A problem feeder is not a picky eater, he might refuse to eat whole categories of foods based on texture. He might only like one kind of food such as salty or sweet. If you introduce a new food, be prepared, this might not go over well, and if he tries it, it may seem like forever before it will be one of the foods he will eat.
Can this all be related to a toddler speech delay? The answer is yes…and no. Unfortunately, toddlers, as fun as they can be, always throw us a curve ball just when we think we know what is going on. My daughter has always been a picky eater and her speech development is normal (we have had her tested, as there was question of some hearing issues from multiple ear infections as a toddler). I also had a cousin who for years would eat only chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. Even at Thanksgiving dinner, his mom would make him nuggets!
I was unable to find any hardcore facts and research done to make this a definite yes or no discussion. Every child is different. It wouldn’t be fun if they were all the same right? Sort of frustrating because as parents, we want answers sometimes as to why our children are the way they are. Some kids are just picky eaters, and happen to have a speech delay. Some kids are picky eaters and do not have a toddler speech delay.
Are you the parent of a child who is a picky eater or a problem feeder and happens to have a toddler speech delay? How do you go about getting them to eat more of a variety of foods as well as improve their speech development? Share some of your successes (and failures!) with us below.