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What Is an Eating Phobia in Children?

Learn about eating phobias in children from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Eating phobias in children are very unique. There's a common misconception to consider an eating phobia to be an eating disorder and this is not the case. A eating phobia actually is a form of anxiety. In these instances children have a food aversion in which the smell, or odor, or texture, or even color of a certain food makes them very reluctant to eat it or to try it. In the other instance a child may have an extreme fear of choking or not being able to swallow a type of food. Or worried that once they swallow it they may regurgitate or vomit. In these instances of course it worries parents greatly, because children have a very select amount of foods that they will actually eat. It requires behavior therapies and interventions to gradually introduce the child to different foods and help them overcome their fears related to it. It's important to remember that eating phobias are anxiety and not an eating disorder. However, if left untreated the risk factors of turning into an eating disorder are great. Behavioral interventions are extremely helpful in treating this type of phobia. These are some of the basic factors related to an eating phobia.

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