A feeding aversion can become even more complex when other feeding problems are involved. If growth is compromised it may become necessary for the baby to have a feeding tube inserted to deliver nutrients directly into her stomach, bypassing the need for her to feed. This is part of a condition that doctors call cachexia. The first thing to do when a loved one stops eating or shows a decline in interest in food is to find the cause. What Causes Food Aversions During Pregnancy? As with other mental illnesses, there may be many causes, such as: Genetics and biology. Food Aversion and Sensory Processing Disorder Some of these are short-term, including colds, food poisoning, other infections, or the side effects of medication. What should a person take to reduce nausea? Common short-term causes of feeling a loss of appetite include: 1. colds 2. flu 3. respiratory infections 4. bacteria or viral infections 5. constipation 6. an upset stomach 7. digestive issues 8. acid reflux 9. food poisoning 10. allergies 11. food intolerances 12. a stomach … View chapter Purchase book At the other end, baby might display complete food refusal and require a feeding tube to ensure she receives sufficient nutrients for healthy growth. Failure to identify and eliminate the stimulus means baby’s conditioned response (aversive behavior in regards to feeding or eating) may continue to be reinforced, and thus her fussy feeding behavior or food refusal can continue for weeks, months or years. Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder, characterized by low weight, food restriction, fear of gaining weight and a strong desire to be thin. Food aversion is often diagnosed in fully tube-fed children. Your baby would display signs of discomfort or distress at other times in addition to feed times. Many babies (but not all) experience poor growth as a result of feeding aversion. Any feeding situation that results in a baby becoming frightened or stressed has the potential to trigger partial or complete food refusal. And it happens quickly. Identifying the cause is essential if the problem is to be resolved. This requires a comprehensive understanding of infant development, infant behavior, and age-appropriate infant feeding practices. People may find it easier to eat several smaller meals a day instead of three bigger ones. People may also find having liquid meals, such as smoothies and protein drinks, easier to take. Certain people may have genes that increase their risk of developing eating disorders. People may benefit from eating small, regular meals instead of three large meals, and liquid meals are often more palatable. A loss of appetite can be physical or psychological. Others are to do with long-term medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, or life-limiting illnesses. Cachexia is the term for weight loss, muscle wastage, and general ill-health caused by chronic, life-limiting illnesses. So what are the causes of food aversion in babies and toddlers? Thread starter shanti; Start date Aug 20, 2008; shanti Friend. This can make it challenging for parents and health professionals to accurately identify the stimulus. GUT-BRAIN Connection-Children who are picky eaters often have severe gut issues including poor absorption of nutrients. A wide range of underlying issues may cause food aversion in infants and toddlers. [Desensitization is defined as the diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative or aversive stimulus after repeated exposure to it. A food aversion can also be due to an undiagnosed food allergy or intolerance which has caused the child to associate food with pain, bloating and an uncomfortable feeling causing them to reject it. 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