For many “picky eaters” sensory processing plays a big role in their refusal to eat foods. Simply put, if something feels gross in their mouth or on their hands, they aren’t going to eat it. The fancy therapeutic term we give for this is tactile defensive. Clues that your child may be refusing foods because they are defensive are: gagging, squirming, or seeming frightened by the sight, smell, touch, or taste of a particular food. Oral aversion also fits into this category.