Understanding PICA

PICA is an eating disorder in children and adults that involves eating items that are not typically thought of as food and that do not contain significant nutritional value, such as soil, chalk and paper. It can also include an abnormal appetite for things that may be considered food, like flour, raw potato and starch. 

  • PICA is seen in all ages, particularly in pregnant women and small children, and especially among children who have a developmental disability. 
  • For a child to be diagnosed with the eating disorder of pica the symptoms must persist for more than one month, at an age where eating such objects is considered developmentally inappropriate. 

  • Pica generally occurs between 12 and 24 months but can occur in adults 

PICA symptoms are caused by the nonfood items that have been consumed. They can include:  

  • Stomach pain 

  • Blood in the stool (which may be a sign of an ulcer that developed from eating nonfood items). 

  • Bowel problems (such as constipation or diarrhea). 

  • Stomach upset

Contact us today

Give us a call on 1800 275 753 to discuss your support needs with our Allied Health team, or send an online enquiry and we'll be in touch.

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How can CPL help?

Support at home 

Sometimes it helps to have an extra set of hands at home. CPL can support your needs, from getting ready for school, university or work, right through to mealtime assistance and medication.


The NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach supports children aged 0-6 years who have a developmental delay or disability and their families/carers. CPL's Support Coordinators can help you to navigate your first NDIS plan.

Getting out into your community

We can support you to access what you want and need to in your local community - whatever your age and whenever you need us.

Allied Health therapies

CPL's Allied Health team can support people with Pica by finding the right therapy options to help them reach their goals.