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I’m sure that most of you who have school-aged children have heard a thing or two about the Summertime Slump, which is when kids forget some of what they learned during the school year, and may have a resulting backslide in academic skills. There are many approaches to help prevent the slump, and obviously, we want to do whatever we can to keep our kids on track and learning.

Up until now, you may not have thought about how your kid’s diet may also suffer during the summer. Inconsistent sleep and wake times, lack of a daily routine, and a plethora of snack foods can result in a limited and nutritionally-lacking diet. Since we all want to keep things easy during...

More often than not, the main obstacle to adding new foods to a child’s diet is not related to how the food tastes, what the child’s chewing skills look like, or what flavor preferences the child has. The main obstacle is that as soon as the mere idea of a new food is presented, kids immediately go into “NO” mode.

Every so often, you may entice your child to examine the food in question or even pick it up...but that’s as far as they’re going to take it. Many times, the offending food is unceremoniously shoved across the table or chucked across the room. It’s out of sight and avoided for yet another day.

Because food refusal often happens so quickly and so consis...

Today, I’d like to shed some light on kids who, while they may not fit the stereotypical image of a picky eater, can often still benefit from some attention to feeding. Most of my feeding therapy clients fall into the range of toddler to young elementary school age. This tends to be the time that feeding issues often become more challenging or apparent.

A couple examples of this include:

  1. When a child ages out of the picky toddler phase, but their food variety does not improve.

  2.) When a child enters school and the parent has less opportunities to provide the child with their           necessary intake throughout the day....

As a Feeding Therapist, I find myself having a good deal of food-related conversations with my friends or acquaintances that I meet. After all, feeding kids can be one of the most frustrating tasks that a parent faces, and sometimes a good commiseration sesh is in order! I’ve seen pretty much every imaginable mealtime challenge, so when my friends vent to me about their various feeding grievances, I can usually provide a suggestion in addition to a sympathetic ear.

Most of the time, my advice isn’t necessarily reinventing the wheel. I’ll share tactics that have worked for my girls, or general foundational strategies that can be built upon. In the course of disc...

December 8, 2016

How do you  approach family gatherings with a child who doesn’t like to eat?

I think that most parents can agree that while the holidays bring excitement and comforting traditions, they also present their own unique challenges. Many parental concerns involve finding the shortest line for a photo with Santa or convincing their two-year-old to wear a wool reindeer sweater long enough to have One. Decent. Picture. taken. Parents of picky eaters often have a special kind of holiday dread: The extended-family dinner.

What starts as a jovial opportunity for relatives to catch up with each other can quickly become a stressful situation. Many parents find that a holiday...

Why are there certain foods that most kids tend to like, and other foods that most kids avoid? When a child says that they don’t like a food, most parents assume that they do not like the flavor of the food. But what about foods that they reject without even tasting a single bite? How about foods that, based on the flavor, seem like they should be preferred, but for some reason aren’t?

It’s because, many times, it isn’t the flavor of the food...it’s the TEXTURE.

Think about it. When you look at a food that you’ve never tried before, you can’t tell what it will taste like based on the appearance alone. However, you can get an idea of what the texture will be like...

If I had to name the most common feeding concern that I hear from parents, it’s that their child does not eat vegetables. In fact, when I interview parents about their child’s feeding habits and mention the word vegetable, it is usually met with a chuckle: “If my child ate vegetables, I wouldn’t be sitting here, talking to you!” And I get that. When you can’t even remember the last time your child willingly took a bite of a vegetable, the idea can seem preposterous.

 

Here are some tips that may help you to get some plants on that plate:

-Start by creating a routine to try new things, with EASY new foods first (read: not vegetables). Keep your expectations reason...

March 2, 2016

“You will sit right there until your meatloaf is gone, young lady!” (3 hours later, the meatloaf, and the child, are still sitting at the table).

 

“Ok, corn dog for Lucas, PB&J for Emily, and cobb salad for the rest of us!” (By the time Mom or Dad is done with food prep and sits down to eat, the rest of the family members are already finishing up their meals).

 

It seems like when it comes to dinner time, parents fall into two camps: The Iron Fists and The Short Order Cooks (or maybe those are 80’s band names...can’t be sure). There are relevant points supporting each approach, to be sure. However, proponents of either side are eternally loyal to their method and...

 

 

I thought it might be nice to share something that I have found to be really helpful while working with my 16-month-old daughter, Remy, at home (yeah, a feeding therapist’s job is never done, haha!) She has been teething pretty much constantly over the last month, and it has led to some pretty crummy mealtimes. Refusal to eat anything other than soft food, briefly chewing firmer food and then spitting it out, letting food/drinks/saliva dribble out of her mouth...let’s just say that it’s been messy around here!  

 

Remy has generally been a really great eater since we started solids--she has a great appetite, and appears to like a wide variety of flavors and te...

August 7, 2015

I’ve been talking to many parents of 1-2 year olds lately, and I’ve realized that a lot of you are struggling with navigating the transition off of bottles and nursing. It’s a tricky thing: Not only do these feedings provide vital nutrition, they are also a huge source of comfort and routine for the little ones. Trying to get rid of these feedings cold turkey can feel to your child as if you’re pulling the rug out from under him or her...but failing to cut down on the volume of milk or formula that your child drinks can impact his or her interest in transitioning to a variety of healthy foods. I am starting this process with my soon-to-be one year old myself,...