Over Three Less-Than-Amazing Ways to Show a Picky Eater That Eating Can Be Fun

Jul 10, 2013 by

From an amazing speech-language pathologist who treats children with feeding issues

I recently interviewed Christie Olguin,  CCC-SLP (Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology) and clinic director at ABILITY Pediatric Therapy in San Antonio.

Leading over 100 therapists, Christie personally works mainly with kids with food aversion. She’s helped many severe cases overcome problem eating.

One idea that this expert in solving picky eating made clear to me is that enjoyment matters! Enjoyment is essential! Enjoyment in eating is healthy. It’s not a luxury or a frivolous frill. It’s not an indulgent distraction from the dread duty of getting used to eating what’s good for you. Pleasure in eating may be the most important lesson to teach a picky eater.

That day, Christie was working with an 11-month-old, Grant, who is averse to food. Grant is food averse for several reasons.

Grant learned early that eating meant pain from acid reflux. He was diagnosed…

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Eatiology: How Parents Teach Kids to Like Food, or Not

Jul 4, 2013 by

DSC_0780 (2)Yes, parents, what you do with your picky eater matters, but it’s not as hard as you might expect to get a child eating what you want her to eat.

An old study, but a goodie, and one which uses the wonderful phrase “etiology of children’s food likes and dislikes,” (etiology meaning “the study of causes”) confirms that what foods children end up liking is determined largely by their experiences around food.

The study shows it’s not a matter of children being born liking or disliking certain foods. Rather they learn to like or dislike certain foods as they learn to associate them with happiness and enjoyment or misery and displeasure. And that has much less to do with the taste of the food than with their parents’ behavior and attitudes.

Whether the atmosphere at…

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Snacking American Style: How it turns kids into a picky eaters

May 6, 2013 by

I may have just solved the picky eating problem for about 75 percent of the children who won’t eat their healthy dinners.

The problem is snacking.

Once, I saw one of my French nieces walk through the kitchen, grab something and stick it in her mouth. It surprised me, a lot. I knew immediately something was wrong with that picture. It took me a second to realize: I had literally never seen a French kid (or adult) walk through the kitchen and put something in her mouth like that.

French people don’t do that, you see. They eat only when it’s time to eat. They don’t eat just because they feel cravings, or are bored or stressed. They don’t eat just because they feel like celebrating, or relaxing, or socializing. They only eat if it’s time for breakfast, lunch, goûter (after-school snack, similar to British tea…

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“My Toddler Will Only Eat Peanut-Butter-&-Jelly Sandwiches!” How it happens, how to avoid it, how to change it

Apr 29, 2013 by

When your baby hits toddlerhood, a lot of normal changes occur, but a couple of things in particular:

  1. His appetite becomes less reliable. He’s not growing as fast anymore, for one thing, so sometimes he won’t feel like eating at all, or less than before.
  2. He starts asserting his individuality. He starts wanting to call some of his own shots.

Where parents go wrong in response to these changes:

    1. They think it’s not OK if their toddler doesn’t eat anything or very little one day. They get worried. They get the mindset that he has to eat something and that it’s their job to make sure he does. They begin to interfere with his natural appetite and natural ability to self-regulate. Said toddler also notices that not eating gets an interesting reaction from his parents.
    2. They offer the toddler something else to eat in an attempt to get him to eat something. This is…
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When Picky Eating Leads to Abnormal Parenting

Apr 24, 2013 by

Marlena’s picky eater, six-year-old Walker, was overweight. He wanted to eat bean-and-cheese tacos and little else every day. His eating was abnormal. So Marlena reacted, desperately.  She did all she knew to do.

One night, the whole rest of the family found themselves doing the chicken dance after every bite he ate, to get him to eat. True story.

Another night, he allowed Mom to spoon chicken and rice into his mouth while he played video games.  She would feed him a “second dinner” before bedtime if he refused dinner, so that he wouldn’t wake up in the night, screaming from hunger.

Any given  night at the dinner table found both parents badgering Walker non-stop to eat more of this, more of that, with threats of punishment and promises of reward.

Following  a Picky Eater Down the Wrong Path

If you have abnormal eating going on in your house, your automatic response may be…

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