Question from Sarah: How do I get my kids to eat more than just one or two parts of the meal?

Nov 25, 2013 by

DEAR ANNA: “Let’s say we put out a roast chicken with cauliflower, sliced raw cucumbers and home-made biscuits. I have one child out of my three that will only eat the meat, another that will only eat the biscuit, and my third that will only eat the vegetables and the biscuit. We don’t pressure them or bribe them with dessert. (true “dessert” only happens when we bake something together or if watermelon is in season). But even when their only option is home made food do I let them take the only kind they want? They are hungry (it’s been hours since after-school snack) but they could still just fill up on one thing for days!”

DEAR SARAH: I love your question! Thanks for asking me. I have a few different thoughts about ways you could address this imbalance in what your kids want to eat. Whatever you do, I…

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Moving Down Mom’s Hierarchy of Foods: How “Finding Something Your Kid Will Eat” Entrenches Picky Eating

Oct 21, 2013 by

“We wonder how we get started doing these things, but we do them.”  — Mom of a budding picky eater

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When I was little, sometimes at dinner my mom might ask me if I wanted more of something, let’s say a dish called “Spanish Rice” (that’s something I remember not liking much as a child),  and I might answer, “I’m full for that.” I might often have been “full for” the main meal, yet if dessert was forthcoming, I was usually not “full for” that.

We all have a hierarchy of our preferred foods. If we are extremely hungry, we may feel “hungry enough to eat a horse” or horse meat, or even a hunk of hard, dry, unseasoned liver. Hunger makes food more appealing. If that horse, or horse meat, or even well-prepared liver appears on the table, though most people will pass on it unless they are truly about…

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Sacred Appetite Goes Undercover to Expose the PediaSure Picky Eater Hotline Scandal

Aug 25, 2013 by

Or: “PediaSure: Why Not? Part II”

Late on the evening of August 15, I picked up a brochure in a pediatrician’s waiting room.

Live 1-on-1 nutritional support for picky eating problems. Dietitians available 24/7,” it declared.

“Has picky eating taken over? We’ll help you take back the table and build lifelong healthy eating habits,” the headlines continued.

Then I saw it: “PediaSure Feeding Expert.” The hackles rose on the back of my neck.

“‘Feeding Expert,’ indeed,” thought I. “Like Jack Daniels offering a free helpline for alcoholics. Their answer to the problem is probably along the lines of ‘the hair of the dog that bit you.’ PediaSure is a short-term ‘solution’ that makes the problem worse.”

I have an adversarial relationship to PediaSure, you see.

Admittedly it’s a one-sided relationship. It’s like David and Goliath, but Goliath isn’t aware of David.  Few, in fact, know that this David…

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The Distracted Child: When That’s a Useful Thing

Aug 15, 2013 by

Anger-free ways to keep the peace & neutralize resistance in a picky eater or other strong-willed child

The other day, I noticed a dad with his toddler on a sidewalk. The little tot, about 18 months old, was trying to go in one direction. The dad, towering over her, was looking down at her and moving right in front of her each time she tried to go that direction. She would move to go around him, and he would step over to block her way, over and over. No words were being exchanged. She had no understanding of why her dad was preventing her from going that way. Dad was making no effort to explain the situation to her. His mind seemed to be elsewhere. Naturally, the little girl was getting a seriously frustrated look on her face. Maybe she was too young to understand why she couldn’t go there,…

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How to Stumble Over the Cure to Picky Eating on the Road to Duty

Aug 1, 2013 by

“Happiness is not found by looking for it. You stumble over happiness on the road to duty.” — Dr. Bob Jones Sr.

If your child is a picky eater, you are looking for the cure. You are probably working hard to get him to eat more of the things you want him to eat. You are probably talking about it a good bit at mealtimes. You are probably offering your child incentives to eat. You may dread mealtimes. You no doubt worry a lot about your child’s eating. You might be changing what foods you offer in response to your child’s pickiness. You’re doing all you know to do. You are looking for happiness.

The problem is, and you’ve probably noticed it, that pressuring your child to eat isn’t solving the problem. It’s not that you don’t care or aren’t trying, but working hard at solving the problem is getting you…

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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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