Another Bad Tip for Feeding the Hypersensitive, Orally Defensive or Sensory Processing Disordered Child

Nov 30, 2010 by

In my last post, we looked at Amy, one of those children generally considered to be on the autism spectrum, with neurological and physiological causes for being a picky eater.   Amy was diagnosed as “hypersensitive to oral input” or “orally defensive.”

Such children should be under the supervision of a doctor to make sure that their nutritional needs are met. But as with all children who resist eating, the family dynamics and relationship around eating can either aggravate the problems, or ease them.

Amy’s parents do their best to get her to eat. Most recommendations they’ve been given for getting their hypersensitive child to eat involve various forms of pressure and urging. The more desperate they are to get her to…

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Six Lessons from English School Lunches

Nov 14, 2010 by

In England, it was recently discovered that picky kids were less picky when they ate school lunches than they were at home. The benefits carried over to home, with many kids coming home and asking for the same foods they were getting at school. It happens that in England, home-packed lunches were found to be generally higher in sugar, fat and salt than the school lunches there. So encouraging parents to let kids eat school food instead of mom’s home-packed lunches seems to be getting them to eat more healthy at school as well as at home.

There are several probable reasons for this reduction in pickiness at school.

But today’s…

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A Simple Plan: Getting Kids to the Table and Away from the TV

Jul 14, 2010 by

Today I met Sharon, who told me how she got her grand-daughter to quit eating in front of the TV and start eating dinner and having pleasant conversation with them instead.

Sharon’s daughter, Emily, a single mom of five-year-old Katie, lives next door. Katie had gotten in the habit of eating dinner at a table by herself in front of the TV.

“She doesn’t know what she’s eating, or how much,” Sharon told her daughter.

So the grandparents got involved. They made dinner, set the table, and invited Emily and Katie to have dinner with them every night for a while.

They told Katie that they were going to have dinner together and share stories about their day.

Katie had no resistance to the new plan.

In fact, after a little while, Katie would come bursting in before the meal started to tell her story, and they would tell her, “Wait, we are setting the…

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Picky Kids and Hillary Clinton's 'Strategic Patience' at the Dinner Table

May 27, 2010 by

Are your children provoking you at the table? Are they uncooperative? Misbehaving and refusing to eat their veggies? Are tensions increasing daily? Have negotiations broken down?

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in dealing with a similarly belligerent North Korea, is adopting a policy of “strategic patience” that sounds like a good example of masterly inactivity, an effective strategy for parents of picky eaters.

I can’t say if it will work with Korea, but I highly recommend this wisely passive and purposeful letting alone in the dinner table battle zone. When all seems hopeless, it’s probably time to put stalled negotiations on hold and invest less in diplomacy, not more, to be more effective.

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How to get kids to eat at the table, Part III

Apr 6, 2010 by

Answering a reader’s question about how to stop children’s complaining, playing around and dawdling at the dinner table.

Lindsey,

I have some more thoughts on the question.

I think you need a bit less nonchalance about your son’s behavior and a bit more nonchalance—masterly inactivity, a purposeful leaving alone—about the eating itself.

I suggest laying down the law on behavior at the table: we do not come to the table and complain. Nor do we play around and dawdle. I’m sure you don’t want him to get in the habit of fussing and whining and being disagreeable. I know you would not like him to go to someone else’s house and express himself that way. Or treat his wife that way someday. You son needs to be taught that if he wants to eat dinner with the family, he has to be polite.  I’m sure he will decide that, yes, he…

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The Tempting Apple: How to make raw fruits and vegetables appealing to kids

Nov 21, 2009 by

This post was featured on Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday on Feb. 5, 2010

Let me just say right off the bat that the best ways to make raw fruits (and vegetables) or anything else that’s healthy more appealing to kids are:

1. Avoid giving them junk food. Ever. Kids who eat junk food develop a taste mostly for junk food.

2. Also: catch them when they’re hungry. Food plus hunger and nothing else equals kids eating.

3. Perhaps most important: do not push them to eat whatever it is. At all. Ever. Kids who are never pushed to eat will naturally like raw fruit. Kids who aren’t pushed do not develop food resistance.

Other posts here expound upon those topics at length. But here is a bit more on the topic of making raw fruit appealing.

The other night, I went to…

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