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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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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