Fun with Food!
As a speech-language pathologist specializing in pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders, I encounter many children who have experienced negative associations surrounding food. These children often have accompanying oral motor feeding difficulties and sensory processing difficulties--making eating a very stressful experience instead of an enjoyable one.
This website will hopefully serve as an "idea place" for meals as well as questions and support from other parents and caregivers. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
This week I am featuring Down Syndrome and specifically Sara Rosenfeld Johnson's "Oral Motor Myths of Down Syndrome" Please check out the links below for some great educational reading!
Posted by Kristina--Picky Tots at 3:58 PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Food and Environment
Include a few simple food options that your child can enjoy. A cracker and cheese tray, a bowl of favorite fruit,
Consider having these foods on a separate table for all to enjoy. This creates a 'safe space' without additional distractions, but still allows for everyone to partake in addition to giving a fun little buffet line for your little one to cruise through.
Divided plates can be helpful! I've seen children completely refuse all food on their plate (even if a favorite was there) if it was paired with too many options or servings too large. When the child felt less overwhelmed with only 2 or 3 choices and much smaller servings spaced out he began picking up food to eat. Some children are very visual and for this child divided plates can be helpful, that or just keeping the portion and # of foods on plate in mind.
Kids table? Well I for one always looked forward to the kids table! My brothers and I went through phases where we felt priveleged to be at the kids table and times when we felt shunned as we grew older! Now, even in our 30s, we long to be at the kids table together again! Having a separate, smaller table for a smaller group of people or even a "kids table" can be helpful in reducing environmental distractions such as the large casserole portions and smells as aforementioned. (I just wanted to say "aforementioned" because I cannot for the life of me think of a time I have ever used that in my vocabulary :) )
Don't use Thanksgiving as a time to ask your child to try new foods especially if he is already worried that you might. Sometimes kids will have a totally random moment when they decide to pick up that piece of food and try it and it may or may not happen on this day. He wants to enjoy the holiday also and just because the rest of us focus on the meal we cannot expect it to be the focus of his day. Which brings me to my next suggestion
Consider starting new non food related traditions!
A game of charades, maybe a different interactive game such as Cranium (We have the new Disney Cranium on our Christmas list this year!) for both kids and adults to enjoy.
An nature scavenger hunt outside or a planned scavenger hunt with clues
Gather around and share with others those things for which you are the most thankfu or talk about "favorites". For my oldest daughters birthday this year we blew up a beachball and wrote in fun questions on each panel. "What is your favorite movie character?" "What is your favorite color?" and so on and so forth
When you and your child have these fun moments to look forward to with others Thanksgiving can become less about the anxiety surrounding the food and more about a happy time you can all share together!
The adaptations do not have to be obvious. You wish for your child to feel a part of the Thanksgiving gathering but you do not want to place the expectation for him to do just as everyone else does just for the sake of enjoying the tradition the way you or others expect him to. In most cases it is Others by the way "Just try it!" " Youll love it!" "How can a kid not like pie with whipped cream?" ...you know you have heard it all before but on this particular day it is not uncommon for both parents and the child to dread the comments, the judgement they fear they may feel. I say this to the families who are just seeking help for their child's feeding concerns or who may feel alone in these thoughts. I'm here to tell you that you are not and that its ok that everyone else around you does not fully understand the complexity of mealtime.
Posted by Kristina--Picky Tots at 8:10 AM
Monday, April 9, 2012
What you will need:
1 slice of toasted bread. I used Rudis brand multigrain, gluten free
Spoon out the tbsp of chia seeds and add the water in a small bowl The chia seeds will turn into a gelatinous interesting concoction.
Blend the pear slices and chicken with a little water or pear juice if needed. Consistency should be similar to a slightly thick biscuit dough or chicken salad...pretty obvious huh?
Use day old bread or a toasted slice and blend into find crumbs. Form patties and roll into the crumbs and place on a cookie sheet. I lined mine with parchment paper the first time and mashed with a fork for a aesthetic design :) The second time I made them I used a mini muffin tin and they turned out great. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. These are soft enough to break apart and form into smaller pieces for exploring, which I recommend!
|Crumbs made in a magic bullet|
|chicken mixture with chia seeds shown (pre crazy gelatinous)|
|Patties formed and fork mashed|
|"Hmm, it looks like a little ball, i think ill try it!"|
|"This is where the other pieces came from..not so sure though"|
|"Here I gooo!"|
|"I like it!"|
Posted by Kristina--Picky Tots at 9:35 AM
Friday, February 3, 2012
Dollar Tree. Word. Perfect for a special 'note' in a lunch, pancakes, sandwiches, toast, or cheese! Any other suggestions or cool affordable finds? Do share!
Posted by Kristina--Picky Tots at 12:50 PM
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
What a wonderful post, written so open and honestly!
Posted by Kristina--Picky Tots at 12:41 PM
Friday, October 28, 2011
Another Trader Joe's snack find--"Fruity Flakes". These are similar to "fruitaboo" roll ups in taste. Here is Adalyn eating "fruity flake leaves" off of our picture! To help your child become familiar with a new food---Play! Today he may feel o.k. with placing the leaves on the tree, tomorrow he may bring one up to his nose or mouth!
Posted by Kristina--Picky Tots at 4:10 AM
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Here is a wonderful article explaining the complexity of children with Sensory Processing Disorder.
"It's like a traffic jam in your head, with conflicting signals quickly coming from all directions, so that you don't know how to make sense of it all."
"What parents often notice first is odd behaviors and wild mood swings, strange at best, upsetting at worst. Often it's an outsized reaction to a change in environment—a radical, inexplicable shift in the child's behavior."
Posted by Kristina--Picky Tots at 10:48 AM