1. While I think your heart is in the right place, I think feeding your kids should not have to be so difficult. There are children in other countries who are starving and who would gladly take the table scraps that spoiled children just won’t eat. We are sending our children the wrong message when we allow them to grow so picky over food. I have five kids and if I allowed our dinnertime to be so persnickety and child-centered, I’d go bankrupt or be in the kitchen all day. This is not an all-night-diner. While I make every effort to serve things that my children like, I also serve many things that they don’t because they are healthy, affordable, and as mom, I know better than a two year old.

    • I totally agree with you! However, as a pediatric occupational therapist I see many kids that have developmental delays and sensory processing issues that make it difficult for them to eat a varied diet. These issues can be mild and undiagnosed in many kids. The strategies I suggest are to get at the heart of those issues. Of course, the way that we as parents approach eating can also have a lot to do with it. Many parents get uncomfortable when their kid doesn’t eat at a meal and will start to cater to them. A lot of poor habits can take root. My hope on this blog is to cover a host of strategies to meet the needs of any kid that is struggling to eat. It is so prevalent in our society today and a major source of stress for many parents.

    • Thank you so much for that. My son has autism and sensory processing disorder. When we go out to eat, people make comments about him being a bratty picky eater. There are certain things he CAN’T eat, not won’t eat. Certain tastes and textures cause him to gag and spit up. He just can’t handle certain foods. There’s a difference between picky eaters and problem feeders. I wish more people understood that. We always supplement him with vitamins and pediasure to make sure he’s getting the nutrients he needs.

    • Thank you for chiming in! Kids on the spectrum and/or with SPD usually an extremely hand time with eating. I’m glad that you have found a system that works for your little guy and hopefully gives you some peace of mind! I have been meaning to write a post for some time on the difference between picky eaters and problem feeders- it is a huge difference!

    • Amen! My child has SPD and people always seem to give me the lecture “what I serve is what they get”… So annoying. She will starve and become malnourished if she doesn’t have food she can actually eat. She will gag, spit, and even throw up, and its all out of her control. So nervous for kindergarten starting in 2 weeks! How will she handle cafeteria food? If I pack her a lunch will she get bullied for the types of foods she eats?!

  2. my daughter is only 1 year old and its very hard to feed her I’ve tried everything I could think of, she will just take 1 teaspoon and look away, I’m worried because she is now sick and vomit that little she ate!

    • It is best to wait to try any real intervention until they are better. Is it possible for you to get additional help from a feeding therapist? If not, keep foods smooth and not too thick. Keep meal time positive and follow the strategies in the eating basics tab in the menu bar.

  3. I recently found your blog and started implementing your tips a week ago and it’s made a huge difference in our meal times! I have triplets, 20 mo old, and meal times were becoming chaos and I felt like I was losing my mind. You have helped me restore order and I have been so much happier. Plus my girls are way eating better, they’re calmer, thank you! I was wondering what you do if kids ask for more of only one thing like fruit and don’t want to eat anything else? Do you just keep giving them fruit or say that’s it? And if they say “all done” and then want to sit in your lap to eat more instead of at their table (we have a triplet table) is this okay? Thank you thank you thank you! I am so happy I found your site. 🙂

    • Oh that is so wonderful! Thanks for sharing that, you surely have your hands full! You have some great questions! First, I recommend using your best judgement if they aren’t eating anything else. At their age it could be helpful to give one last serving of fruit and then put it away or out of sight so they are distracted by it. Redirect them to the other foods if need be. They are toddlers though so you very well have some meals when they do that. Ideally, I’d prefer them to not sit on your lap, but I think you have some wiggle room. My biggest concern would be for this to turn into a habit, if you can avoid that I think it is okay occasionally. Thanks again!

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