I am thrilled to share with you this fantastic new resource for parents of picky eaters. Actually, to be more specific extreme picky eaters or sometimes called problem feeders, either moniker denoting a child that has a limited variety of foods that they eat on a regular basis. Earlier this month Katja Rowell M.D. and Jennie McGlothlin MS, SLP released Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating: A Step-by-Step Guide for Overcoming Selective Eating, Food Aversion, and Feeding Disorders based on years of experience helping children with various feeding struggles as a pediatrician and speech language pathologist, respectively. You may know Katja better as the Feeding Doctor, where she writes about feeding children and family meals. Co-author Jennie works in a clinical setting in Texas.
I was excited when I saw someone sharing the upcoming release of Katja and Jennie’s book and immediately asked if they would be interested in a review (full disclosure: I did receive a free copy). Although, I was fairly confident that the strategies I use, and often share with you, would mesh withtheir suggestions I wasn’t quite sure, of course, until I could read it myself. Despite wanting to share a resource with my readers, it was important that I was giving an honest and thoughtful review of the book. If you have been here before you know I write A LOT about picky eating and establishing healthy mealtime dynamics for the family. Admittedly, I have some strong opinions about feeding children, and sometimes cringe at the advice I hear other’s (some professional, some not) sharing with parents. Said more simply, I am picky about feeding advice. Needless to say, I couldn’t have expected just how much I would agree Katja and Jennie. At times, I felt like I was reading words I often say to parents, which gives me hope that more parents will have the knowledge and thus confidence to help their picky eaters effectively.
Since I gave it away in the first sentence, let me get on with saying why I am so impressed with Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating. First of all, the book is well-organized, easy to understand, and strikes the perfect balance between giving all the necessary information without completely overwhelming you. Although, a beginning feeding therapist (or an experienced one that doesn’t use similar strategies) would also benefit from reading this book, it is written for the parent. Moreover, they share loads of research and personal examples that support a program that Jennie developed called STEPS. At the heart of this approach is a structure and routine that will work for your whole family, and allows children to begin to have a positive relationship with food even if they are refusing to eat a lot of it. Ultimately, putting it in place in your own home will allow parents to relax and let go of the tremendous stress they have been carrying around over a picky eating child. Within the pages you will find:
- Sample scripts or phrases you can use with your child to help with the changes you will be implementing or to navigate through typical tantrum triggers.
- Examples of how to customize techniques to what works for your own family.
- Parent exercises to support the strategies you will be implementing.
I will gladly recommend this book to parents looking to reign in stressful overwhelming mealtimes or to those so tired of worrying about calories and nutrition. The passion the authors have to help families regain (or begin) to have enjoyable mealtimes and foster positive relationships among children is palpable. It is a passion I know well.