Struggling with a Picky Eater?
Before you sit down to your next meal, consider this: Have you ever stopped to ponder each food’s texture? Is it crunchy, slimy or smooth? Do you have any food aversions, or preferences about how your food is served, or at what temperature it is served? Did you ever think about how an attractively served meal makes food taste better? For most adults, these are subtle facets of food consumption. For children with food-related sensory challenges, these considerations are prominent and may be impossible to ignore.
Is your child finicky, picky or truly a problem eater?
Experienced pediatric speech-language pathologists encounter children, from toddlers to teenagers, whose food-related challenges run the gamut from the desire to only eat one-colored food to limiting the variety of foods. Just some of the many other food-related challenges can include: diminishing repertoire of food consumption; a refusal to eat any food based on its texture; and fear of cross-contamination. According to Contemporary Pediatrics, most professionals agree that it’s time to seek out support if the level of disruption to the progressively increases in frequency and intensity.
Is it possible to change?
There is hope! With consistency and creativity, making food consumption a fun and engaging experience often is the key to success. Divided silicone placemats and plates (sold by a variety of vendors) and available in many different colors, are some of the many great products on the market that can tackle a few of these hurdles. At silicandy.com, their Ice Cream Sundae placement has perfectly sized partitions for small hands and tummies, it’s a way to make eating fun again. Your child will only eat foods that need to be dipped? Fill one portion with a favored dip, and introduce your child to some new, dippable, foods – all of different textures and temperatures – in each cut-out. Your child hates when the rice touches the chicken? Problem solved! The silicone placemat’s deep groves keep each food in its place. Are portion sizes a concern? Measured sections easily support appropriate child-sized food portions, giving piece of mind to the worried parent. Temper tantrums at meal time? Of its many awesome features, the Silicandy placemat suctions to any surface – flipping a bowl becomes a thing of the past! Using a silicone divided placemat empowers your child with a sense of control over their own food consumption.
Changing feeding habits may be a lengthy process, but if you can do it in a fun and colorful way, the results will be fruitful! And before you sit down to eat your next meal, pay attention to your senses!
Written by Lisa (Kalb) Parshan. Lisa is a born and bred Torontonian who raised her children in Michigan before deciding to move to Israel. She has made a concerted effort to retain her Canadian politeness, yet rid herself of the Canadian accent. A mother of four, Lisa holds a Master's degree in Education and a diploma as a technical writer. She was the director of a preschool in Southfield, Michigan, taught high school, and is now working as a freelance blogger and graphic designer. http://lisaparshan.wix.com/graphicdesigner