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My child doesn't eat anything! HELP!
I hear this question (or a variation of it) a lot, both in my Facebook group and in messages I get from my readers. Here is the advice I typically give people to get started, this is the same process we've been following with our son.
- Download the Picky Eater Foods Worksheet. It will help you come up with foods to feed your child and will make you realize that he or she actually eats more foods than you think. It might also help you find patterns in your child's food preferences.
- Read 7 Reasons To Feed Your Child French Fries. See if you can apply some of the techniques to your child's favorite foods so you can start introducing them to different flavors, shapes, textures and start expanding their list of preferred foods. Feel free to email me or DM me on Instagram if you want to brainstorm some food ideas for your child.
- Do lots and lots of sensory play with your child. Touching different textures is so important for picky eaters! Check out 52 Weeks of Sensory - it's a year's worth of easy, fun sensory activities for your child.
- See if these Sensory Tricks will help your child eat.
- If your child has gagging/texture issues, consider the nuk brush.
- Think about whether your child needs professional help, such as feeding therapy. It can be expensive, but pretty much every picky eater can benefit from professional help. Of course, everyone's financial and time situation is different. If your insurance or your state's Early Intervention program covers it, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. If you need to pay out of pocket, it's a much tougher call. There are amazing online classes that we took:
- Mealtime works (this class was specifically about how to help with picky eating for parents of kids from toddler-age to about 11 years old)
- Table Foods School (this class was specifically about teaching babies and young toddlers how to chew, how to not gag, and teaching us what foods to give our son in what order to help him learn to at)
Both classes were super helpful. Some of the information slightly overlapped, so consider which one might be more helpful to you. Both classes are SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than an occupational therapist, even with insurance.