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Tag: problem feeder

Middle School Picky Eater

Middle School Picky Eater

Are you a middle school parent on the fence about whether or not to try feeding therapy for your picky eater?  At BDI Playhouse, we work with middle schoolers both in the clinic or from the comfort of your own home.  We help kiddos with a variety of feeding needs such as increasing their caloric or nutritive intake without the need to supplement all the way to eating chicken at your neighborhood BBQ or pizza with their friends after a sports activity and anything in between.    

The best part about doing feeding therapy with older kiddos, in our opinion, is that they can tell us what they are feeling and thinking when it comes to food and they can be active participants in setting (and achieving) their own goals.  

Here are a few thoughts from a middle schooler in feeding therapy:

What’s the best part of doing feeding therapy?

I get to try foods that I haven’t tried before and that I am interested in trying.  I like doing it at food therapy because more than one person gets to see my reaction and I get to talk and chat!  

What’s the best part of doing food therapy online?

You can do food therapy and not worry about the virus.  Whenever I am at home, I don’t have to wait until my parents drive me home, I get to do whatever I want as soon as the session is done.

What would you tell a kiddo your age if they were on the fence about trying feeding therapy?  

The more therapy that you do the more excited you will get to try new foods.  

What’s your favorite thing you’ve done in feeding therapy?

I got to try a food from a show (dalgona cookies from Squid Games).  We also get to do “challenges” where we pick a food and try different flavors of it!  We had a candy night and tried all different candies.  We’ve done a poptart night and tried 8 different flavors of pop tarts.  We make food together.

Still on the fence of whether it would be a good fit for your kiddo?  Schedule a free screening with one of our feeding therapists to learn more about how we can help your middle school kiddo learn to love trying new foods!

TURKEY TIME TROUBLES?

Turkey Time (as referred to by many of our kiddos) is just around the corner and it is either met with happy or anxious anticipation by children and adults!  A family member announces every Thanksgiving that this is her least favorite holiday because of how overwhelmed she feels with all the food options.  She says the anxiety starts weeks before the big day.  She has the ability to identify, process and express her anxiety related around a holiday.  Imagine, now, a child with the same feelings.  What might his or her anxiety look like?

Anxiety signs in kids:

  • Crying
  • Fleeing the table
  • Poor Sleep
  • Upset/outbursts more frequently or higher intensity than is typical
  • Irritability
  • Grimacing
  • Sweating
  • Yelling
  • Wide eyes
  • Gagging or vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Tense or jittery body
  • Frequent urination

So, what can you do to help make this time less anxious for your child?

How you can help:

  • Take the pressure off! No need to focus on or force the idea of sitting down for a large meal with relatives!  Keep it casual for your kid
  • Validate feelings of discomfort around the holiday
  • Brainstorm food avoidance strategies for use at the Thanksgiving table with your child
  • Interact with Thanksgiving foods without eating them
  • Talk about it- set expectations and boundaries for the holiday festivities
  • Take breaks from the commotion 
  • Turn the focus- make the focus of the holiday less about the food and more about family, crafting/decorations, gratitude, whatever is important to your family!
  • Engage in calming strategies throughout the month.  Examples of calming strategies include heavy work, deep pressure, auditory supports, movement strategies, deep breathing/relaxation strategies, tactile bins, lighting adjustments, and visual toys.  These strategies can be used around meal time and outside of meal time.

Turkey time can be a successful holiday for your entire family, especially if you identify and prepare for the day ahead of time!  If you’d like additional resources, please set up a free screening with one of our occupational therapists at BDI playhouse!

Written by Maggie Lord MS, OTR/L, and Jessica Keenan, MA, CCC-SLP/L, CLC