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Top 10 Mealtime Hacks for Toddlers

A Guide to Happy Mealtimes

1. Problem: Toddler Hates Coming to the Table
Solution: Introduce a Mealtime Routine

Before I had kids, I used to say things like “I won’t be too structured with my kids. I will be chill and just go with the flow.” Like I said, that was before I had kids. I quickly learned that toddlers thrive on routine and our household was much more chill when my toddler followed a schedule and a predictable routine.

  • Provide a consistent mealtime routine so your child knows what will happen next
  • Put on music or a playlist that your child associates with mealtime
  • Give a 5-minute warning that lunch will be starting soon
  • Talk about what you are making for lunch and what it looks and smells like
  • Sing a hand washing song to transition from play time to mealtime. Make it fun! "This is the way we wash our hands." (Tune: here we go round the Mulberry Bush)

2. Problem: The Battle of the Bib
Solution: Think Outside the Bib

As a...

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Feeling Judged? Your Child's Feeding Disorder

Nobody “Gets” It

A lovely mom I spoke with today inspired this blog. She said,Nobody gets it. No-one understands what it’s like to have a child with feeding issues.”

And people judge.

This Mom is a great one. She has two children, both with a Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD). She is dedicated to helping her children with their feeding issues. She juggles school, medical appointments, feeding clinics, and therapy sessions. At home she conducts food play activities, cooks with her kids, involves them in choosing new foods, develops learning activities and social stories about food, and creates theme nights about new foods…I could go on. This Mom is doing everything right, yet her children continue to have severe feeding issues.

And people judge.

In my many years of practice, parents have repeatedly expressed to me their angst about family members, friends, grandparents, teachers, and even doctors that just don’t “get it” when...

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"I Dread Mealtimes" - Parent Mental Health and Feeding Disorders

 

Fear - “I dread mealtimes with my child.”

Guilt - “What did I do to my child to cause this?”

Frustration - “Sometimes I think I’m going to lose it.”

Loss - “This is not how I pictured parenthood.” 

 

Let’s talk about parental mental health and feeding disorders.

I have spent endless hours in my clients’ homes talking to parents about their children’s feeding issues. Naturally, I talk about about cups, self-feeding, textures, and mealtime strategies to encourage the development of healthy eating patterns. Yet in equal measure, I have spent hours at kitchen tables, on couches, and living room floors counselling parents about the incredibly emotional and painful side of having a child with a feeding disorder: the mental health part. The part that doesn’t get talked about much. The part that frequently brings exhausted parents to heaving sobs during our meetings.

I wear many hats in this...

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