Friday, December 11, 2015

Picky Eaters

First, let me say that there are, indeed some kids with aversions to different food textures and smells.  There are kids with true sensory issues during meal times.  These are not the kids I am referring to in this post.
The kids I am posting about today are kids that are shaped to have food preferences and behaviors. Kids that refuse to eat certain food groups, or textures.  Kids that will eat only "kid friendly" foods such as chicken nuggets, french fries etc.  Kids that are inadvertently shaped by their parents' behaviors and attitudes about food.  I am not stating that these parents are bad parents or not doing what they feel is best for their child.  For the most part, these parents just are not aware, or don't understand that they are negatively affecting their child's eating habits.
For example, I had a mom very concerned with the fact that her 5 year old child wouldn't  eat anything but junk and "kid friendly" meals.  She said her child would fuss and cry if presented with other food groups, especially fruits and she felt it was a sensory issue.  This perplexed me since this child demonstrated no other sensory concerns.  So, the next session I had with this child, I presented fruit for a snack.  The child not only ate 3 servings, without any prompting from me, but cried when I ran out of the fruit.  I then presented other "non-preferred" foods during my next few sessions, with the same results.  As I was extremely baffled why this child's mother was concerned, I delved into the home life.  And, as I had suspected, this child's "food aversion" was due to the parent's behavior.  Turns out that mom doesn't eat fruits or vegetables, either, and therefore, they were not offered often at home.  Mom asked what the kids wanted for dinner each night and then allowed them to "graze" on their food until they were finished.  Of course, the kids requested "kid friendly" food and that is what the entire family ate every night.  This mom had inadvertently caused her child's bad eating habits.  It wasn't "sensory" at all, but a learned behavior.  If the child fussed when presented with fruits or vegetables, they were immediately taken away to prevent a melt down. 
Kids need to have a variety of foods to grow and for brain development.  They needs fruits and vegetables to be healthy.  These food should be offered often and kids should be encouraged to eat these foods at meals.  Parents need to be good role models to their kids and demonstrate how good these foods taste.  Meals should be presented at a table or island and kids need to sit to eat and not wander around, taking bites now and then until they are done eating.  Good eating habits start in the home, and should start early on in life.  The older a child gets, the more difficult it is to change bad eating habits.  Present non-preferred foods many times and have the child take one bite before eating a preferred food.  I find some parents are afraid of upsetting their child so don't push things that may not be liked by the child.  Consistency is key to instilling good eating habits and it is ok to upset your child so that he/she will grow up healthy. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

It's Summer!!!!

It's summer and time to decompress!  Schedules get easier, the days get longer and it's time for some fun in the sun.  Kids need down time, too, so allow them to relax some of the time and enjoy their summer.  But, that doesn't mean plopping them in front of the tv, ipad or phone all day, every day.  Go to the pool, amusement park or playground.  Take them to visit friends and have some friends over to play.  Get your kids outside for some fresh air and exercise.  Remember, though, to have them read, or read to them.  Have special time in your day to enrich their minds so they are ready to go back to school on track.  It is a known fact that kids can loose knowledge over the summer if not properly stimulated.  So, allow your kids to enjoy their time off, but have them do some school work too so they are not behind in the fall.  Happy summer, and be safe!

Monday, April 27, 2015


April is Occupational Therapy month so thank an OT for all they do.  Happy OT month to all our fellow therapists!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cute Chic

Try this cute chic for some spring time art.  Just cut out an oval (have the kids draw one and then cut it out, if they are capable) and cut it in 2 pieces using a zig zag pattern.  Cut out a chic shaped head from yellow paper.  Then put a hinge on the side and have the kids decorate as they like.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Good Read

I came upon this article about teaching young children.  Good read and would love to start discussion about people's opinions.  Please take the time to read and comment if you would like.
   Going into preschools, I see them progressively becoming more and more like kindergarten in what is expected from the children, so this article is relevant in today's world.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bubble wrap bee hives

Try this to make bee hives: paint bubble wrap with yellow paint.  Draw a picture of a hive on white paper and push the bubble wrap onto the hive to paint it.  Next, put an index finger into black paint and push it onto the yellow hive to make bees.  So easy and cute and great for finger isolation (index finger only in black paint) and sensory. For an added challenge, once the hive is dry, have the child cut it out.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Home Made Fine Motor Activity

Here's an easy fine motor activity you can make at home.  All you need is a clear, plastic jar and cotton balls.  Have the kids use tongs to pick up the cotton balls and put them into the container.  To increase the difficulty of the task, leave the lid on and have them put the balls through the pour hole.  Once the jar is filled, they have made a cute snowman.