Responsive Feeding & "Picky eating"

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Parents receive conflicting messages about feeding. We’re told that getting the right nutrients is incredibly important to our child’s health and wellbeing. Then, we’re told that we should simply offer our kids food and let them decide whether and how much to eat. So, how do we follow both sets of advice? The fact is, nutrition is the result of a trusting feeding relationship, and if you can learn to appreciate your kiddo’s presentation and respond to their cues, you can achieve a stress-free mealtime.

Grace Wong is a certified eating disorder registered dietitian with 15 years of clinical experience in mental health and pediatric nutrition. Grace works with a diverse presentation of feeding and eating disorders and supports children with co-existing conditions like ADHD, autism, sensory processing challenges, anxiety, depression, addiction and trauma. She is committed to helping clients uncover their family feeding history and establish a comfortable environment at mealtime. Grace’s practice is based in Calgary, and she does online coaching through her Facebook business page.

Today, Grace joins us to explain how she supports parents whose kids have complex feeding presentations. She discusses the concept of food acceptance, sharing her aim to get children to a place where variety is not disruptive and her approach to establishing a peaceful mealtime. Listen in for Grace’s insight on the challenges of parenting neuro-diverse kiddos and learn how to appreciate your child’s feeding presentation and build a trusting feeding relationship!

Key Takeaways

How Grace supports parents whose kids eat differently

  • Don’t treat child as ‘problem’
  • Learn story, family feeding history
  • Identify cause of current challenges
  • Move child closer to natural trajectory

The tenets of division of responsibility in feeding

  • Parents responsible for when, what and where
  • Children responsible for whether, how much

The concept of responsive eating

  • Relationship rather than set of rules
  • Read child’s cues, respond appropriately

Grace’s insight on the idea of food acceptance

  • Limited diet grows with experience
  • Get to a place where variety not disruptive

The conflicting message parents receive re: feeding

  • Nutrition important, necessary for wellbeing
  • Offer children food and let them decide

How Grace works to establish a peaceful mealtime

  • Collect story and identify stressors
  • Give child autonomy to choose or remove
  • Address concerns (e.g.: anxiety, appetite)
  • Make meals safe + comfortable

The challenges of parenting neuro-diverse children

  • Shaming or judgment from friends, family
  • Kids employ masking to appear normal
  • Increases anxiety, creates more aversion

Grace’s advice on appreciating your child’s presentation

  • Develop trusting feeding relationship
  • Outcome = nutrition, peace with food

Connect with Grace

Grace on Facebook

Connect with Lindsay

Intuitive Eating Moms

Embodied & Well Mom Show on Facebook

Lindsay on Instagram

Lindsay on Pinterest

Lindsay on Twitter

Lindsay on LinkedIn

Resources

Ellen Satter’s Division of Responsibility

Dr. Katja Rowell

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