10 tips to tame tantrums

10 Tips to Tame Tantrums

Temper tantrums can be brutal.  They evoke a variety of feelings including anger, sadness, rage, and sometimes hopelessness.  These emotions can be experienced by the tantruming child, his/her caregivers, and even those observing the situation.  Some caregivers experience their children’s tantrums on a regular basis.  For others, tantrums are fewer and further between. These differences can be accounted for by children’s individual temperament, development of their coping skills, and patterns of caregivers’ responses.  It is expected that as children develop their social-emotional skills through preschool and early elementary school years, temper tantrums occur less and less often and with decreased intensity.  If you have concerns that your child’s tantrums are getting in the way of healthy development, contacting a pediatric mental health professional is certainly recommended. Read on for 10 tips to help tame your child’s tantrums.

10 Tips to Tame Tantrums:

  1. Understand tantrums. When dealing with children, it is often helpful to view their behavior as a10 tips to tame tantrums means of communication. Think to yourself, what is my child “telling” me.  A tantrum indicates that a child feels unable to manage his current situation.  Perhaps he’s unable to express to you how he’s feeling.  Perhaps he is so upset about X that he doesn’t know what to do with himself!  Or maybe he thinks that if he screams enough you’ll eventually give in.  Remember that a tantruming child is NOT enjoying himself.  He is in more distress than he can currently tolerate.
  2. Keep your cool. Demonstrate to your child that YOU are able to remain calm in the face of adversity.  Be a model for her.  Use a calm voice, rather than allowing yourself to sound as frustrated as you’re feeling.  Consider how you position yourself.  Standing directly above your child can feel intimidating for her.  Using a more open stance to the side of the child can help her feel less threatened.
  3. Pretend to ignore your child’s behavior. Show him you aren’t impressed by his yelling, etc.  Over time, he will understand that he cannot control you by exhibiting this behavior.
  4. Utilize your child’s need for power and control in a positive way. Provide opportunities for your child to feel they have some control while ultimately not giving in to his behavior.
  5. Adjust immediate expectations. When your child is in the middle of a tantrum, he is not functioning at his full potential.  His system is temporarily down.  Therefore, tasks that you would expected him to complete independently may require your assistance in the throes of a tantrum.
  6. Use consequences for unacceptable behavior, but use them sparingly. I say to use them sparingly because if negative consequences are your go-to strategy they can lose their effect.
  7. Be consistent. Talk with your partner, as well as your child’s teachers, babysitters, etc. about how you respond to tantrums.  If your child can expect a similar response from his caregivers, it will help decrease tantrums from occurring in the first place.
  8. Keep yourself in check. Remember, YOU are the adult.  Sure, our children may lose control from time to time but it’s up to you to maintain composure!  We often talk about time-outs for children, but sometimes adults need to take a time out too.  Recognize when your emotions are getting too overwhelming to handle and take a “break” when necessary.  As long as your child is safe, it’s okay to tell him, “Daddy needs to take a break right now”.
  9. Remember it isn’t about you. So don’t take it personally. Your child’s tantrum is about her own ability to manage emotions and get her needs met.
  10. Consult with others and use your resources. Talk to your doctor, child’s teacher and friends about your child’s behavior.  Don’t face the challenges of parenting alone!

Do you have other tips or suggestions about managing tantrums?  Your feedback is invited below!

Click here to read about dealing with tantrums in public.

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NSPT offers Social Services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood (coming soon), Glenview and the Neuropsychology Diagnostic and Testing Center in Des Plaines. If you have questions, or concerns, about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Toddler Won't Listen

Help! My Toddler Won’t Listen!

It’s not uncommon for a parent to say, “My toddler won’t listen!” It’s an exciting time for parents when their little one first starts to demonstrate an understanding of what is being said to him.  I remember how impressed I was when I first saw my nephew respond to the request of his mother to bring her a book.  But as a child enters toddlerhood, the question can change from, “Does he understand what I’m asking?” to “Does he understand AND will he do what I’m asking?”.  Parents in the United States typically raise their children with a goal for them to be independent and self-sufficient.  But at the same time, they still want their kids to listen to us as the adults in charge of their safety and well-being.  So, how do we accomplish this? Here are some tips to help get your toddler to listen.

5 Tips for the Toddler that Won’t ListenToddler Won't Listen

  1. Teach expectations and reward positive behaviors. While it would be nice if all kids were able to pick up on this by themselves, it can be very important to make your expectations explicit.  Letting him know that he needs to stay with you at the grocery store, or that he should signal to you when finished eating can decrease the chances of him engaging in behavior that is unacceptable to you.
  1. Use visuals. Remember that toddlerhood is a time of rapid growth and development, especially in the language arena.  While they are not able to hold and process as much verbal information as older children, they are learning to connect words to ideas.  One way to support this development is through utilizing visual aides to encourage their understanding.
  1. Simple language, simple concepts. Have you ever thought, does he even understand what I’m saying?  Well, he might not!  Keep your language as simple as possible.  Don’t give long explanations for your rules or why you want your toddler to do something.  Rather, give a simple command and pause.
  2. First/then. As infants develop into toddlers, the development of memory and other intellectual capacities pave the way for an understanding of temporal relationships.  That is to say, children at this age can begin to understand that before Y happens, X must occur.  For example, saying to a child, “first we clean up these Legos, then we can play outside” is much easier to understand than, “we’re not going anywhere as long as these Legos are all over the rug”.  You can use this first-then model with many tasks and routines of your toddler’s day.
  1. Empathize. Lastly, and perhaps the most important tip to get your toddler to listen is to empathize. Growing up is tough!  So, try to take your little one’s perspective.  Toddlers have different ways of thinking, feeling, and interacting with the world as compared to older children.  As caregivers, we must be aware that factors like feeling hungry or missing a nap can have a huge impact on a toddler’s ability to meet the demands of his environment.

If your toddler continues to have a difficult time following your expectations and behaving in appropriate ways, it is recommended to consult with others.  While toddlerhood is a typical stage of development, if you have concerns about your young one, it is recommended to consult with a mental health professional.

Do you have other tips on how to encourage your toddler to listen?  Please leave feedback below!


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NSPT offers Social Services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

10 expressive language activities

10 Activities to Develop Expressive Language

“I wish I could help my child talk more”. Well… You can! Expressive language can be elicited in a number of different ways. Most of the toys or activities you already have in your home can help your child begin to talk more and practice expressive language skills.

10 Expressive Language Activities:

  1. Books: Books are a great way to elicit expressive language in children. The important thing to remember10 Expressive Language Activities when reading books with your child is to ask OPEN ENDED questions. This takes some practice but the best way to help children talk more is to ask them a question where they generate their own answers. For example, “what is she doing?” “How is he feeling?” “What’s happening in this picture?”. These are open ended questions versus yes or no questions or questions with one word answers.
  2. Wordless books: Wordless books are great for younger children who are working on developing expressive language skills. With younger children, you can ask them direct questions like, “What is this?” or “What color is this?”. You can expand upon your child’s answers by saying things like, “You’re right; that’s a cat. He’s a black cat”. This will help model language and provide good input as well as working on output.
  3. Pretend play: Pretend play can target higher level expressive language skills. When pretending or building a scenario, your child is working on storytelling and sequencing activities. Always ask your child open ended questions when engaging in pretend play. This allows them to create the scenario and path as opposed to limiting their language with a single word answer. Some examples of questions are, “What should happen next?” or “Where should we go? Who should come with us?”.
  4. Cooking: Cooking is a great way to target expressive language through sequencing. Have your child narrate the steps of your recipe. This can be done by having her look over all the ingredients (either by reading words or by naming what she sees in front of her). Then, you can ask them to monitor and narrate what you have done, what you are doing, and what you still need to do.
  5. Playdough: Playdough can be used to build scenery, animals, food or any number of creations. Allow your child to express what she wants to create or what she wants you to build. Cookie cutters or other molds can help aid children if they are having trouble utilizing their imagination to build with playdough. This is a great opportunity to have your child request more or different playdough by using an, “I want….” Or an “I need…” phrase.
  6. Toy animals: Toy animals can be used similarly to pretend play. Again, be sure to ask open ended questions. This is also another opportunity to have your child utilize “I want…” or “I need…” phrases. Ask your child to narrate or express what the animals are/should be doing.
  7. Train sets/cars: Cars and trains can be used in a similar manner that toy animals would be used. Cars or trains sometimes come with tracks or ramps. If you don’t have ramps, you can improvise by using a table or another piece of furniture. You can utilize these tracks or ramps to have your child verbalize “go again” or “go up/down” or “ready…set…go”.
  8. Dress up: Dress up can be incorporated into pretend play or an entire activity in itself. You can have your child express what they want to wear or what they want you to wear. Ask them open ended or imaginative questions such as, “where should we go now that we’re all dressed up?” or “who are we?”.
  9. Play food: Your child can pretend they are cooking and/or serving you food. Have them ask you what you’d like to eat, or express to you what they are cooking, how they are cooking it, and who they are serving. You can also use a puppet with pretend food with the younger children. Have the children feed the puppet and tell it, “Eat banana” or “eat the apple puppet”. You can engage them by pretending to either enjoy or dislike the food in an exaggerated manner. Have them say whether they thought the puppet enjoyed the food or did not like it.
  10. Bubbles: Bubbles are a great tool to use with younger children. Blow bubbles and then pause. Ask your children to say, “More bubbles!” or “My turn.” if they are old enough to blow the bubbles themselves.

When targeting expressive language through activities or toys, always remember the following points:

  • Use open ended questions
  • Always have your child request an item before just handing it to them
  • Have your child request another turn
  • Have your child narrate what they are doing or what they want you to do

With these tips you can turn any toy or activity into an expressive language task!

Click here to read about milestones for expressive language development and red flags for an expressive language delay.



Exersaucers

The Dangers of Jumpers, Exersaucers, and Sit-and-Play Walkers

I recently read an article posted on parents.com about baby development that touted the benefits of exersaucers and Jonny Jumps. Let me put an end to that notion right now. While I understand the necessity of such devices for small periods of time (meal preps and bathroom breaks can be near impossible without them), these devices should in no way substitute free play on the ground or be used as a way to “strengthen” young children’s legs.

For the remainder of this article I am discussing  devices that support the pelvis while the legs are in a weight-bearing to semi-weight-bearing position, including but not limited to: jumpers, exersaucers, sit-and play walkers.

The Dangers of Jumpers, Exersaucers,
and Sit-and-Play WalkersThe Dangers of Jumpers, Exersaucers, and Sit-and-Play Walkers

Places Children in Weight-Bearing Position before Muscles are Ready
When a child is not physically strong enough to support their body weight in a standing position, they will assume a position of flexion (knees bent, hips and trunk bent forward). If the child is pulling to stand at a stable surface, this weakness may result in a collapse at the knees or a fall backward. However, when a child is strapped into a device supporting their pelvis and trunk, they are unable to drop to the floor. Instead the child assumes a semi-weight bearing flexed position. Many advertisements for such devices depict the child in this flexed semi-weight bearing position.

Teaches Weight-Bearing through Balls of Feet (rather than heels)
Many times children will bear weight through the balls of their feet while in these devices. Usually because the device is not adjusted to the appropriate height and the child is trying to reach the ground, or the child is not strong enough and is in a flexed position while trying to reach the ground. Repetitive weight bearing through the forefoot creates a motor learning pattern that can be continued on into regular gait. We call this types of walking, through the forefoot, toe-walking.

Poor Alignment of Lower Extremity
The semi-weight bearing flexed position that children may assume when placed in sustained weight bearing before their muscles are mature enough for standing has already been described above. This position can result in: 1) excessive stain and force through the pelvis to support the trunk, or 2) excessive hip external rotation, excessive knee flexion and weight bearing through lateral knee, and/or excessive weight bearing with ankles in maximum plantar flexion(toes pointed down). Excessive time in these abnormal positions can lead to a multitude of musculoskeletal problems later on, including: toe-walking, hip stabilizer weakness, increased falls, knee pain, out-toeing.

To limit the negative effects of jumpers, it is recommended that children spend no more than 20 minutes a day in them. In fact, time spent in all positioning devices should be limited to a total of 30 minutes per day to allow for optimal gross motor development.

NPST offers physical therapy services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood (coming soon), Glenview and the Neuropsychology Diagnostic and Testing Center in Des Plaines. If you have questions, or concerns, about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!




Boppy Pillow

Boppy Pillows: Multifunctional Uses

When living in the city, maximizing what space you have and minimizing purchasing frivolous things is the difference between living in a cluttered mess and having an organized abode. Throw a new baby into the mix and their accompanying lists of “must-haves,”  your home can easily change into a cluttered nightmare! To avoid this as much as possible, it is ideal to purchase things with multiple uses.

The boppy pillow is a device that takes up minimal space, but allows for maximal use throughout your child’s first year of life.

Uses for a Boppy Pillow:Boppy Pillow

Shoulder Support for Caregiver During Bottle or Breast- feeding: The boppy pillow, and other nursing pillows, was designed to make newborn feeding an easier process for the caregiver. The device fits around the trunk of the caregiver just above the naval to allow for support of the baby, without causing stress to the shoulder joint.

Introduction to Tummy TimeIt has been well documented that by 3 months of age, infants should be spending about 1 hour of total time on their stomachs each day. For an infant who initially is resistant to tummy time, propping them over a boppy  pillow allows them to build up neck strength while gradually increasing tolerance to tummy time.

Independent Sitting Assistance: The boppy pillow can be used several different ways to aid in independent sitting. Once a child has adequate head control to begin sitting exercises, the boppy pillow can be placed around the child’s trunk to give the child some support at the base, while still allowing the core muscles to develop.

Protective Environment when Learning Protective Responses in Sitting: This can be progressed to having the only the ends of the boppy pillow touching the child at the hips, providing increased degrees of freedom at the trunk while creating a protective environment in case of falls. Falls are in important part of the learning process for something called protective responses. A child who has mastered protective responses will outstretch an arm sideways, forwards, or backwards when exhibiting a loss of balance, in order to slow down their body and protect their head.





expressive language delay

Expressive Language Delay: Milestones, Red Flags, and How to Help

As a parent, you may wonder, “Is my child talking enough?” or “Is my child’s language age-appropriate?” While it is common for parents and caregivers to compare their child’s performance to that of their siblings or peers, it is important to remember that there are many factors determining your child’s speech and language development. Each child is unique and development takes time! Below are some common expressive language developmental milestones along with red flags and how to help if your child is behind.

Expressive Language Milestones:expressive language delay

  • 6 months: reduplicated babbling (ex. bababa)
  • 12 months: begins to produce real words, demonstrates communicative intent
  • 18 months: produces approximately 50 words
  • 24 months: begins to produce two-word combinations, has an expressive vocabulary of approximately 300 words, asks questions
  • 36 months: produces 3-5 word sentences, talks about things that have happened
  • 48 months: has an expressive vocabulary of approximately 1500 words, tells stories
  • 60 months: has most adult language structures mastered, produces 5-7 word sentences, expresses 1500-2200 words

Are you concerned that your child’s expressive language is delayed? In addition to the milestones noted above, refer to the following red flags.

Expressive Language Red Flags:

  1. Limited vocabulary
  2. Frustration when communicating
  3. Difficulty asking questions
  4. Difficulty answering questions
  5. Disinterest in communicating

Why is my child’s language delayed?

A child’s language may be delayed for any number of reasons. Some of these include hearing loss, a history of ear infections, a family history of language difficulties, other developmental delays, lack of exposure to language, or an unknown cause.

Use these techniques to improve expressive language at home:

Recast

Recast occurs when an adult or clinician responds to a child’s utterance by using the correct form while still maintaining the meaning of the child’s utterance. There are two types of recast: expansion and extension. Read some examples below:

Expansion: An expansion adds grammatical information to the utterance. If the child produces “push car”, the adult may expand the utterance by saying “Yes, you are pushing the car!”

Extension: An extension adds additional information to the child’s utterance. “Push car” becomes “You are pushing the blue car fast!”

Self-Talk

Self -talk includes narrating what you are doing, seeing, or hearing during play or interactions with the child. For example, when setting the table you may say, “I am putting a plate on the table. Here is a cup! Now it’s time for the spoon, fork, and knife.”

Parallel Talk

Parallel talk is similar to self-talk, however, instead of narrating your actions you are narrating the child’s actions. For example, when the child is playing with a doll, you may say, “You fed the baby. I think she is sleepy now. Oh, you gave her a blanket and put her to bed! Good night baby!” During parallel talk, you are not placing any demands on the child but rather are providing accurate and appropriate models of language.

Utilize these techniques to help encourage and expand expressive language at home. If you are concerned with your child’s expressive language skills, a speech-language pathologist can help!




 

Holiday Birthdays

How to Make Holiday Birthdays Special

Happy Birthday to me! As I sit here writing this it is November 27, Thanksgiving Day, and yes, it’s my golden birthday. A holiday birthday. Hooray! Not! Here I am 27 years old, and I’m still bitter about sharing my birthday with the Turkey. Please don’t let this happen to your child. Don’t let them grow up to be bitter, turkey – resenting, happy birthmas – hating brats. Maybe my suffering won’t be in vain if it helps you save your child from the same fate! Okay, so maybe I’m getting a little dramatic here, but for a kid this is how it feels sometimes. Don’t let the “specialness” of the holiday take away from your child’s own special day.Holiday Birthdays

Here are some ideas to make your child feel special on his holiday birthday:

  1. Make it about them. I made this #1 for a reason. They need to be #1. If their birthday was August 3rd they would be #1, so don’t make them feel any less because they share their birthday with Cupid. Give them a day that’s about them. Celebrate on a different day. If your child’s birthday is on a holiday you should still acknowledge it on the holiday – maybe light candles on a small cake and let them open one small gift. However, it is best to throw any parties on a different day. Usually a week or two before is best, because no kids like to have to wait even longer just because the Pilgrims ate dinner with the Indians on their birthday like 5 million years ago (I know the numbers are a little off, but come on I’m dead on in kid math)! Some families choose to celebrate ½ birthdays instead, so that they have a better budget to focus on their child’s birthday. Or you could take a tip from Alice in Wonderland and have a Very Merry Un-Birthday party – just so long as you make it about your kid.
  1. Separate presents, separate presents, separate presents. Don’t try fooling your kid with the old “we’ll combine your gifts and get you an extra big Christmas gift.” Ha! Yeah right! Your kid is only going to fall for that one once, and remember fool me once! This rarely (if ever) actually happens, and even if it does – kids don’t like to have to wait. At least give them a somewhat decent gift on their birthday, and then give them a better gift for the holiday.
  2. Let them help pick the theme. A Valentine themed birthday may seem cute when they’re little, but they are not going to like sharing their day with Cupid for long, and unless your child is currently crazy about Frozen® – they are not going to be crazy about a Winter Wonderland theme for their December birthday. Let them help pick the theme. If they don’t have an idea you like try giving them a few options, but let them have as much say in it as their brother or sister had for their birthday.
  3. No holiday wrapping paper! Don’t wrap their birthday gift in Christmas paper. I cannot stress enough – your kid wants to feel special on their day. Please wrap their birthday gift separately. If you don’t want to buy more paper, try using the comics section from a newspaper to wrap their gift. Kids love that kind of stuff!
  4. Keep it fair. Keep in mind what you spent, and how much effort was put into their siblings’ birthdays. Try to keep it fair.
  5. Communicate with them. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to make your kid feel special. Just communicate with them. Let them know how special they are to you, and how much you love them. That’s the most important part!

That’s it. My rant is over. Hopefully, my suggestions will help some other kids.

Whatever you may be celebrating this month, I wish you- Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, and of course Happy Birthday!

tongue tie

Tongue-tie (Ankyloglossia): Symptoms and Treatments

Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition that restricts the tongue’s range of motion. When a child is born with tongue-tie they have an unusually short thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) tethering the bottom of the tongue to the floor of their mouth.

Symptoms of tongue-tie (ankyloglossia):tongue tie

  • The child may have difficulty sticking out his or her tongue
  • The child may have difficulty lifting their tongue to their upper teeth or moving it from side to side
  • The tongue may look heart shaped when stuck out
  • The child may have difficulty producing t, d, z, s, th, l, and r
  • The child pay have difficulty swallowing
  • The child may have difficulty breast feeding
  • The child may have difficulty eating solid or semi-soft foods

Here are some signs that your baby’s tongue-tie may be causing feeding problems:

  • She repeatedly breaks suction while feeding.
  • She makes clicking noises while feeding.
  • She’s gaining weight too slowly.
  • You experience nipple pain when she nurses. (She may be chewing rather than sucking in her effort to access the milk.)
  • Your milk supply is dwindling.

What your doctor may ask you about your baby:

  • Are you having trouble breast-feeding?
  • Is your child having trouble with their speech?
  • Is a gap developing between your child’s two bottom front teeth?
  • Are you concerned about activities your child is not able to do because of limited tongue movement?

Treatment options for tongue-tie:

  • The lingual frenulum may loosen over time and it may resolve on its own.
  • If tongue tie persists, a simple surgical procedure called a frenotomy may be warranted.
  • In this procedure the doctor numbs the membrane with a topical anesthetic, then snips the frenulum. It takes only a few minutes and doctors say it is less traumatic than ear piercing. Discomfort to your child is minimal during this procedure.

As always, consult with your pediatrician if you have concerns that your child may have a tongue-tie and consult with them for your best treatment options. A speech-language pathologist can help with feeding issues.


6 Ways to Get Your Baby to Take a Bottle

The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many other national and international health organizations, recommend that babies be breastfed exclusively until 6 months of age to ensure adequate nutrition for your baby’s growth and development. However, it is not always possible for a mother to breastfeed, making bottle feeding necessary. If this is the case, and you’re having trouble getting your baby to bottle feed, read on for some helpful tips to get your baby to take a bottle.

6 tips to get your baby to accept a bottle:

  1.  Bottle feed your baby when she shows signs of hunger, rather than on a schedule. Your baby may be hungry if she does any of the following:
    • Attempts to lie back/get into position for nursing
    • Licks her lips
    • Opens and closes her mouth
    • Moves her head quickly from side to side
    • Cries
  2. Stroke baby’s lips from top to bottom with nipple to stimulate rooting response of open mouth. Allow your baby to seek nipple rather than trying to push the nipple in her mouth.
  3. Try using different nipple shapes to see if your baby prefers one over the others.
  4. Make sure the nipple hole is the right size for your baby. Fast flows can cause babies to gag. Slower flows may cause her to suck with too much effort or gulp air.
  5. Burp your baby every 3 to 5 minutes during bottle feedings and hold your baby upright after feedings.
  6. Do not force your baby to finish the bottle. If your baby is falling asleep, remove the nipple before the bottle is empty, as this means she is done.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your baby’s feeding or nutritional needs, contact your pediatrician or schedule a consultation with a speech language pathologist who specializes in feeding issues.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonDeerfieldLincolnwoodGlenviewLake BluffDes PlainesHinsdale and Mequon! If you have any questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140!

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texture aversion

Help! My Child Has a Texture Aversion

“Just take a bite!” “Just try it!” “One bite and you can eat the rest of your food.”

Does this sound all too familiar to you? Do you recognize this battle during mealtime? Your child may have a food texture aversion.

Signs your child may have a texture aversion:

  • Only accepting a narrow range of food choices
  • Extreme preference for certain brands of food
  • Anxiety when faced with a new food item
  • Inability to eat any foods, including foods regularly chosen within the home, when not at home
  • Preference toward avoiding food, often for an entire day, instead of trying something new
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Frequent gagging when served certain foods
  • Facial grimacing or spitting out foods
  • Vomiting when new food is introduced
  • Refusal of food is not related to a food allergy
  • Prolonged mealtimes

What you can do to help with a texture aversion:

  • Reactions
    • Keep a journal of the types of foods your child eats and his reactions to these specific foods. This list will be extremely helpful for the speech-language pathologist or occupational therapist when taking your child in for a feeding evaluation.
  • Don’t push
    • Don’t reinforce the food aversion. Many parents believe that withholding favorite foods as punishment will force the child to give in, but this will only worsen the problem. Also, promising rewards for trying disliked foods will also reinforce food aversions.
  • Modeling and fun
    • Model the behavior you want to instill in your child by eating a wide variety of foods. Children will often adopt the behaviors they are exposed to. With positive reinforcement your child will reduce stress around new foods. Also, get your child involved in meal preparation. Make playing with new types of food fun. Learn about foods and where they come from. Teach your child how foods help our bodies. Expose your child to new foods or averted foods in a fun, stress-free environment.
  • Evaluation
    • Take your child for a feeding evaluation with a speech and language pathologist or occupational therapist. These professionals will help you determine if further therapy is necessary and can introduce the concept of food chaining to your child.
      • Food chaining is the systematic process of slowly introducing averted or new foods to your child. This should be done with professional guidance.

If you believe your child may have a texture or food aversion consult with a professional feeding therapist. Remember, take the stress out of eating for your child and make eating foods a fun and exciting activity. The goal is to reduce stress for you and your child.