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Quick Recipes with High Calories and Nutrition

Hazyl’s Chocolate Fudge

Adapted from: My Kids Lick the Bowl’s Easy Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge

Hazyl is learning about nuts as a way to get another protein into her diet for long energy so she can ride her scooter and play with her neighbors. This fudge was a great addition to her snack, as it provided her with some healthy fats and protein – and best of all, it tastes like CHOCOLATE – her favorite! She was also excited to be able to make this recipe herself, and then decorate it.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Get out all of the needed ingredients and measuring cups for easy, kid-friendly cooking.
  2. Decide if you want to make your fudge into one big bar or into smaller portions in cupcake liners. If you use one pan, a 5 inch by 7-inch pan works well, or you could use something smaller (thicker fudge) or larger (thinner fudge). Line your pan with foil, parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. Alternatively, you can line up about 9 regular size cupcake liners or 18 mini cupcake liners on a pan.
  3. It is easiest to use a stand mixer or hand mixer to combine all of the ingredients since it is a little thick, but you can mix it by hand as well.
  4. Add the nut or seed butter, maple syrup, vanilla, butter/coconut oil, and cocoa powder to the bowl beat for 1-2 mins until well combined
  5. Pour the mixture evenly into the pan or muffin cups. A cookie scoop works great if you are making it in cupcake liners (and is great fine motor practice)!
  6. Top with any toppings you like – Hazyl used sprinkles, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.
  7. Freeze for 1-2 hr before cutting and serving. This is best eaten when frozen or slightly thawed. If you use coconut oil, it will melt if you leave it out at room temperature, but it makes a great dip for apples or pretzels this way!
  8. Store in the freezer, unless you want to eat it as a dip, then you can store it in the refrigerator.

Dairy-Free Vanilla Milkshake

Adapted from Downshiftology’s Cashew Date Shake

Makes 2 big milkshakes or 3 smaller ones

This sweet girl gets a lot of calories from milk and milk products, as her oral motor skills are still quite immature. These shakes provide some variety in her diet while also meeting her oral motor needs and tasting familiar. We did a taste test to compare vanilla and chocolate and they tied! She loved adding the ingredients into the blender, and thought it was super cool that the spinach ‘disappeared’ in the chocolate shake when we blended it up!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If you do not have a high powered blender, measure the cashews into your blender, then pour boiling water over top of them to cover the cashews by about an inch or two (you don’t need to measure, we will dump out the water before blending). After about 10 minutes, add the pitted dates to the blender. After about 20 minutes of soaking total, you can drain the water out of the blender, saving the cashews and dates in the blender. If you have a high powered blender (Vitamix, Blendtec, etc.) you can skip the soaking and just add your cashews and pitted dates to the blender.
  2. Add the frozen banana, 3/4 cup cold water, vanilla, salt, and collagen protein powder if you are using it and blend until smooth. This might take a few minutes.
  3. Once your mixture is blended, add 2 cups of ice to help it be really cold like a milkshake. Blend again until all of the ice is broken up and the milkshake looks smooth.
  4. Pour into glasses and enjoy immediately!

Dairy-Free Chocolate Milkshake

Adapted from Downshiftology’s Cashew Date Shake

Makes 2 big milkshakes or 3 smaller ones

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If you do not have a high powered blender, measure the cashews into your blender, then pour boiling water over top of them to cover the cashews by about an inch or two (you don’t need to measure, we will dump out the water before blending). After about 10 minutes, add the pitted dates to the blender. After about 20 minutes of soaking total, you can drain the water out of the blender, saving the cashews and dates in the blender. If you have a high powered blender (Vitamix, Blendtec, etc.) you can skip the soaking and just add your cashews and pitted dates to the blender.
  2. Add the frozen banana, spinach, cocoa powder, 3/4 cup cold water, vanilla, salt, and collagen protein powder if you are using it and blend until smooth. This might take a few minutes.
  3. Once your mixture is blended, add 2 cups of ice to help it be really cold and thick like a milkshake. Blend again until all of the ice is broken up and the milkshake looks smooth.
  4. Pour into glasses and enjoy immediately!

We hope these recipes will be a fun addition to your family’s menu. If you are looking for more recipes, including recipes to get more protein, fruit, or veggies into your picky eater’s diet in non-threatening ways, join us at the Picky Eater or Problem Feeder Membership Level.

Understanding Picky Eaters and Problem Feeders

Are all children picky?

Many parents have been told by well-meaning professionals that they do not need to be worried about their child’s eating habits. However, it is not true that all children are picky.  Nor is it true that they will all outgrow it. Keep reading to learn more about what we know about Picky Eaters.

Parent/Caregiver Workshop

This 2-hour Workshop will teach Parents and Caregivers about the foundational skills needed for eating. Practical Strategies are discussed so Parents and Caregivers can help their children learn to have a lifelong healthy relationship with food. This Workshop will be addressing common feeding issues often seen in young children, to struggles that “picky eaters” may have, and the challenges of the “problem feeder”.

Why we don’t use the ARFID diagnosis

ARFID is a diagnosis that the American Psychiatric Association created in 2013 to replace the old diagnosis referred to as Feeding Disorder of Infancy and Early Childhood. Read more about the challenges with this new diagnosis and what diagnosis we prefer instead.

Tips for Picky Eaters and Problem Feeders

Why You May See Increased Feeding Challenges During Times of Stress or Change

When children and their families are undergoing major changes in their lives, whether this is related to stress or a positive life event, any child’s eating or feeding can be easily disrupted. Read about the 4 main issues and learn strategies to get your family back on track.

Managing Stressful Times with a Picky Eater or Problem Feeder

Learn how stress and adrenaline can wreak havoc with your child’s appetite and make mealtimes more challenging, as well as strategies to support your child and family.

Preventing Picky Eating: Strategies to help your family get back on track

This quick article outlines our first three recommendations for almost any family who comes in for a feeding assessment. Watch how these three strategies start to shift mealtimes at your home.

Valentine’s Day Strategies for Picky Eaters

Holidays can be tough on kids – keep reading to learn why and make a plan to make this holiday go a little more smoothly!

Quick Recipes with High Calories and Nutrition

Check out these fun, kid-friendly recipes for fudge and milkshakes (both with dairy-free options) that have some great nutrition and easy to consume calories!

Need New Ideas to Help Expose Your Child to New Foods?

A common concern parents share is that it can be hard to expose your child to new foods, especially if they aren’t able to eat meals at the same time with the family or if they are reluctant to even being in the same room with you if you are eating something different. Here are a few simple ideas that you can start incorporating tonight!

Great advice when introducing those first baby foods to your little one!

We found some great advice in the baby food isle at the grocery store!

Fun with Food

Fun Food Books to Explore with your Child

Sometimes, learning about new foods during a meal is just too hard, especially if everyone is stressed. Sometimes, even getting your child to the table for meals can be hard. One way around this is to start conversations around food, separate from mealtimes (without the pressure to eat or taste it).

Oatmeal Banana Cookies

These simple cookies come together very quickly and only require a few pantry staples – and use up those spotty bananas! This is a very kid-friendly recipe, so it is okay if the measurements aren’t exact. Make sure you try out the Food Scientist Tips at the bottom to personalize them!

Need New Ideas to Help Expose Your Child to New Foods?

A common concern parents share is that it can be hard to expose your child to new foods, especially if they aren’t able to eat meals at the same time with the family or if they are reluctant to even being in the same room with you if you are eating something different. Here are a few simple ideas that you can start incorporating tonight!

How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

Keep reading for some fun food ideas with a rainbow theme!

Winter Fun in Food School!

Have you ever wondered what feeding therapy using the SOS Approach to Feeding looks like? Take a peek at some of our sessions this week.

Fall Fun with Apples (and Pears!)

Check out this article with some great ideas to introduce your child to apples and pears.

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Preventing Picky Eating: Strategies to help your family get back on track

1. Create the Right Environment

Make sure you have a regular-sized kitchen table and supportive chairs versus sitting at a breakfast bar, a tall top table, or on a bench. WHY? In the body’s list of priorities, not falling on your head (Postural Stability) is priority #2. In case you were curious, priority #1 is breathing. Eating is the body’s priority #3. Bar stools and benches do not provide children with good enough side and foot support. A supportive chair is one that puts your child’s hips, knees and ankles each at a 90 degree angle. To do this correctly, the chair should have:

Postural stability is what allows our trunk to be stable while other parts of our body move to do a motor task. Related to mealtimes, we need to be able to have enough endurance and strength to maintain a stable seated position for the entire duration of the meal.

2. Do Family-Style Serving at All Meals & Snacks

Make one big meal for the family that includes everyone’s foods, and serve everything family style. Family style serving means that everyone takes at least one piece of every food served at the meal, puts it on their plate, and passes the serving dish to the next person at the table.

For example, you may be having spaghetti and meatballs, salad, and garlic bread as the main meal. However, your child will only eat the garlic bread. In order to give them good nutrition, you may also need to make chicken nuggets and offer thin carrot sticks (the rest of the carrots can be chopped up into the salad). All of the foods will be passed family-style, so there is no differentiation between the ‘kid’ food and the ‘adult’ food.

Your child may not eat some of the family’s foods at first, and that is okay. The goal is for your child to start learning about the other foods. Learning to eat new foods begins with being able to tolerate looking at and smelling the food in front of you. Then, the child needs to learn about how the food feels by touching it with a utensil or their fingers. It is only after being okay with looking at, smelling, and touching the food, that they will be able to learn about tasting the new food.

3. Avoid Food Jags

A food jag is when your child wants to eat the same exact food, prepared the same exact way, over and over again. The problem with food jags is that your child will eventually get sick and tired of that food. Once children start “burning out” on foods, their food range gets smaller and smaller. This is how children eventually end up with only 10 foods that they will eat.

To avoid food jags, a child is allowed to have their perfect version of a food only every other day. If you give them a food today, they can’t have it again today and not tomorrow either. They can only have it again the day after tomorrow. Milk and milk alternatives are the only exceptions to this rule. However, some children do burn out on milk, so we advise offering either water or juice at one meal a day.

If you are struggling with implementing any of these strategies, join us at the Picky Eater or Problem Feeder Membership Level for more support.

Ask Dr. Toomey:

I have heard from a number of other people, including healthcare professionals, that all children are picky, and that they all outgrow it.  Is this true?

In my role as a Pediatric Psychologist, Pediatric Feeding Specialist and Developer of the SOS Approach to Feeding, I have heard this “myth” being reported frequently by well-meaning professionals trying to convince parents that they do not need to be worried about their child’s eating habits. However, it is not true that all children are picky. Nor is it true that they will all outgrow it. The research in the field of Feeding Disorders actually shows that on average, only 20-30% of children will struggle with some type of feeding challenge or picky eating at some point within their first 5-6 years of life. In addition, the data indicates only about one-third to one-half of these children will actually just “outgrow” their feeding difficulties without some type of intervention (see the summary of the major research studies summaries). When you look at the statistics over time, about 50% of children with picky eating challenges continue to struggle with not eating a wide enough range of foods well into their grade school years and beyond.

It is also interesting to note that these statistics are the same regardless of the child’s country of origin, culture and/or parenting practices. I have been privileged to teach the SOS Approach to Feeding program both nationally and internationally and can attest to seeing the same types of feeding issues occurring in children across the entire world. I believe that we find similar feeding/eating challenges around the world, regardless of what culture a child lives in because feeding difficulties are about how the human body does or does not work correctly. My 30 years of clinical experience in assessing and treating Feeding Disorders has taught me that feeding problems are not all in children’s heads. It’s all in their bodies. When a child doesn’t eat, we need to look for the skill deficits, developmental challenges and physical problems underlying this child’s difficulty with eating or feeding well. We should not be blaming parents or saying that a child has a behavioral feeding problem.

In the SOS Approach to Feeding program, we assess and address the 7 areas of human functioning that are involved in the process of learning to eat well: organ systems; motor & oral motor abilities; sensory processing; learning history/style/capacity, development, nutrition, and environmental factors. We identify what about this child’s body is not working correctly for them to gain the skills they need to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods in the right volumes to grow well. Then, we teach children and their families, the skills the child needs through “play with a purpose” of moving them up a series of 32 Steps to Eating.

Because of the research which shows that at least half of the children with feeding problems will continue to struggle with being able to eat well, I encourage all families not to wait to seek out help for their child – even if you think it is “just picky eating”. The earlier families can get their child into feeding treatment, the more likely their child’s issues can be fully resolved. Ideally, children will enter into therapy before 3 years of age if they are struggling to eat well.

Download an Overview of the Research

If you are wondering if your child could benefit from feeding therapy, the following articles may be helpful for you.

Additionally, you can search and find an SOS trained feeding therapist in your area to assess your child’s skills and help get back on the road to happy mealtimes.

 

Looking for more ideas?

Join us at a membership level for more support and strategies.

Parent & Caregiver Memberships
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