Do You Have A Picky Eater?

On this episode of The Moms Network, the moms discuss how to handle picky eaters with Dr. Danielle Cooling from DuPage Medical Group.

What is a Picky Eater?

“There’s a lot of range when you’re talking about a picky eater,” said Dr. Cooling. “Are they really a picky eater, or is there actually a problem or a feeding disorder?”

The panel was a good reflection of just that, sharing some of the different eating problems they encountered with their kids and the variety of treatment approaches.

Lindsay Chan shared how her daughter showed some sensory issues from a very early age.

“She was having some issues then so then we were kind of piecing things together, okay, let’s go for occupational therapy for sensory issues in general, and then some feeding therapy with an SLP,” said Chan. “And we did that and saw a huge difference in some things that she was then starting to try – cucumbers, carrots – all these different tactics they did in feeding therapy that it was remarkable to get her just to try them, and get past something that isn’t just behavioral, that was textural for her.”

Dr. Cathy Subber tried a different approach when feeding therapy didn’t seem to help her son, who wasn’t accepting any food.

“We found a doctor who is a chiropractor that specialized in sensory disorders, came to the office to see him…literally put a glove on, put his finger in his mouth for ten seconds, and then said, okay, he should unravel in about a month,” Subber shared. “And we kind of laughed when he left, because it seemed like, nothing. Next day I dropped him off at feeding therapy and he started eating everything on the table. Like, the therapist called me crying, going ‘What did you do to your son?’ And I’m like ‘Why are you crying?’”

For Erica Lopez’s daughter, it was simply a case of a developing mind and a strong disposition.

“She, you know ate everything, then they realize this cookie tastes better than steamed broccoli, and they go into a tunnel of no,” said Lopez. “And around six, I would say, she got out of the tunnel, and she will – does she eat everything? No, because she’s only eight. But is she trying more things now? Yes. And that’s sort of my light at the end of the tunnel because I have that experience and with my son, he I think, ‘we’ll get there, we’ll get there.’”

How Do You Handle a Picky Eater?

According to Dr. Cooling, if your child is just picky, and doesn’t have an underlying sensory or physical issue, there are a few things you can try.

One is rewarding behavior – if they take a few bites of a veggie, they earn a treat or dessert.

The second is what she calls the “age bite rules.”

“So like, for a three year old, give me three bites,” Cooling explains. “If you’re four, give me four bites. As they get older, it’s harder to get more bites out of them. By the time they’re eight they’re like (rolls eyes).”

Dr. Subber, liked this strategy, quickly chiming in, “Let me have 46 bites of that ice cream.”

And finally, Dr. Cooling said you should continue to provide a different variety of foods, trying to get a couple bites in each time…and then trying again the next day.

Dr. Danielle Cooling

Dr. Cooling earned her M.D. from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. She did her residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Her philosophy of care is to treat her patients as if they were her own children, to put parents concerns at ease, and to provide the best care possible. Cooling has two sons, 5-year-old Luke, and 7-month-old Jacob.

DuPage Medical Group

DuPage Medical Group (DMG) was formed in 1999 from the joining of three healthcare groups in the western suburbs. They are now the largest and most successful independent multi-specialty physician group in Illinois. Their mission is to enhance the physical well being of the patients they serve by continuing to provide the highest quality medical care available.

More from The Moms Network

Watch more episodes from The Moms Network on NCTV17

The Moms

  • Dr.Cathy Subber
  • Erica Lopez
  • Lindsay Chan

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