Slide background

The Reason I Am Passionate About Picky Eating

I created the Courageous Eaters courses because I saw mothers in my community who were worried about their children and struggling to make it through mealtime. Their child would only eat foods such as dinosaur chicken nuggets, fruit pouches, or plain pancakes. They would also throw huge fits or refuse to eat anything else. As an occupational therapist, I worked with children with a range of difficult eating habits. Then and now, I want to alleviate the stress and worry their parents were feeling, and in turn help children become more courageous eaters!

Even before I had children of my own, I saw lots of families struggle with picky eating. I helped children become more confident at trying new foods and provided parents with new strategies, habits, and routines to implement to help at home. I decided that when I had children of my own, I would start these strategies from the beginning, honing them over time to determine what works.

And I did! Despite a few rough patches, my girls are courageous eaters. My 3-year-old’s favorite food is sushi (as in ahi tuna and smoked salmon sushi). A few days ago, she even said, “I love every dinner.” I admit, she doesn’t love every dinner, but she certainly enjoys most meals.

Modeling is an important part of cultivating a courageous eater.

Sometimes she initially refuses to try a new food (particularly vegetables and sauces), but following play and modeling, she will try a new food 9 out of  10 times. She will also sit at the table for 30-45 minutes at each meal, eating slowly and talking with the family. She also has tactile hypersensitivity (hates when her hands/face/clothes are messy or wet, hates light touch, hates having her nails trimmed) that we have worked through.

My youngest exploring (and eating) her first kale salad. It’s not always easy, but it’s possible.

My younger daughter (21 months old) is slightly less courageous and does not like as many foods as her older sister, but she also sits at the table, frequently plays with and tries new foods, but often needs more exposures to foods to try them. She observes the foods her sister and I eat and is often willing to try them too. That being said, there are always 1-2 foods on her plate I know she will like. She also knows whining won’t lead to getting other food.

My #1 rule stays the same with both of them: What you’re served is your meal. There are no replacements.

Where do I start?

If you’re wondering how to get there, don’t fret. I created two versions of Courageous Eaters course. The first is for infants and toddlers ages 4-18 months. It teaches the strategies, habits and routines that are crucial to start from the first bite to help your child become a courageous eater. It gives tips for transitioning from purees to table foods, and accommodating the parents’ meal to be toddler or infant-friendly.

The second version is the Courageous Eaters School for children ages 18 months to ~10 years of age. The mealtime strategies it contains are universal. While the play/interaction strategies are geared toward younger children, but can be adapted for older children up to about 10 years of age. For example, instead of being silly and pretending a carrot is lipstick, you talk about, cut and manipulate the foods on the table.

If you child is right on the cusp, say between 18-24 months, and you’re unsure which course to take, I’d recommend the following:

Courageous Eaters Prep School if…

  • Your child is only eating smooth or pureed foods
  • Your child had difficulty transitioning from purees to table foods
  • You are planning on having other children in the future and want to make sure your next child starts out on the right foot

Courageous Eaters School if…

  • They will eat table foods but throw big tantrums when trying new foods
  • You have older children (picky or courageous)

You can find out more by clicking here!

Recent Blog Posts

About Me

My name is Kim Reid and I created Intentional OT to help parents solve picky eating while making family mealtime more enjoyable!

As an occupational therapist in the pediatric setting, I saw a wide range of families who needed help with picky eating. As a mom, I saw a need in my community to solve the frustration that picky eating brings to a family.

Whether mealtime is a struggle or you just want your child to become a more adventurous eater, I hope my online courses and consultations help you enjoy mealtime with your little (or big!) ones.

© - Intentional OT LLC