When Your Baby Won’t Eat (The New York Times Magazine)

I’m telling the story of how Violet learned to eat (again) in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine. The piece went online yesterday, and I’ve already heard from so many families struggling with the full gamut of pediatric feeding issues. I’ll respond individually to as many notes as I can, but I thought it might be helpful if I did a post of some the resources that were most helpful for us, and may help you too.

Advice for Feeding Any Kid:

  • Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility in Feeding is now gospel in my house. It’s both brilliantly simple and sometimes, very hard to execute. (Can you really trust your child to self-regulate when they’re ignoring their entire dinner, or conversely, eating their body weight in grapes?) But whenever I start to waver on something related to feeding, I come back here and find clarity.
  • Dinner: A Love Story; more awesome recipes and realistic guidance for how to actually make dinner happen on a regular basis.
  • Fat Nutritionist; actually, this one is advice for feeding any person; Michelle Allison primarily focuses on adults, who, for one reason or another, need to learn to eat again.

Advice for When Your Kid Won’t Eat: 

  • Feeding Matters is a phenomenal parent-founded nonprofit devoted to raising awareness about all pediatric feeding problems. Their Feeding Questionnaire is where to start if you can’t tell whether your child is truly struggling or “just a picky eater.”
  • Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating, by Katja Rowell, MD and Jenny Hyatt McGlothlin, SLP. An incredible guide to overcoming selective eating, food aversions, and feeding disorders, written by two brilliant child-centered therapists.
  • Mealtime Notions, the website of Marsha Dunn Klein, is a tremendous resource for articles, advice from other parents, and products to help with specific feeding issues. (Violet personally endorses the Num Num Dippers.)
  • The article stash on Suzanne Evans Morris’ site is also a bottomless well of inspiration and guidance.
  • For folks in the Hudson Valley: Our rockstar therapist was Lynne Westgate, senior speech pathologist with MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Advice for When Your Kid is on a Feeding Tube:

See all of the above, plus…

Most of all:  

Please know that I think you’re doing an incredible job.

(Very Important Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a healthcare professional; just a writer and a mother who has been there. These resources are only meant to provide information; you should check with your doctor before pursuing any type of therapy for your child.)

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1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Posted April 24, 2016 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    I tried the questionnaire you suggested, and it appears my son is a picky eater. Thank you for your help with this. I’ll be buying the book you recommended as well. The price is reasonable on Amazon.

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