SLP Corner: Follow the Three Es to Eating
Source: The Asha Leader Blog]
by Melanie Potock, CCC-SLP
Whether a child participates in feeding treatment or parents simplyask advice on how to encourage their kids to try new foods, offering manageable tips is where I like to start. For every child, I ask parents to follow my three Es: Expose, Explore, Expand.
Parents often report that they no longer put new foods on a child’s plate because: “What’s the point? He won’t eat it anyway.” The point is exposing kids to a variety of foods, especially those enjoyed at the family table. Some children may require a preferred food as their main course, but including a small portion—1 tablespoon—of at least one other food on a kiddo’s plate makes a huge difference. When kids only see familiar and preferred foods on their plates, they begin to resist anything unfamiliar showing up. Exposing kids to foods on their plates builds familiarity. Present a few different foods on a regular basis until they get comfortable with small samplings of anything the family eats – even if they need more time to taste it.
From birth, children explore new sensations with their hands, fingers and mouths. If they don’t feel safe putting a new food in their mouth, you can help their brain get used to a new food via the nerve endings in the fingers and the palms of their hands. These three tips help kids see themselves as “food explorers” until they feel comfortable with a new taste, texture and temperature in the mouth:
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