Working as an Occupational Therapist is one of the most rewarding professions. I use my observational skills as well as my creative skills to help children achieve their goals.
I work through Zoom sessions as well as in-home sessions. During the Zoom sessions, I have to use whatever the clients have in their homes. Sometimes there is limited space and I have to help families use their space in ways they haven’t thought. For example, using a blanket to swing their child, turning a chair into a tent by placing a sheet over it and having their child crawl through it, or taking couch cushions off the couch and have their child crash into them. I have parents use tongs, cotton balls, and clothespins to help improve their child’s fine motor skills. These are just a few examples of how to use what you have in your home to help your child.
Welcome to the Teaching Your Toddler interview with Occupational Therapist and Author Sarah Appleman who speaks to Teaching Your Toddler about what being an OT means, what a “Picky Eater” really is, how kids manifest sensory issues around food and what to do about that and her great book Play With Your Food.
Sarah talks about what being an OT for kids is like, the inspiration of her son and his sensory challenges on her career path and give fantastic tips and ideas for parents of “picky eaters” who may have much more going on in their brains.
Starting early with positive experiences and then getting kids involved in the cooking and serving process can actually help them move out of their discomfort with food.
During my 20+ years of treating children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, I have always been asked: “How do I get my child to eat healthier foods?”
The first step I take in addressing feeding concerns is to complete a full history assessment. To properly assist with the issue, we must learn what is/are the possible cause(s).
First, I want to state I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. I am an occupational therapist and it is not under my practice guidelines to diagnose a child. I can, however, provide an insight as to why your child might be avoiding certain foods. Second, there are an abundance of reasons why a child is a picky eater.
Neurodivergent kids can often be picky eaters. And parents of picky eaters worry about their child’s health and wellness when their list of approved foods is very narrow and limited. However, there are things you can do to help picky eaters broaden their food horizon that don’t include bartering and threats (which don’t work anyway). In this episode of the Parenting ADHD Podcast, I’m talking with the author of Play with Your Food, Sarah Appleman. Sarah uses a sensory lens to understand food aversions and help kids become less tactilely defensive in small, incremental steps. Learn how to do that with your child as well as how to make sure you’re setting your kid up for success when it comes to food. Get ready to play with your food!
This episode is a discussion about our decision to revisit Bryce’s food sensitivities, diet changes, and a bio-medical approach to helping Bryce with an increase of self-injurious behaviors. We will be removing four food offenders (gluten, eggs, corn, and soy) as well as dairy. Bryce’s testing showed no intolerance to cow’s milk but there could be other offenders in dairy, so we want to remove it for now. The search for acceptable foods and recipes is a high priority right now. A God-send in the mail was the book “Playing with your Food” by Sarah Appleman. This book has many fun ideas to help Bryce transition into eating more fruits and vegetables by using game formats. I am sure we will be providing updates, since this will be a short-term commitment that could very possibly become a new lifestyle if we experience the results we hope to achieve!
Who hasn’t seen a kid who is a picky eater — only wanting chicken nuggets or not eating foods that touch the plate? To help parents, caregivers, teachers and others who work with children who resist certain foods, La Jolla resident Sarah Appleman authored her second book, “Play with Your Food,” which was published in May.