Customer Reviews: Food Chaining: The Proven 6-Step Plan to Stop Picky Eating, Solve Feeding Problems, and Expand Your Child’s Diet
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on July 30, 2008
So I've decided that I should also put my two cents worth in regarding the book and other comments here. This is Alicia, and yes, my son Ewan is mentioned in the book under the Special Needs section.

First off, is this book for everyone? Maybe not, no book, no theory, no treatment plan out there is for absolutely everybody. But give it a shot if you've got a child that is a picky eater or problem eater, it's 12 bucks that could change your life. Secondly, keep your mind open. If your mind is already closed to new ideas and new ways of doing things it's hard to help anyone, including your child.

Third, the whole 'encourages a child to eat junk food' notion is off base. The problem stems from the fact that these children have ALREADY self limited their foods to the, let's say, not the healthiest foods on the market. That's why many of the chains focus on moving from McNuggets and 'junk' food that someone else mentioned. My son was one of these children that the only 'meat' he would accept was a chicken McNugget--hence our chain started from there and grew. He now eats a variety of meats but in all honesty, he's not a real big meat lover, he eats some but not all's just not his 'thing'.

As for the moving from junk food to broccoli and healthy foods idea--you bet your behind my son did that. He is living proof that food chaining took him from pop-tarts, McNuggets, popcorn, and chips to eating foods like raw spinach leaves, broccoli, salsa, green peppers, cabbage, lettuce, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, apples, oranges, pineapple...well you get the point, a very healthy diet. I'd match my son's diet now up against the healthiest of stone age diets out there!

How in the name of all that is holy did that happen? Well, first this team actually looked at my son with open eyes and found an underlying medical problem called Eosinophilic Esophagitis that had been making eating a painful experience for him. So please don't scoff when you say, oh this is only for kids that are obviously really sick...some underlying problems are very hidden and can be a factor in why child is limiting their food intake. My son was one of those children that looked healthy and no one would have guessed that was going on.

Now let me also say that when you order this book you do not also get a complimentary magic wand in the mail. There is NO magic wand that transforms your child from a picky or problem eater into this kid like "Mikey" from the commercials that will eat anything. A good thing to keep in mind is that we ALL have foods we DON'T like! Food chaining, or any treatment plan for tackling these type of eating / feeding issues, takes time. It takes time, patience, understanding, and knowledge of how we eat and how we discover new foods and new tastes. Food chaining can be fun and exciting if you let it, if you open your mind to food, tastes, eating, and new experiences.

So I encourage those of you struggling with feeding and eating issues to give this book a good chance and read it. It's very user friendly with lots of terms and descriptions spelled out and is a very systematic way of looking at the problem!

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on April 17, 2010
This book was recommended by my daughter's Speech-Language Pathologist who "coached" us through my daughter's feeding issues. My daughter, Della, is 3 years-old and has speech, mobility, and developmental delays from an unknown cause. She doesn't seem to have any aversion to different textures and as far as we can tell, no sensory issues. That being said, she is acting like a "normal" 12-18 month old child who is learning to assert her opinion through what she chooses to eat or not eat. Just like other children she will go from loving certain foods to completely refusing them seemingly overnight. When she was eating only a handful of foods I started to read "Food Chaining" looking for some easy answer or at the very least, a plan with all meals laid out in an order that would "fix" her picky eating habits. What I got from this book was that the "cure" is to find a link between what your child will eat now and what you want them to eventually eat later. Only you can customize this plan because you are raising your child and you know them best. Even the best laid-out meal plans won't fit every child. I once tried the "South Beach Diet" but I hated it because I didn't like many of the meals that were in their weekly "plan." So, Lesson #1- Use the guidelines and figure it out yourself. Yes, it is hard and time consuming and complicated and not "easy" but we are raising children here, not assembling a bookshelf. Lesson #2: Be persistent. You will throw away a lot of food. Period. Most children need to have a lot of exposure to new foods before they will readily eat it. Some children will only need to see it 4 or 5 times before eating it, others may need to be exposed 20 times before they accept it into their diet. Once again, this is hard and time consuming and complicated and anything but easy. Keep at it! You are the key to your child's success!

I think that many people are looking for a quick-fix. I know I was. I hate to say it, but there is no such thing. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many people who feel frustrated that the past 6 books they've read on picky eating haven't worked. I know I was that way. Not every family will find this book helpful but if parents understand that this problem will take time, persistence, and some effort on their part, they will most likely find success when they implement the guidelines and methods laid out in "Food Chaining."
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on April 20, 2010
This is a book for serious and clinical non-eaters....pediatric anorexics, kids with autism, down syndrome, cleft palates, children requiring feeding tubes, babies withe GERD, or mitochondrial disorders and the like. It is not for your average picky eater and it is not a "self-help" book. While some children do need medical intervention we are dealing with healthy, strong willed five year old and this book did not help our situation. The entire book advocates imploring a team of doctors called a "feeding team" which includes pediatricians, psychologists, pediatric gastroenterologists, dietitians, occupational and behavioral therapists, speech therapists, etc. Only the last chapter explains the "food chaining" concept which is really just common sense. If your child likes McDonald's chicken nuggets you should try other brands of chicken nuggets, then breaded home made chicken, and other breaded meats etc. I was surprised to see the encouragement of feeding any child Cheetos and chips and bacon but I suppose if my child went days without eating I would consider consuming a Cheetos a success. While my heart goes out to the children and parents described in the book I was looking for a less clinical approach to dinnertime battles. I would recommend the Food Sense Program by Dana Obleman. ([...]) We have found this program to be most helpful for our five year old.
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on March 1, 2009
I think the idea of food chaining has potential, but the book wasn't detailed enough to help me put it into practice. The reviews that involve people who dealt with the authors in person rather than trying to get help from reading the book alone miss the point, because the book doesn't provide enough information to implement a food chaining approach, at least in my experience. It didn't give details about the order in which to introduce foods and when to switch to new foods. It didn't talk about what to do when the child refuses to try the new foods that are offered. Plus, the focus on bringing together a team of five professionals to assess your child was misguided because people that want to go that route probably aren't getting a self-help book. So, I tried a few new foods with my daughter, she refused to even consider trying them, so I gave up and went back to what I had been doing. I found Ellyn Satter's books to be more helpful, although they don't focus enough on what to do about picky eating.
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on March 29, 2013
My 3 year old had NEVER tried a new food. He ate 7 things, all very specific. He would eat only one brand of greek yogurt, one kind of cheese stick, etc. This method worked very well for him. For the child that does NOT "eat when he's hungry" and the other things that people say will work, this method can help you. He dug into chips and hummus yesterday and I nearly fell over. He eats any variety of cheese, yogurt, etc, now with no issues and we've only been working with him a few weeks. One thing that works for him is covering things in whipped cream and letting him drive cars through it (wash them), and introduce new things that way. He went from strawberries in whipped cream, which he already ate, to oranges, which he didn't eat before, and is now eating canteloupe and honeydew. I'm sure you've tried everything else if you're resorting to this book. It's a quick read and makes sense. Good luck!
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on May 12, 2016
I will make this review short, but if anyone want more info please comment. This book should be read by any layperson to child feeding issues and disorders. In short this book gave us an overview of dozens of disorders and problems we never knew existed. So often we would suddenly found insight into our family issues about our suffering special needs child to our special needs siblings. This isnt just for families with special needs, but for anyone who is having a tough time or those that are interested to know. The book has methodologies to address food needs which arefound in the 2nd half of the book. The first half of the book goes through the varipus issues as well as giving examples and checklists to understand them not just theorectically but also practically. Lastly, the writting style is comfortable to read despite some of the technical concepts.
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on November 2, 2007
I must first say that I am the mother of a little boy that has struggled with eating since the age of 1 (he's now 3 1/2). I must also say that the feeding team that wrote this book helped us when no one else would or could. We owe them so much...thank you!

If your child struggles with mealtime...this is the only book you need! It's fabulous! It's easy to read and written for parents to understand.
I love the short stories in the book because they help the parent realize that they are not the only ones struggling with this issue. There are also great "Did You Know" sections every couple of pages that give great advice and tips. Also, the authors have provided a glossary in the book to outline the terms/conditions that you may not be familiar with.

Lastly, they have given so many example diagrams of food chaining, a process developed by author Cheri Fraker, that tells the parent exactly where to start and where to go next with the foods that your child will eat.

Dealing with eating difficulties is challenging and it's easy to get off track...I'm so glad that I purchased this book because it's a great guide to have on hand and to keep you focused on what to do and what not to do, whether you are just starting out with food chaining or whether you're an "ol' pro!"

Kudos to you all! Fantastic book!
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on April 6, 2010
This is a must have book for parents with children having sensory processing disorder. Since I have put this practice in place my daughter is not only eating more but eating a variety of food. She has gained a pound in a month. I would recommend this to anyone with SPD or even just picky eaters.
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on July 6, 2012
Though my son is already in feeding therapy, I found this book to be extremely helpful. It has a lot of good ideas and suggestions for things to try with your feeding averse child. If your child isn't already in therapy, it also guides you through how to get started. I would recommend this book to anyone who either knows or even suspects their child has feeding issues.
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on July 20, 2008
My 5 year old son is a picky eater but he's not as picky as the children in Food Chaining. There were a few things that I can take from this book. I can certainly think about better scheduling of his meals and snack times. I can get a better feel for the types of foods he likes and use that to expand his choices but that's about it.

I found myself skipping large portions of the book because it didn't apply to our situation. There's a lot of focus on underlying problems causing some kind of problem but my child doesn't have any of those issues. Even narrowing it down to a specific type of food isn't that helpful because he's got foods that he'll eat at his grandmother's house but won't touch here and vice versa.

There's also a lot of focus on babies and toddlers. My son was an excellent eater until he was about 3. Then he just started deciding he didn't like things. His diet had dropped down to just whole wheat bread and water but we were able to work it back up to be better balanced. When he started dropping out foods again I thought I'd try to find a way to stop the behaviour before he dropped too many. This book won't help me do that.

I also didn't like the focus on junk food. I don't want to introduce him to unhealthy food to get him to eat healthy food. I was hoping there'd be better advice on how to get fruits, vegetables and meats into his diet but he doesn't like McDonald's Chicken McNuggets and I'm fine with that.

I would've liked more food chain examples for more varieties of food. A better description of their food "types" so that I could figure out if it's a taste thing with him or something else. All in all I'm a little disappointed.
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