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Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating: A Step-by-Step Guide for Overcoming Selective Eating, Food Aversion, and Feeding Disorders Paperback – May 1, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“What I appreciate most about Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating is its respectful approach for both parents and children. It offers parents hope, understanding, and practical strategies that really work. Based on sound research and a true understanding of children, it gently but confidently guides families through the steps of building a healthy relationship with food.”
Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, EdD, licensed teacher, parent educator, and author of Raising Your Spirited Child

“Finally, an antidote to the infuriating trend of books about tricking children into eating. Rowell and McGlothlin expertly illuminate the complex emotional world of children with extreme picky eating and the caregivers who struggle to feed them. Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating is a masterpiece of practical strategies, compassion, and reassurance that’s perfect for parents, pediatricians, and anyone who remembers hating ‘just one more bite.’”
Jessica Setnick, MS, RD, CEDRD, pediatric eating disorder specialist, cofounder of the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians, and author of The Eating Disorders Clinical Pocket Guide

“With the persistent challenge of classification and treatment of feeding problems, eating disorder professionals are increasingly charged with treating children with feeding difficulties, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) cases, and selective eating. This book is an invaluable resource for eating disorder (ED) professionals in need of a thorough introduction to the spectrum of selective eating issues that may be outside their primary area of expertise, from typical ‘picky’ eating to more pervasive food aversions. The authors’ expert handling of this topic will empower both professionals and parents to better understand and support their selective eaters.”
Katherine Zavodni, MPH, RD, LDN, registered dietitian specializing in outpatient nutrition therapy for eating disorders, family nutrition and childhood feeding, and intuitive eating

Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating is a practical, child-focused, and guilt-free guide to addressing a variety of eating challenges. This book respects and values the parent as an expert. The nonjudgmental approach and easy-to-follow techniques will empower parents to make family mealtime a positive experience. By providing a sound overview of feeding development, Rowell and McGlothlin changed my understanding of typical eating. The suggested scripts and keen insight into the child’s perspective takes the guesswork out of applying the STEPS+. I walked away with a deeper understanding of how children experience feeding and how my own ‘feeding temperament’ affects how I relate to my children around food. Short-order cooking is out the door and dessert is on the table with dinner now. We’re all enjoying a happier mealtime! My only wish is that I’d had this book when my children were babies. I would strongly recommend this book to any parent who is struggling with mealtime.”
—Erin Erickson, MPH, MN, RN, founder and cohost of Mom Enough®

“Katja Rowell and Jenny McGlothlin get the anxiety and many challenges both children and families feel when children are highly selective eaters! They offer sensitive, thoughtful, and practical suggestions to support families in their journey toward happier and healthier mealtimes.”
—Marsha Dunn Klein, MEd, OTR/L, FAOTA, pediatric therapist, educator, author, and co-owner of Mealtime Connections, a pediatric therapy clinic in Tucson, AZ

“Lots of books promise to help solve ‘picky eating’ problems, but this one actually does! Rowell and McGlothlin have put together a comprehensive masterpiece.”
—Skye Van Zetten, blogger at mealtimehostage.com

“Finally! Not just an acknowledgment, but an exploration and even a ‘how-to manual’ on dealing with the long-neglected missing piece of pediatric feeding therapy—the emotional dynamic for both the child and the parent! Let’s face it, eating is not just about nutrition. It’s also about enjoyment and family relationships. This gets lost amidst health and medical concerns when a child severely limits his eating. Katja Rowell and Jenny McGlothlin have given us a map for restoring and healing these components as well. Parents and therapists alike will be profoundly grateful.”
—Jennifer Meyer, MA, CCC-SLP, cocreator of care-to-collaborate.com, and popular international speaker in the areas of pediatric dysphagia and neonatal therapy

“Finally, there’s a solid resource for families who struggle with extreme picky eating!  Rowell and McGlothlin leave no stone unturned as they help parents navigate all aspects of their child’s eating, from the ‘how’ of family dinners to decisions about feeding therapy. I will recommend this book again and again.”
—Maryann Jacobsen, MS, RD, author, blogger, speaker, and coauthor of Fearless Feeding

“A wonderful, parent-friendly resource that is easy to read and full of practical suggestions to help your child ‘come to the table!’”
—Catherine S. Shaker, MS/CCC-SLP, BCS-S, pediatric speech-language pathologist at the Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando, FL, and coauthor of “The Early Feeding Skills Assessment Tool for NICU Infants”

Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating is wonderful! I currently work with a young male client who struggles with eating, and I can honestly say that this information is so crucial for even mental health therapists who are working to help families dealing with feeding issues. I wish all school counselors could have access to this material. The material in this book has assisted me in helping my client’s family in a way that I was struggling to before reading! Thank you for writing this tremendously helpful text!”
—Christine J. Schimmel, EdD, NCC, LPC, assistant professor of counseling at West Virginia University and author of numerous texts and articles on impact therapy, a multisensory, creative approach to counseling and group counseling

About the Author

Katja Rowell, MD, is a family doctor and childhood feeding specialist on a mission to support parents who worry about feeding and their child’s weight or growth. Known as “the Feeding Doctor,” she is a national expert on children, feeding, and the intersection of health and wellness. Rowell believes that helping children grow up to feel good about food and their bodies is the best preventive medicine there is. Described as “academic, but warm and down to earth,” she presents workshops to parents and professionals across the country. Rowell consults with a range of clients and writes on the importance of a healthy feeding relationship for online and print media. She has shared tips on how to bring peace back to meals through DVDs, TV, and radio, and is author of Love Me, Feed Me. Rowell makes her home in the Twin Cities, where she enjoys reading, camping, cooking (most of the time) for her family, and a husband who does the dishes.
Jenny McGlothlin, MS, CCC-SLP, is a certified speech-language pathologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of feeding disorders for children from birth through the teen years. McGlothlin developed the STEPS feeding program at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at University of Texas at Dallas, where she works with families on a daily basis to foster feeding skills that will serve a child for a lifetime.   Her passion is teaching children how to eat when they just can’t figure it out on their own, and McGlothlin has been inducted into the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Hall of Fame for her work in the field. McGlothlin has spent many years teaching graduate-level courses on feeding as well as early child development. She frequently provides feeding workshops for parents and continuing education seminars and webinars for therapists. As a mother of three young children, McGlothlin makes family meals a priority, and enjoys reading and spending time with her friends.

Foreword writer Suzanne Evans Morris, PhD, is an internationally recognized speaker and therapist for infants and children with feeding and mealtime challenges. With more than fifty years’ experience as a speech-language pathologist specializing in feeding development and disorders in children, she pioneered the development of feeding and mealtime programs in the United States. Morris is coauthor of three books: Pre-Feeding Skills, the Mealtime Participation Guide, and the Homemade Blended Formula Handbook.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (May 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 162625110X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626251106
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: My son was a patient of Jenny McGlothlin in her feeding program when he was a toddler. Using her system, he went from only eating smooth purees to eating a regular diet in 3 months. I have seen her work miracles with many many kids and families. She knows what she is talking about and she has proven herself with kids and parents who hold her accountable.
It seems that most people who give advice on feeding picky eaters have never had to care for one themselves. Too many pediatricians, grandparents, friends, etc. just have the same advice..."if the kid is hungry enough he will eat what you serve," or "cut out the junk food and he will get hungry for healthy food." Unfortunately, that doesn't usually work with true picky eaters. These authors have been in the trenches with parents and have found a system that works. The best part is that their advice doesn't make you feel like a horrible parent who just didn't try hard enough. I cannot say enough about how helpful this advice is.
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I'm only 80 pages in and I haven't tried to change anything yet, but I already feel massive relief to be reading this book. I've read so many articles and other books and talked to so many people, but there are so many things to keep in mind when choosing how to feed your child! I couldn't organize all the information or prioritize its importance or decide where to start. My efforts have been aimless. I've changed course a dozen times, given up a dozen times, thought we were getting somewhere and then been wrong a dozen times. My pediatrician, the pediatric GI, the therapist - none of them seem to really hear me or know how to help. Finally, I feel like I've found an expert who can tell me what to worry about now and what not to and how to start. The tone of this book is one of the best parts - it's both forgiving and non judgmental and also validating that parents are the ones that can expertly guide their particular children out of extreme picky eating. It's the very opposite of listening to your pediatrician lecture you for 15 minutes on what are healthy foods and how all children go through picky phases.
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My son (now 4.5 years old) was under author Jenny McGlothlin's care for treatment of his feeding disorder from Autumn 2012 through Winter 2013. When we started, he wouldn't even touch food. No interest in feeding himself. Swallowed whole what food we managed to sneak into his mouth (which caused numerous terrifying choking incidents).
Jenny's methods worked, they really did. For our son, it has been a lengthy process, but within one year he was eating very functionally. He was feeding himself and choosing at least a few foods from most major food groups. Fast forward 2.5 years into the journey to now, and he has become the most adventurous eater in the entire family! On a recent family vacation to Italy, he chose and happily consumed roasted pigeon, rabbit, sea bass (with head still on?!), and every fruit and vegetable he came across. Arugula salads are a particular favorite.
Jenny's methodology truly changed our son's life. But it did more than that. It made a difference in the lives of our entire family. Mealtime is now an anticipated event. Restaurants are an adventure. And our beloved son, the little boy who didn't eat at all just a few years ago, is the ring leader.
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I have a pre-teen who has a history of being a very selective eater. My husband is fairly selective too. After reading through this book, it is a huge relief to know that I don't have to "figure him out" and pressure him to eat how he "should" in order to please both myself and "concerned" relatives (sound familiar)?
If you ever wanted a big sister who was also an expert -- and who cares about your child -- to send you a kind, reassuring and knowledgeable letter about your situation, this is it. They know what they are talking about. I love how they avoid using judgmental terms and tones. Certainly they have positions on things, but what a relief to read something on such a hot-button topic that is NOT sanctimonious!
Hugely important is the concept of "no pressure." Even "nice" pressure or overly observing child is still pressure, and kids have a pressure radar more powerful than the US military. The "no pressure" concept surprisingly carries out in many other areas, not just eating! Backing off on the pressure is hard for me, as I tend to want control. However, this does not mean a free-for-all; it means you stop the spiral of resistance-pressure-worry-pressure etc. There are many areas of feeding that are still under YOUR purview as a parent; these are the firm but gentle guardrails within which your child can feel safe to try new things.
The book is rich with helpful takeaways, but my 4 favorites are: (A) Their style -- confident, reassuring, expert; (B) the nitty-gritty, day-to-day details -- they understand how it is to LIVE OUT the guidelines they are offering; and (C) their suggestions for responses ("you might say something like...
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